With the generous donations of Mrs. Helen Black, the daughter of LCol Harry Pryde, we are able to present this virtual collection of photographs and documents of one of the founding leaders of Army Signals in Alberta.
LCol Pryde was born on 6 August 1886 in Strathmigle, Scotland and died in Calgary on 10 July 1949. He enlisted into the 3rd Divisional Royal Canadian Engineers in 1914 as the Artillery and Infantry brigade Signal Officer. LCol Pryde saw action at Amiens, Arras, Irocourt, Querre and Mons during the First World War. LCol Pryde commanded the 13th District (Reserve) Royal Canadian Corps of Signals for the unprecedented space of twenty years from 1925 to 1944. As Commanding Officer, LCol Pryde brought much distinction and merit to the unit and the City of Calgary; during his tenure, this unit was honoured with the Dominion of Canada Efficiency Trophy in 1937-1938, and again in 1939-40.
Mention in Dispatches
For his "gallant and distinguished services" during The Great War, then Lt Pryde was mentioned in dispatches on 16 March, 1919. The dispatch originated from Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig, and the certificate was signed by then Secretary for War, Sir Winston Churchill.
LCol Pryde himself was awarded (from left-to-right): the British War Medal, Victory Medal (with oak leaf to denote mention-in-dispatches) Jubilee Medal for King George V, Coronation Medal for King George VI and the Dominion Efficiency Decoration.
Training at Sarcee
LCol Pryde would oversee training at the Sarcee training area to the West of Calgary and what is now part of the city. Photographs show hard work and training, as well as games the soldiers would play. LCol Pryde would often bring his children on horseback to visit the training.
Life in Calgary
Prior to the Great War, as a telegrapher, H. Pryde was active in the labour movement. After the war, he continued his involvement in local politics.
The LCol Pryde Trophy
In honour of LCol Pryde's contributions to Army Signals in Western Canada, the LCol Pryde Trophy was donated by Honorary Lieutenant Colonel, His Honour, Judge H.S. Patterson with the assistance of Captain Oberhofer, a former Commanding Officer. The trophy is awarded annually to the most proficient unit member below the rank of Sergeant.
Courses and Qualifications
More documents from LCol Pryde's service file can be found in the Government of Canada's digital archive. These include Certificates of Service, various medical records, promotions and pay records.