2nd Lieutenant Maurice William Pretyman

Maurice Pretyman © British Army
© British Army

Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for this research.

Maurice William Pretyman was born on the 12th of August 1889 in Edgewater, Illinois, USA to genealogist William Pretyman and Jenny Pretyman nee Remington.

Maurice’s father William Pretyman was born in the 2nd quarter of 1849 in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire to John Radclyff Pretymen and Amelia Pretyman. William was baptised on the 29th of May 1849 at the St Mary’s church in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

Jenny Remington was born about 1858 in New York, USA to Samuel Remington (born about 1818 in Connecticut) and Flora Remington (born about 1830 in Rhode Island). At the time of the 1880 Census, the family lived at New York, USA. Samuel was working in the Remington Rifle Company and Flora was keeping house.

Maurice William had a brother and a sister: Margaret Pretyman was born about 1885 in Albany, USA and Frank Remington Pretyman on the 17th of February 1891 in Edgewater, Illinois, USA.

1901 Census © findmypast.co.uk
1901 Census © findmypast.co.uk

During the 1901 Census, Maurice William was a boarder at the Hall School, Wenden Lofts, Saffron Walden in Essex. The schoolmaster was called Perceval Humphrey. The school employed also a cook, housemaid, kitchen maid, parlourmaid and a gentleman’s servant.

Marlborough College Register 1903 © macavo.co.uk
Marlborough College Register 1903 © macavo.co.uk

Maurice William was also educated at the Wick School in Hove. During his stay at Marlborough College he took part in the Officer Training Corps. He is listed in the school’s register for the year of 1903. At this time his family lived at the Richmond Lodge, Bournemouth. Later he attended London University.

Maurice was also a sport enthusiast and captain of the Shooting Eight 1906-07 and winner of the Spencer Cup, Bisley.

After schooling Maurice became an Engineer and Associate Member of the Institute of Civil Engineers and was connected with the building of Immingham Docks and Rosyth Naval Base. Later he became engaged in works undertaken by the Foundation Company of New York and Canada.

During the 1911 Census, Maurice’s family lived at 13 Rutland Court in London. The accommodation had 7 rooms. His father William Pretyman was working as a genealogist and his mother was at home, as was his sister Margaret. The family was looked after by a cook and parlourmaid.

Maurice came back to England on the 3rd of August 1914 and joined the Officer Training Corps the following day. At the time of the enlistment he lived at Dungannon, Highfield Avenue, Aldershot in Hampshire. He became 2nd Lieutenant of the Royal Engineers. Maurice obtained a commission on the 2nd of September 1914 and was posted to the Signal Company of the 10th Division. He served with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force at Gallipoli from the 6th of August 1915.

Roll of Honour © Manchester Courier
Roll of Honour © Manchester Courier
Roll of Honour © Manchester Courier.
Roll of Honour © Manchester Courier.

According to the De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour, Maurice was reported wounded and missing after fighting at Channuck Bair on the 10th of August.

He was presumed to be killed in an action on or since 12th of August 1915 in Gallipoli.

De Ruvigny Roll of Honour © British Army
De Ruvigny Roll of Honour © British Army

One of his men remembered: “Mr Pretyman worked splendidly during the attack, and was the finest chap I’ve seen; the men left in Section 2 (not many) will always remember him as the finest gentleman they ever had dealings with, especially in a tight corner. We cling to the faint hope he may be a prisoner of war”.

Soldiers Effects ©Ancestry.co.uk
Soldiers Effects ©Ancestry.co.uk

Maurice left his father William Pretyman, a gentleman, £258, 19s and 11d in the Probate.

Medal Roll © Ancestry.co.uk
Medal Roll © Ancestry.co.uk
Medal Roll © Ancestry.co.uk
Medal Roll © Ancestry.co.uk
Medal Roll © Ancestry.co.uk
Medal Roll © Ancestry.co.uk

Maurice William was awarded the British War and Victory medals and the 1915 Star.

Helles Memorial Register © CWGC
Helles Memorial Register © CWGC
Grave Registration © CWGC
Grave Registration © CWGC

Maurice’s brother Frank Remington Pretyman became Lieutenant of the Scott’s Guards. He was killed in action at Boesinghe on the 4th of July 1917 “during concentration for the attack and subsequent capture of Pilkem Heights”.

Remington-Pretyman plaque © Compton Cemetery
Remington-Pretyman plaque © Compton Cemetery

The brothers are commemorated at the Compton Cemetery in Guildford. Frank’s plaque was stolen in 2012, however Maurice’s remains intact.

The University of Birmingham holds an archive of letters written between the brothers during the War. 

During and shortly after the war, Maurice’s parents William and his wife lived at Richmond Lodge, Bournemouth, at 26 Wimbourne Road in Bournemouth and at Rock Dene in Dorking.

On the 31st of August 1920 William Pretyman died. At this time he lived in Bournemouth. His wife Jenny Pretyman received £2609, 13s and 2d in the Probate.

Born                            Edgewater, Illinois, USA
Lived                           Kensington, London

Son of                          William and Jenny Pretyman

Regiment                     10th Signal Company, Royal Engineers

Date of Death              12th August 1915
Place of Death             Gallipoli
Cause of Death           Killed in Action

Age                              26

Memorial                     Helles Memorial, Turkey