The 4 tragic Sheffield brothers killed within four years in WW1 now honoured at railway station
It was one of the biggest ever tragedies to hit a family in Sheffield.
The Pridmore family, from Hunt Street, in Netherthorpe, is believed to be the family hardest hit by the war, which lasted from August 1914 until November 1918, before an armistice was signed to signal the end of hostilities.
Over that time, four of the 13 children in the large family lost their lives. And now, after a campaign by their descendants, they are now remembered with a plaque which was unveiled in front of dignitaries including senior current military officers, as well as several generations of the Pridmore family.
The first casualty the family suffered came on October 14, when John Thomas Pridmore, a veteran of the Boer War who had returned to the forces after the outbreak of war, died in the retreat from Mons. Four days later, his brother Arthur Edward, also a Boer war veteran was also killed. Both had been serving with second battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. They are now remembered with their names on the Le Touret Memorial, near the battlefield.
A third brother, Albert, joined up in 1916. Injured serving with 24 Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment in May 1917, he later died of his wounds in hospital in Bradford, the following month. He is buried in Burngreave.
Fourth brother, George Harry, joined the 8th battalion, KOYLI, in April 1916, going on to be commissioned as a second lieutenant in April 1917 in the 21st battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment. Tragically, he also died, killed in action near Arras on August 31, 1918. He is buried in Feuchy Chapel cemetery in France.
John Thomas’ great grandson, Mick Drewry, found out the tragic story 20 years ago, and set about campaigning to do something to recognise the family’s sacrifice.
That has finally happened, after four past Masters of the Cutlers Company in Hallamshire paid for a plaque, now in place after a ceremony.
Mick, from Barnsley, said: “A number of families across Britain lost five brothers, but here in Sheffield, the greatest loss was that of the Pridmore family with the loss of the four Pridmore brothers.
“Reaching this point has been quite a journey for me. As a young lad, I was aware that my great-grandfather had been killed in the Great War as, when I visited my grandad, I used to play with his medals and the ‘big penny’ death plaque that all families received on the loss of a family member during the hostilities; medals that I have inherited and cherish.
“Grandad didn’t tell me much else about his dad as he was just six years old when John Thomas was killed on 14 October 1914. Moving the clock forward to around 20 years ago, through a First World War historian I had befriended through my work, I first found that not only was one of my great grandfather’s brothers killed just four days after he was - Arthur Edward – but two more brothers also later lost their lives in the conflict – Albert and George Harry.