Lt Christopher Butler Prior-Wandesforde – 4th Battalion Yorkshire regiment.

Lt Christopher Butler Prior-Wandesforde

Lt   Christopher Butler Prior-Wandesforde – 4th Battalion Yorkshire regiment.

Christopher Prior-Wandesforde was born on December 15th 1896 at Castlecomer in County Kilkenny and was educated at Mourne Grange in County Down followed by Rugby School. He passed into Trinity College at Cambridge in March of 1915 but instead of entering college volunteered for active service and gained his commission on March 31st 1915. He joined the 4th battalion later in the year in the Ypres Salient and in early 1916 He was involved in the “Operations at the Bluff” to the south east of Ypres. It was September before the 4th battalion entered the Somme offensive where they saw action around High Wood and Eaucourt L’Abbaye where 2nd Lt Prior- Wandesforde was wounded in action. By now promoted to Lieutenant, Christopher Prior-Wandesforde fought during the Battle of Arras in April of 1917 and in June was in the line at the Hindenburg Support.  On June 27th the battalion came under a gas attack and although badly affected himself, Lt Prior-Wandesforde worked for two hours in rescuing others from a gassed dugout. The extra effort involved in his actions caused the gas to penetrate his system and he died from the effects later in the day June 27th 1917 aged 20 in No 49 Casualty Clearing Station.

After his death his captain wrote,

“His was one of the sunniest natures I have ever met and no danger or difficulty seemed to damp his spirits for more than a few minutes. He was the very embodiment of charity and I have never heard him say an unkind word of anybody.After he was gassed he spent the greater part of two hours looking after his men and getting them out of danger”.

Lt Christopher Butler Prior-Wandesforde is buried in Achiet Le Grand Communal Cemetery Extension, which is to the north west of the village just to the west of theAlbert to Bapaume road. He was the son of Richard Henry and Florence Prior-Wandesforde of Castlecomer House in County Kilkenny and Kirklington Hall and Hipswell Lodge in Yorkshire.