Born: 1 July 1888

Died: 8 August 1958

A carpenter who enlisted in the AIF on 20 November 1915. He embarked for Egypt as a reinforcement for the 5th Field Company Engineers on 31 March 1916 and arrived on 5 May.

He was allotted to the 15th Field Company Engineers then proceeded to France in early August 1916 and joined his unit on 25 August. He was appointed a Second Lieutenant on 7 April 1917. As a result of his actions he was awarded the Military Cross. 

General William Birdwood, commander of I Anzac Corps, sent a letter of congratulations for his gallantry at Polygon Wood as follows:

“Dear Pritchard,

I write to congratulate you most heartily upon the award to you of the Military Cross in recognition of your good work during the operation at Polygon Wood on September 26 (1917). I know that after marking and forming a track to the objectives gained, you noticed that heavy machine gun fire from the right was checking some of the attacking troops, whose officers had become casualties. You immediately took command of the men among whom you distributed sappers, and supervised the consolidation of a line covering the gap. Owing to the heavy shelling, and the resultant dust and smoke, the maintenance of the direction was extremely difficult, and you displayed great gallantry in going up and down the line encouraging the men to dig in, and by taking compass bearings, ensured the accuracy of your position, which you explained to the men. Thank you very much for your fine work, and with good wishes for the future.

Yours sincerely

W. N. (sic) Birdwood”

(Taken from article, "Military Cross Hero. Lieut. Pritchard, of Mosman", Evening News [Sydney], 18 January 1918, p4. The wording of General Birdwood's letter is largely consistent with the recommendation made by the Chief Royal Engineer, 5th Australian Division.)

The citation in the London Gazette for the award of the Military Cross reads:

“Lt. Granville Pritchard, Engrs.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He led forward parties and marked and formed a track to the captured position under heavy fire. Later, when he found that the neighbouring infantry were without officers, he immediately took command and consolidated the position with great skill under very difficult conditions. He set a magnificent example to all ranks by his gallantry and contempt of danger.”

(London Gazette Supplement, 22 March 1918, p 3616)  

He was wounded (gassed) in action on 28 October 1917 but remained on duty. This was not recorded until May 1918 when he was admitted to hospital while attending a course in England. It was decided that he should return to Australia due to the effects on his health.

He embarked for Australia on 31 July 1918 and arrived on 28 September then his appointment in the AIF was terminated on 20 April 1919. [JSB]

His stepfather, Rochlitz John Maclean, was the father of James Noel Maclean who joined his former unit in August 1918.

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