Percy White

1877 - 1917

Percy married in Oxford and settled locally as a builder.  He was 37 when war broke out, and so just under the upper age limit for conscription in 1916.

Son of a goldsmith

Percy Henry White was born in 1877 in Warwickshire. In 1891 he was living in Kentish Town, London, and his father was a goldsmith and diamond merchant. At the 1901 census, aged 24, he was working as a stonemason in Derbyshire.

Married in 1903

In 1903 Percy married in Oxford, and in 1911 he was working there as a builder. He was 37 when war broke out and only two years short of being too old for conscription, which was introduced in 1916. It is not clear whether he volunteered before this, but at some point he enlisted in the Alexandra Princess of Wales Own (Yorkshire) Regiment (Green Howards).

Survived the Somme

Percy joined the 9th (Service) Battalion, but did not begin active service until 1916, when his unit had already experienced several months at the front. They took part in a series of major engagements in the Battle of the Somme. Percy must have lost many comrades at this time, although as a Private he would have been less exposed to danger than the officers of his platoon. He survived into 1917, when his unit was in the trenches near Ypres, although not involved in significant action. He died on 14 February, presumably the haphazard victim of a sniper or shell. He was 39, and his body was recovered and buried at Railway Dugouts Burial Ground (Transport Farm). His widow seems to have remarried and moved to Surrey.


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