Lieutenant Colonel G.S. Pragnell, D.S.O
1st Reserve Battalion
This officer does not complain of feeling of exhaustion he had when last boarded. He has been playing golf and can do 18 holes without feeling over tired. Has no feeling of nervousness as complained of in last board.
(Proceedings of a Medical Board, 12 Feb 1918)
Born on 22 November 1880 in Hythe, England, George Seabrook Thomas Pragnell was a British Army officer and Boer War veteran who immigrated to Kamloops, British Columbia in 1908. He joined the 31st B.C. Horse under fellow British officer Lieutenant Colonel Charles Flick. Pragnall joined the 5th Battalion as a major when it deployed to France. In the confusion of the Second Battle of Ypres, he was mistakenly reported killed in action.
Pragnell survived but was badly wounded, gassed, and knocked out of action during the fighting. After release from hospital in England, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and appointed chief instructor of the Canadian Military School.
He became commanding officer of the 1st Reserve Battalion on 21 May 1917 but remained troubled by the lingering effects of his wounds. He was admitted to hospital several more times for tachycardia and ulcers before suffering a nervous breakdown in February 1918 before he relinquished command of the battalion.
When he returned to British Columbia, he became senior officer of the 5th Light Horse and was inspector of Indian agencies from Kamloops during the 1920s and 30s. Pragnell died on 15 January 1957.