Charlie Pritchard

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Charlie Pritchard
Charlie Pritchard.jpg
Pritchard in Newport jersey
Full name Charles Mayrick Pritchard
Date of birth (1882-09-30)30 September 1882
Place of birth Newport,[1] Monmouthshire
Date of death 14 August 1916(1916-08-14) (aged 33)
Place of death Chocques, France[2]
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)[3]
Weight 13 st 10 lb (192 lb; 87 kg)
School Long Ashton School, Bristol
Notable relative(s) Cliff Pritchard (cousin)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Back Row
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1901-1911 Newport RFC
Monmouthshire
217[4] ((63))
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1904-1910  Wales 14 ((3))

Military career
Allegiance  United Kingdom

Charles Meyrick Pritchard (30 September 1882 – 14 August 1916) was a Welsh international rugby union player. He was a member of the winning Welsh team who beat the 1905 touring All Blacks. He played club rugby for Newport RFC and county rugby for Monmouthshire. Pritchard was one of 13 Wales international players to be killed serving in the First World War.

Rugby career[edit]

Pritchard joined Newport in 1901, and on 25 January played his first senior game, facing Swansea. He spent his entire rugby career with Newport and during the 1905/06 season was made vice-captain; but after the captain Wyatt Gould was unable to fulfil his duties, Pritchard acted as stand-in captain.[5] The next season he was given the captaincy, a role he held for three consecutive seasons.

International career[edit]

Pritchard made his debut for Wales against Ireland in 1904, while playing club rugby for Newport. Pritchard would play in a further 13 internationals including the game against the famous 1905 All Black touring team. Although all the Welsh players on the day played their part in the victory over the New Zealanders, Pritchard was commended for his all out defensive play and continual heavy tackling against the All Blacks. He was seen as the star of the Welsh pack and was 'always in the thick of the fight';[6] fellow Welsh international George Travers would sum up Pritchard's aggressive play against the All Blacks as 'He knocked 'em down like nine pins.'[3][6][7]

Pritchard would score his only international try in a 16-3 win against England in a home nations match on 13 January 1906. After a serious injury in 1908 he returned to the Welsh side in the 1909/10 season and played his final game against England in 1910.[8]

1905 Wales squad, Charlie Pritchard, middle row, far left

International games played[edit]

Wales[9]

Military service and death[edit]

In May 1915 Pritchard was commissioned second lieutenant to the 12th Battalion South Wales Borderers. In November 1915 he was promoted to captain, and in June 1916 he went out to the Western Front with his battalion. On the night of 12 August 1916 he led a trench raid near Loos to capture a German prisoner. Although the raid was successful in its objective, Pritchard was seriously wounded and was carried to No. 1 Casualty Clearing Station a few miles behind the front at Chocques. His last reported words were to ask if they had got the "Hun", and when told they had, he replied 'Well, I have done my bit.' Pritchard died of his wounds at the clearing station on 14 August 1916 and is buried in Chocques Military Cemetery.[3][7]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Parry-Jones, David (1999). Prince Gwyn, Gwyn Nicholls and the First Golden Era of Welsh Rugby. Bridgend: seren. ISBN 1-85411-262-7. 
  • Thomas, Wayne (1979). A Century of Welsh Rugby Players. Ansells Ltd. 
  • Smith, David; Williams, Gareth (1980). Fields of Praise: The Official History of The Welsh Rugby Union. Cardiff: University of Wales Press. ISBN 0-7083-0766-3. 
  • Prescott, Gwyn (2014). Call Them to Remembrance: The Welsh Rugby Internationals who died in the Great War. St. David's Press. ISBN 978-1-902719-37-5.

References[edit]

  1. ^ WRU player profile[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ Newport RFC player profiles Archived 18 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b c Thomas (1979), pg 43.
  4. ^ Newport RFC Personnel: Charlie Pritchard Archived 18 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine. at www.blackandambers.co.uk
  5. ^ Wyatt Gould profile blackandambers.co.uk
  6. ^ a b Smith (1980), pg 162.
  7. ^ a b Prescott, Gwyn (2014). Call Them to Remembrance: The Welsh Rugby Internationals who died in the Great War. St David's Press. ISBN 978-1-902719-37-5. 
  8. ^ Thomas (1979), pg 44.
  9. ^ Smith (1980), pg 470.
Rugby Union Captain
Preceded by
Wyatt Gould
Newport RFC Captain
1906-1909
Succeeded by
Tommy Vile