Information provided by Roger and Helen Raisbeck.
Percy Charles Perry was born on 22 June 1886 to George and Selina Perry in Dorset, England. In 1902, at the age of 16, he joined the 5th Battalion of the Coldstream Guards at Yeovil (probably transferring to London before 1905). In 1905 he transferred to the army reserve (and enlisted again in 1914 service number 18562, Coldstream Guards). He fought at the Battle of Mons which was the first major action of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in the First World War. He was wounded in action and hospitalised. He sent a photograph postcard home to his wife, Lucy, simply saying “I am first on your left [in the picture], going alright, PP”. Unfortunately he was unable to return to action and was discharged on 7 October 1915.
He qualified for the 1914 Star (also known as the Mons Star) on 13 August 1914 as well as being awarded the British War medal and the Victory medal.
Percy had 5 brothers, 4 of which joined the navy. One of his younger brothers, Ernest Sydney Perry, was lost in the Battle of Coronel off the coast of Chile on board HMS Monmouth on 1 November 1914. A newspaper cutting calling the Perrys a “Family of Patriots”, shows Percy in the centre flanked on either side by his brothers. Percy returned to civilian life back in England after his discharge in 1915 and encouraged his daughter Edna May Perry to knit socks for soldiers as part of the war effort.
Percy died in March 1944 at the age of 57 in his home county of Dorset.
Explore more memories from the ribbon
Submitted by Mike Crisp. Private 47165 George Laws was by trade a painter and decorator from the small market town of Beccles, Suffolk. He joined the 22nd Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers (Tyneside Scottish) and served in France. On the opening day of Operation Michael, 21st March 1918 his battalion was in the front-line trenches around St Leger / Bullecourt where he was reported missing. His body was never recovered, and he is commemorated on the Arras memorial. According to the battalion diary they suffered 1,130 casualties on that day. George’s wife Gertrude, was heartbroken and never gave up hope of her husband being found, writing to the War Office on several occasions to try and gain more information. It was not until many months later friends of George visited her to relate that George was a member of a bombing party which went to a flank and were never seen again. Not only was Gertrude in mourning but also on the poverty line, forced to bring up 2 small children on her own. To help make ends meet she took in washing, sat with the dying, and laid out corpses for the local undertakers. Her son became the surrogate ‘man of the house’ and it was not until 1968 that he felt that he could leave his mother to get married himself. Gertrude died at the age of 97 in 1977.
Submitted by Marcia Howard. William Tuck was brother to my maternal grandmother Emma Clifford (nee Tuck) in Gloucestershire, my mother’s Uncle Willie, and therefore my great-uncle although I obviously never had the chance to meet him. My Granny Clifford went on to lose 2 more brothers; heartbreaking for both her parents, and for herself and remaining siblings. William Tuck went down with his ship during World War I. His name is on the front panel of the Naval Memorial on Plymouth Hoe. The following entry is from the Register of Naval Memorials erected at Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth:- TUCK, Pte. William George, PLY/16293, R.M.L.I. H.M.S. “Monmouth.” Killed in action at Battle of Coronel, 1st Nov., 1914. Age 21. Son of George and Annie Tuck of Britton Bottom, Hawkesbury Upton, Badminton, Glos.
Private Firby was born in 1883 and came from Richmond, living at 49 Newbiggin. He enlisted on 12th December 1914 at the age of 31. He was a ‘Commission Agent’. He was posted to the 6th battalion on 24th August 1915 and arrived in Gallipoli on 8th September. He was wounded by shrapnel on 25th October 1915 when, according to the Battalion War Diary, at 9.30 in the morning there was a ‘Fire display by the Turks along whole of the front. 8 men wounded by shrapnel.’ He returned home on 15th November 1915. He appears among the list of wounded in the December 1915 edition of The Green Howards Gazette. On recovering from his wounds, Private Firby was transferred to the Labour Corps on 22nd May 1917 and he saw out the remainder of the war with the Labour Corps. Private Firby was examined by a Medical Board on 9th March 1917 and was in The Royal Victoria Hospital, Edinburgh on 29th July 1918 when a copy of The New Testament was presented to him. Private Firby was discharged from military service on 4th April 1919. Private Firby was again examined in 1920 and 1921 and declared to have a 40% disability, the cause being listed as ‘Bronchitis’ and granted an award of 8 shillings per week.