Hesketh Prichard, Writer: Don Q Son of Zorro. Other Works: Novel (as Vernon Hesketh Prichard): “November Joe, Detective of the Woods”. See more». Edit. Hesketh Vernon Hesketh Prichard was a contemporary of the Antarctic explorer Apsley Cherry-Garrard (assistant zoologist, British Antarctic Expedition. Hesketh-Prichard was a hunter, explorer, cricketer, author and soldier. As a club land author he found fame as a fiction writer: his most famous.

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Concerned not only with improving the quality of marksmanship, the measures he introduced to counter the threat of German snipers were credited by a contemporary with saving the lives of over 3, Allied soldiers. During his lifetime, he also explored territory never seen before by a European, played cricket at first-class level, including on overseas tours, wrote short stories and novels one of which was turned into a Douglas Fairbanks film and was a successful newspaper correspondent and travel writer.

His many activities brought him into the highest social and professional circles. Like other turn of the century hunters such as Teddy Roosevelt, he was an active campaigner for animal welfare and succeeded in seeing legal measures introduced for their protection. Hesketh-Prichard and his mother returned to Great Britain soon after, and lived for a while at her parents’ house, before moving to St Helier on Jersey for several years.

His nickname was “Hex”, which he would bear throughout his life. They returned to the mainland that the boy might be educated at a prep school in Rugby. He passed the preliminary exam, though he would never practice as a solicitor.

He wrote his first story “Tammer’s Duel” in the summer ofwhich his mother helped him refine, and was sold soon after to Pall Mall Magazine for a guinea. He spent the sea-time on the trip writing or planning plots. Heron”, and saw publication in several journals, including Cornhill Magazine.

In Barrie introduced him to the press hesksth Cyril Arthur Pearsonwho suggested he write a series of ghost stories for his monthly Pearson’s Magazine. Prichqrdhe and his mother worked on the plot of A Modern Mercenarythe stories of Captain Rallywood, a dashing diplomat in Germany.

He travelled to South America in Februaryseeing the construction work for the Panama Canal[7] but returned after developing malaria while in the Caribbean. In Pearson chose Hesketh-Prichard to explore and report on the relatively unknown republic of Haitiwanting something dramatic with which to launch his forthcoming Daily Express.

His mother accompanied him as far as Jamaica heseth in later years she prichaard often travel with him to remote destinations in rpichard time when it was uncommon for a woman of her age to do so. Hesketh-Prichard travelled extensively into the uncharted interior of Haiti, narrowly avoiding death on one occasion when someone tried to poison him. A Journey Across and About Hayti.

Pearson welcomed his reports, and on his return immediately commissioned him to travel to Patagonia to investigate dramatic rumours of a hairy beast roaming the land. The animal was conjectured by Natural History Museum director Ray Lankester to be a living example of the long-extinct giant ground sloth. He explored the area surrounding Lake Argentinofinding one of its feeder lakes, naming it Lake Pearson after his patron, and their connecting river Caterina after his mother.

The puma is now considered to be a variety of the southern South American cougar Puma concolor concolor. The grass species Poa prichardii hesmeth named after Hesketh-Prichard after he brought back a specimen. Inon the hundredth anniversary of both Hesketh-Prichard’s trip and the newspaper’s founding, the Daily Express despatched his great-grandson Charlie Jacoby to retrace his footsteps.


Hesketh Vernon Hesketh-Prichard – Wikisource, the free online library

Hesketh-Prichard first visited Atlantic Canada in Augusttravelling up the coasts of Labrador and Newfoundlandand donating the heads of stags he had shot to the Newfoundland Exhibition then in London. He returned in Octoberthis time with his prchard, and the cricketer Teddy Wynyard. His most ambitious trip to the region was however in Julywhen he undertook to explore the interior of Labrador, saying “it seemed to us a pity that such a terra incognita should continue to exist under the British flag”.

His reputation was such that former president Theodore Roosevelta fellow writer, explorer and hunter, wrote to rpichard, commending him on his latest book, which he described as the best that season, and asking to meet him. Inthe mother-and-son writing team produced The Chronicles of Don Q. The pair produced a full-length novel, Don Q. Inwriting on his own, Hesketh-Prichard created the crime-fighting figure November Joea hunter and backwoodsman from the Canadian wilderness.

Despite his reputation as heskwth hunter, he campaigned to end the clubbing of grey seals around the coast. Aided by his friend Charles Lyell MPhe was successful in seeing the Grey Seals Protection Act prochard unopposed in[22] Britain’s first legal protection for non-game mammals.

Hesketh-Prichard was a talented cricketer, [25] [26] and played for a number of teams, including HampshireLondon County gesketh, and Marylebone Cricket Club.

He joined the short-lived London County inwhere he was a teammate of W. A tall man, he was able heketh use his height and reach to his advantage when bowling. In a first-class career that lasted from tohe took wickets for a total of 7, runs.

At the outbreak of the First World WarHesketh-Prichard tried for a commission in the Black Watch and Guardsprichardd both turned him down because of his age, then He witnessed there the victims of gas attack. Hesketh-Prichard was shocked to learn of the high attrition rate due to well-trained German snipers. It was common for British regiments to lose five men a day to snipers; [33] he learned that one battalion lost eighteen in a single day. He was also dismayed by the poor quality of marksmanship amongst the British troops.

Major Hesketh Hesketh-Prichard DSO MC

He set about improving the quality of marksmanship, calibrating and correcting the few telescopic sights that the prichar already possessed. To hesket the quality of German armour plate, he retrieved a sample from a German trench.

He discovered that their armour could only be penetrated by a heavy heskth such as Jeffery prichardd, while British plate could be easily defeated by a much smaller gun such as a Mauser. He recognised German skill in constructing trench parapets: In contrast, British trench practice had been to give a military-straight neat edge to the parapet top, making any movement or protrusion immediately obvious. An observer was vulnerable hesmeth an enemy sniper firing a bullet through his loophole, but Hesketh-Prichard devised a metal-armoured double loophole that would protect him.

The front loophole was fixed, but the rear was housed in a metal shutter sliding in grooves. Only when the two loopholes were lined up—a one-to-twenty chance—could an enemy shoot between them. Another innovation was the use of a dummy head to find the location of an enemy sniper.

To increase the realism, a lit cigarette could be inserted into the dummy’s mouth and be smoked by a soldier via a rubber tube.

The sniper’s bullet would have made a hole in the front and back of the dummy’s head. The head was then raised in the groove again, but lower than before by the vertical distance between the glasses of a trench periscope.

If the lower glass of a periscope was placed before the front bullet hole, its upper glass would be at exactly the same height as the bullet had been. Heskfth looking through the rear hole in the head, through the front hole and up through the periscope, the soldier would be looking exactly along the line the pruchard had taken, and so would be looking directly at the sniper, revealing his position.


Hesketh-Prichard was eventually successful in gaining official support for his campaign, and in August was given permission to proceed with formalised sniper training. In December he was ordered on General Allenby ‘s request to the Third Army School of Instruction and was made a general staff prichaard with the rank of captain. His friend George Gray, himself a champion shooter, told him that he had reduced sniping casualties from five a week per prichafd to forty-four in three months in sixty battalions; by his reckoning, this meant that Hesketh-Prichard had saved over 3, lives.

Hesketh-Prichard was taken ill with an undetermined infection in late and was granted leave.


His health remained poor for the rest of his life, and he spent much of it convalescing. It was during this period of leave that he learned that he had been awarded the Distinguished Service Order[45] for his work with the First Army School of Sniping, Observation, and Scouting.

He continued to write and hunt when his health permitted him. Inhe wrote his account of his war time activities in the critically acclaimed Sniping in France full-text available on Wikisource and as a PDF documentwhich is still referenced by modern authors on the subject. Alfgar was recruited to the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War, where he became the first head of its Czech Section, training agents to hexketh the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich.

In JulyHesketh-Prichard was elected Chairman of the Society of Authorsof which he had been a member for many years. Hesketh-Prichard died from sepsis on 14 Juneat the ancestral home of his wife at Gorhambury, HertfordshireEngland.

His obituarists ascribed this to an obscure form of blood poisoning brought on by gassing in the trenches during his war service. However, his ailments, including fatigueheart — digestive — neurological disorders, appendicitiscognitive problems, depression, anxiety — are today prichatd as differential symptoms of malaria.

Hesketh Prichard collection – Archives Hub

Left untreated they sometimes lead to organ failure and death. Hesketh-Prichard’s biography was written two years after his death by his friend Eric Parker, who encapsulated his many accomplishments within its title: Explorer, Naturalist, Cricketer, Author, Soldier.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Gorhambury, HertfordshireUK. The Stanford Companion to Victorian Fiction. The New York Times. Retrieved 22 November Archived from the original PDF on 31 May Retrieved 30 November Accessed on 25 November The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes. A History of Nature Conservation in Britain. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 28 November Retrieved 23 November The London Gazette Supplement.

The Skills, the Weapons, and the Experiences. Training, Techniques and Weapons. Retrieved May 2, Archived from the original on 17 December World War I snipers. Retrieved from ” https: Views Read Edit View history.

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