PRIDHAM, Ernest Prideaux
(Service number 3/648)

First Rank Lieutenant Last Rank Captain


Date 23 February 1905 Place of Birth

Enlistment Information

Date Age 33
Address at Enlistment Temuka
Occupation Dentist
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Married
Next of Kin Mrs Eva M.L Pridham (wife) C/- P. Palmer, Edward St, St Claire, Dunedin
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with New Zealand Armed Forces (?) Served in Medical Corps dental section
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation Second Reinforcements
Unit, Squadron, or Ship
Transport Willochra
Embarked From Wellington Destination Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

Service Medals
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date 5 July 1916 Reason Disability

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations



Date 15 October 1955 Age 74
Place of Death Hastings
Memorial or Cemetery Hastings Cemetery
Memorial Reference Plot: CRG/#/456
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Ernest Prideaux Pridham was born in 1881, the son of Mary Rachel and Ernest Pridham. He graduated as a dentist in Dunedin in 1906, at that time his usual place of address was New Plymouth. He married Eva Marie Louise Palmer in 1907 and by 1909 was advertising as a “painless visiting dentist” in Temuka, operating out of the Royal Hotel. He advertised that he has operated on “thousands of people” in Otago and Southland and that his painless extractions were “simply marvellous”. His postal address was in Dunedin, but he also worked in Geraldine and Orari. By 1910 Pridham was operating out of his residence Wood St, Temuka (two doors below Temuka Laundry). He had two daughters, born in 1911 and 1913.

Pridham enlisted in 1914, leaving Temuka on 7 December to join the Expeditionary Force as a dentist. He was attested as a Lieutenant (service no.3/648) and embarked for Egypt on 22 December 1914. There he contracted dysentery and was sent back to New Zealand 8 June 1915. He was given six weeks’ leave on disembarkation for home treatment for post dysenteric debility, and deemed fit again for general service on 31 August, leaving once again for Egypt on 9 October. Pridham disembarked at Suez on 18 November but was admitted to hospital in Cairo on 20 December, once again suffering from dysentery. He was discharged back to duty on 31 December 1915 but once again was admitted to hospital on 15 April 1916 suffering from enteritis and was duly transferred to a convalescent home. He was invalided back to New Zealand for a second time on 2 April 1916, suffering from post-dysenteric debility and a chronic inflammation of some muscles of his right hand attributed to muscular strain in using dental instruments. He was discharged as unfit for active military service in July. There followed a long litigious correspondence with the military and with parliament over various matters concerning his discharge, ongoing medical problems concerning a trip over a tent peg, along with his ability to view his army record and his work as a civilian dentist. His service file consists of over 200 pages.

Pridham also volunteered to serve as a dentist during the Second World War but his offer was declined. He died in Hastings in 1955.


NZ Defence Force Personnel Records, Archives NZ; NZ BMD; Assorted articles courtesy of Papers Past at; Hastings Cemetery database; Assorted records at

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