John Pryor was the elder child of John Richard Henry Pryor (1901-1984) and Elizabeth Lydia Pryor née Thomason (1899-2006). His birth was registered in the 1st quarter of 1926 in the Islington registration district and the birth of his sister, Doreen P. Pryor, was registered in the 3rd quarter of 1936 also in the Islington registration district.
The 1939 England and Wales Register shows his parents and paternal grandparents living at 123 Marlborough Road, Islington, with his father being described as an engineer's component storekeeper and Air Raid Precautions Warden No.639 at Islington. His paternal grandfather, John Pryor (b.1867), was described as a retired warehouseman.
In November 1942 he is recorded in the UK Postal Service Appointment Books as a postman in the London Postal Region (West). He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, service number 2236051, and served as an Aircraftman 2nd Class.
He was serving at 7 (Observer) Advanced Flying Unit at RAF Bishops Court, County Down, Northern Ireland when he died, aged 18 years, on 29 December 1944, training as a wireless operator aboard an Avro Anson Mk1 aeroplane, serial number LT431, that took off from RAF Bishops Court and was participating in a low-level cross-country exercise, during which the pilot, Flight Sergeant Eric Sweeting, caused his aircraft to strike a tree. The aircraft crashed into the field on the south-eastern side of Carys Fort, a 333ft-high hill on Abbeyview Road towards Saintfield, near Crossgar, Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, killing all the five aircrew. His body was returned to England and he was buried in Section Z, Block 26, Grave 21826P in the Islington and St Pancras Cemetery, 278 High Road, London, N2 9AG.
He is shown as Pryor J. on the Western Postal District war memorial. He is also commemorated on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website, on the Royal Air Force Commands website and on page 208 of the Post Office Fellowship of Remembrance's Book of Remembrance 1939-1949.
Credit for this entry to: Andrew Behan.