On November 1, 1918, Private Harry Priddey of Droitwich was killed in action - just 10 days before the fighting stopped.

He was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs Tom and Dorcas Priddey, of 5 Railway Cottages, Grantham, Droitwich and had been serving with the 2/8th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment. His father was serving in the Royal Engineers and was formally employed at Westwood.

Harry Priddey was described as 'a well setup young fellow and was just twenty years of age. He went to France on 7th June last.'

How Mrs Priddey received the news is outlined below in these letters:


France, 3rd November


Dear Madam,

It is my painful duty to inform you that your son Private H Priddey was killed by shell fire during an attack on the morning of 1st November. All officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the company are deeply grieved and sympathise with you in your great loss. Your son was very popular with all and as a soldier he was brave and absolute, reliable in every aspect. We shall miss him greatly. He was buried in the British Cemetery at Artress (4 ½ miles south of Valeneiennes) a few hundred yards from where he fell. We all trust you will bare your terrible grief bravely.

Yours sincerely,

A.H. Oakley 2nd Lieutenant 14th Platoon D Company




Dear Mrs Priddey,

It is difficult to know how to break to you the sad news of your son. He laid down his young life in an attack made by the Battalion on last Friday, November 1st. It is indeed a terrible loss for you. Will you allow me, both on my own behalf and that of the others and men in my company to you our deepest sympathy. It is so hard to understand why one should be taken and others left but may you find a great pride and consolation in the fact that he died nobly doing his duty. An example for us all. May God give you the quiet strength of his comfort to bravely bare this great sorrow. Your son was buried in a little military cemetery Artres, near Vendeges, now some miles behind the front line. Please let me know if I can help you in any way.

Yours sincerely,

H.L. Britton Captain O.C. D Co. 2/8 Worcester Regiment.


J. Nicklin Sgt.

16 Hambury Street. Droitwich BEF


Dear Mrs Priddey,

It is with the greatest sympathy I write to let you know that your son was killed in action on Friday morning. I know this will be a great loss to you and it is a thing I do not like to write about. We were frontline company in a big attack. We had got started about a quarter of an hour when the enemy sent over one or two shells and one fell in the shell hole your son and two other men were in. One of the others was killed as well, the other one being severely wounded. If it is any consolation to know he did not suffer any pain, death being instantaneous. Well he was one of my best lads. I could always rely on him to do his duty. He never wanted telling twice to do a thing and he did not know what fear meant. I will come and see you and tell you the name of the cemetery we buried him in when I come, if God spares me. Accept my deepest sympathy, also his comrades who are all very sorry I think to lose a good pal.

Believe me to be, yours very sincerely,

Jack Nicklin Sgt. D Company 2/8 Worcestershire Regiment



Dear Mrs Priddey,

I am very sorry to say that your son has been killed in action. He was killed on 1st November about 5 o’clock. He did not suffer much after he was hit and he passed away very peacefully. I was by him when he was hit. He was a very good lad and we miss him very much and I’m sure he went to heaven when he passed away.

Yours sincerely,

Private S Read 2/8 Worcestershire Regiment D Company 14th Platoon B.E.F. France


6th November

Dear Madam,

Before you receive this you will have had the sad news of the death of your son in action in France. As Chaplin of that Battalion I write to assure you of our sincere sympathy in your loss, but at the same time to congratulate you on having such a so noble a son who has proved his true worth by making the supreme sacrifice for his country.

With every sympathy and wish, yours sincerely,

Cyril Sowerby.


The Jack Nicklin who wrote to Mrs Priddey was a local hero, as a newspaper report of the time explains:

'Mr J H Nicklin of 16 Hanbury Street received a letter from his son Sargent J Nicklin 2/8 Worcestershire Regiment saying that he has been awarded the military medal for Gallantry and Devotion to duty in the field. Sargent Nicklin has seen much fighting having been in France two years and seven months. A brother is on home service. Mr John Nicklin has also four soldier son-in-laws, one of whom has been discharged.'