(L to R) 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Allied Victory Medal
Percy was born in 1890 in Didsbury, the only son of Joseph and Sarah Jones. In 1891 they were living on King Street in Didsbury and his father was a cotton weaver at the time. By 1901 they had moved to 41 Wilmslow Road in Didsbury and his father was now a shopkeeper. Sarah’s mother Lucy Howard had also moved in with them. Percy got a job aged 14 as a code clerk with Messrs George Robinson of Princess Street, Manchester.
Percy joined the Army on the 3rd September 1914 when he was 24 years old. He was given the service number 8673 and placed into ‘B’ Company, 17th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. Also known as the 2nd City Battalion, this was a ‘pals battalion’ of Manchester lads who enlisted, trained and fought together.
Percy was promoted several times, reaching the rank of Colour Sergeant Major.
During his service he married Leah Shatwell at Emmanuel Church in Didsbury where he was very involved with the Church community. He had been a member of the church choir since the age of 10, and a Lieutenant with the Church Lads’ Brigade. Percy and Leah had a baby boy and lived at 3 Jackson Street in Cheadle.
Percy was killed by shrapnel on the 11th October 1916 at the Somme. He was 26 years old. He is buried with 1219 others at the A.I.F. Burial Ground at Flers. Over 500 people attended his memorial service at Emmanuel Church.
In a contemporary newspaper obituary he was described as: a steady, reliable soldier, a fine-looking man, thorough in all he undertook, and a great favourite with officers, non-coms and men
Percy’s medals were donated to the museum collections in 2018.