Biography[edit | edit source]
Pritchard is a young English soldier serving in the Royal Tank Corps, and the right-side gunner of the Mark V tank referred to as "Black Bess" during the Second Battle of Cambrai. He is shown to have a sense of humour, joking with McManus over the promise of "wine, women and song" upon arrival at their final objective of Cambrai. He however appears tense and full of anticipation during the mission briefing at the beginning of Through Mud and Blood, and is energetic and profane when in combat. He seemed to care for the onboard messenger pigeon a lot, but didn't know very well how to treat it, as he wanted to feed the bird a tot (ration) of rum. He was quite friendly with the new driver Daniel Edwards, and didn't seem to mind him.
En route to Cambrai and shortly after losing Finch, Black Bess manoeuvres to destroy artillery positions only to lose traction in the mud and become stuck. The Germans, anticipating such an incident, were waiting nearby, and begin to surround the tank, climbing aboard in an attempt to destroy it. Out of options, Townsend commands Pritchard to take the messenger pigeon and release it with a message to shell their position. He manages to remove the bird from its cage as the Germans fire blindly through the tank's viewports, and is hit by a stray bullet to his head, killing him instantly.
Shortly after, a disoriented Edwards retrieves the pigeon from Pritchard's corpse and releases it, completing his mission. Pritchard is quickly avenged when the artillery bombardment falls upon the tank's position, killing all Germans in the nearby area. His body is last seen as Townsend closes his eyes out of respect.
Later on in the chapter, the crew of the Mark V can be heard yelling "that one was for Pritchard" upon destroying German armor.
Gallery[edit | edit source]