Edwin James Prior

Edwin James Prior
Private 41177
9th Battalion Norfolk Regiment

Prior EJE photo

Edwin James Prior died 15th April 1918 aged 19 years.  He has no known grave and his name is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing panels 34 to 35 and 162A.

Edwin Prior was the brother of Arthur James Prior of 65, Foxhill Road, Reading.  Information on the caption of a photograph printed in Berkshire and the War, gives details of him belonging to the South Staffordshire Regiment and attached to the Lincoln Regiment.  An address of 10, High Street, Belston, Staffordshire is given.  The caption goes  on to state that he was twice wounded and was late of Caversham.

More details about the German Spring Offensive around Ypres have been given in the biography of Reginald Newport.   Edwin Prior, although in a different regiment would have experienced similar difficulties.  By 11th April Armentieres had been evacuated by the British and Haig issued this famous speech to his men “…..Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement.  With our backs to the wall….each one of us must fight to the end.”

On the 15th April, the day that Edwin Prior died, the bloodily won ridge of Passchendaele was evacuated and the British divisions withdrew to a line around Ypres which approximated to that of 1915.  The British were below full complement and the new men, replacing those lost in Third Ypres, were young and incompletely trained, although they fought bravely. (Martin Matrix Evans – Passchendaele)  The different details about regimental information for Edwin Prior may be due to the fact that he was taken into different units to make up the numbers at various times.