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Prior, William Henry (1888–1937)

William Henry Prior, c 1915 unknown photographer

William Henry Prior, c 1915 unknown photographer

from Bank of NSW Roll of Honour

WILLIAM HENRY PRIOR was born on 19th September, 1888, at Burrowa, and is a brother of Robert Eric Prior, He was educated at the Fort Street High School, Sydney, and entered the Bank’s service at the Head Office on 13th December, 1906.

He enlisted in the A.I.F. in April, 1915; was promoted second-lieutenant in August, and left Australia in September, 1915, in charge of the 9th Reinforcements to 3rd Battalion. On arrival in Egypt he was transferred to the 1st Battalion, served on the Suez Canal, and accompanied them to France in March, 1916. Promoted lieutenant, in April, he acted as Scouting and Intelligence Officer until July, when he was seriously wounded whilst raiding an enemy position near Fleurbaix. He was mentioned in despatches for conspicuous gallantry during the raid.

Being incapacitated for further service in the field, W. H. Prior was placed on the administrative staff at A.I.F. headquarters, London, in January, 1917, where he acted as D.A.Q.M.G. He reorganised “Q” Departments’ Systems, and instituted a War Loan Savings Scheme, by which the female civilian staff contributed over £7,000 to National funds. Later he was appointed administrative controller of all A.I.F. civilian staff, totalling at Armistice 3,300, and drafted the regulations and benefits under which they were finally demobilised.

On 1st January, 1920, he was appointed staff inspector, and promoted captain. A year later he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (Military Division) “for conspicuous and valuable services during the war."

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Citation details

'Prior, William Henry (1888–1937)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/prior-william-henry-24344/text33085, accessed 27 January 2021.

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