PRYKE, Arthur James

No.25404, Private, Arthur James PRYKE
Aged 20

9th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)
formerly No.9774, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Sunday, 1st September 1918

Arthur James Pryke was born on 5th May 1898 in Barnham ( Thetford Q3-1898 4B:363), son of Charles and Mary Ann PRYKE (née BAKER).

1901 census...Aged 2, he was in Barnham with his father Charles PRYKE [48] forester's labourer; his mother Mary Ann [38]; brothers Walter [14] farm labourer, Percy [10] and Sidney [6]; sisters Gertrude [12] and Pleasance [1]. All were born in Barnham. His sister Lilian Lavinia [12] born Barnham was at Duke's Ride Cottages with her grandparents John and Jane PRYKE. Sister Florence May has not been identified in this census.

1911 census...Aged 12, he was at Water Lane, Barnham with his widower father; sisters Florence [29] born Barnham, Pleasance and Gladys [6] born Barnham; brothers Percy (farm labourer) and Sidney (post boy). His mother had died in 1905.

His elder brother Sidney was killed in France in 1916 see here

He enlisted in Bury St Edmunds on 1st June 1916, giving his date of birth as 5th May 1898, a goods porter, born in Barnham, father Charles Pryke. he was 5ft 4.25 inches ( 163 cm) tall, chest 31" to 34" (78.7 to 86.4 cm), weighed 109 lbs (49.6 kg), blue eyes, brown hair. His entry under religion is not C of E but it is unreadable.
He joined the regiment in the 3rd General Service Battalion at Felixstowe. Promoted acting unpaid Corporal on 19th May 1917, this was relinquished on 12th September 1917 when he left Folkestone for Boulogne and was transferred first to the 15th Battalion and then to the 9th Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment), joining them in the field on the 21st September 1917. he was killed in action on 1st September 1918. His exhumation card actually states he had died of his wounds, but all other documents say killed in action. Although there is a map reference for his original burial, unfortunately it is only a 1,000 yard square.
His sole legatee was sister Florence who in 1919 was at Church Lane, Barnham. On 28th February an M.Pryke wrote to the Army to request they sent no more forms to Florence, they were not required. Florence had by then received his personal effects of wallet, photos, religious book, certificate, cards and attestation papers.

CWGC have 28 of the Battalion killed on 1st September

Initially buried somewhere in outlined area and concentrated to Flers in 1920
Unfortunately only an approximate area is given

Arthur Pryke is buried in A.I.F. Burial Ground, Flers, grave 8:A:1

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details