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  • Buried in Zantvoorde British Cemetery, Belgium. (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
Percy Richard was the son of Samuel and Jane Harper (née Lawson). His father Samuel Harper was born in Basford, Nottingham, in about 1858 and his mother Jane Lawson was born in Sherwood, Nottingham, in about 1861. They were married in 1881 and according to the 1911 Census had 16 children of whom nine were still living in 1911. Ten children were named on the census between 1891 and 1911 one of whom, Alfred Ernest, died in childhood: Edith b. 1883 bap. Nottingham St Stephen May 1883, Clara b. 1884, Samuel b. 1885, Jane b. 1888, Fanny Gertrude b. 1889, Percy Richard b. 1891, George Henry (Harry) b. 1895, Thomas Frederick b. 1896, Alfred Ernest b. 1898 d. 1905 and Doris Belinda b. 1902. Four of the children who died young were probably: Albert Edward b. 1881 bap. (Albert Arthur) St Stephen May 1883 d. 1883, Daisy b. 1893 d. 1893, William b. 1900 d. 1900 and William b. 1903 d. 1903. (Birth registrations, mother's maiden name Lawson). In 1881, the year of their marriage, Samuel (22) a joiner and Jane (20) a rotary hand hosiery, were living at 5 Galloways Yard, Milton Street, Nottingham. Their first child, Albert, was born later that year but died in 1883. The family was still at 5 Galloways Yard in 1891. Samuel, a window blind maker, and Jane had five children: Edith (7), Clara (6), Samuel (5), Jane (3) and Fanny (2). Percy was born later that year and two subsequent children, Daisy (1893) and William (1900), died in infancy. Samuel and Jane continued to live in Galloways Yard where they were recorded on the 1901 Census. In the home on the night of the census were seven of their eight surviving children: Clara a machinist, Jane, Fanny, Percy (9), George (6), Thomas (4) and Alfred (2) who died four years later in 1905. The eldest daughter, Edith, a fancy work machinist, was a boarder living on Dame Agnes Street. Of two children born after 1901, Doris (1902) and William (1903), only Doris survived. By 1911 Samuel and Jane had moved to 17 Leicester Street, Nottingham; four of their children were in the home on the night of the census: Clara a neckwear machinist, George a printer's apprentice, Thomas an errand boy and Doris (8), together with their three year old grandson, Horace Baxter Harper (b. 1908). Edith has not yet been traced on the 1911 Census but Samuel, a window blind maker, was a boarder on Cremorne Street, Meadows, and Percy had joined the army and was serving with the 1st Bn South Staffordshire Regiment in Gibraltar (South Barracks). Jane married Henry Pitman in 1906 and was living on Ronald Street, Nottingham, and Fanny Gertrude married Bernard Plant at Nottingham St Mark in 1907 and was living on St Ann's Well Road, Nottingham. Percy's mother Jane predeceased him, dying in March 1914 aged about 53, while his father died in 1916 (registered J/F/M). Percy's brother George Henry probably attested in 1915 age 20 years 5 months, occupation press worker (lace). He was living at 4 Rawcliffe Terrace, Pym Street, St Ann's Well Road, Nottingham, and named his father, S Harper of the same address, as his next of kin. He may have served in the infantry before transferring to the Machine Gun Corps and then to the Tank Corps (32460). He served with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force from 10 October 1916 to 23 June 1917, Egypt from 30 June 1917 to 25 May 1918, and abroad (unspecified) from 21 June 1918 to 6 July 1918. He was probably discharged in March 1919, discharge address 4 Rawcliffe Terrace. He qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal.
In 1911 he was serving with the 1st Bn South Staffordshire Regiment in Gibraltar
25 Oct 1914
160381 - CWGC Website
Enlisted Nottingham
1st Bn South Staffordshire Regiment
1st Bn South Staffordshire Regiment Percy was serving with the Battalion in Gibralter (South Barracks) in 1911. Percy Richard disembarked to join the British Expeditionary Force on 4 October 1914 and was killed in action three weeks later on 25 October 1914. He was initially reported missing in action and his death was not confirmed until June 1916. He is buried in Zantvoorde British Cemetery, Belgium, a cemetery that was made after the Armistice (grave ref. V.H.16). He qualified for the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - History of Zantvoorde British Cemetery (extract): 'On 30 October 1914, the village of Zantvoorde (now Zandvoorde) was held by the 1st and 2nd Life Guards, numbering between 300 and 400 men. It was bombarded for over an hour with heavy guns and then taken by the 39th German Division and three attached battalions. The whole front of the 3rd Cavalry Division was driven back to the Klein-Zillebeke ridge. The village could not be retaken and remained in German hands until 28 September 1918. The Household Cavalry Memorial, unveiled by Lord Haig in May 1924, stands on the South side of the village at the place where part of the Brigade was annihilated in 1914. Zantvoorde British Cemetery was made after the Armistice when remains were brought in from the battlefields and nearby German cemeteries. Many were those of soldiers who died in the desperate fighting round Zantvoorde, Zillebeke and Gheluvelt in the latter part of October 1914.' (www.cwgc.org)
CWGC headstone personal inscription: 'A bitter parting to us all' CWGC: 'Son of the late Mr. and Mrs. S. Harper. Born at Nottingham.' Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 19 June 1916: ‘Harper. Reported missing October 25th, 1914, now reported killed, Private Percy Richard Harper (Dick), South Staffordshire Regiment, aged 25 years. From his loving sister Edie.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Percy named his eight siblings as his legatees: Mrs Edith Booth, Mrs Clara Cope, Mrs Jane Pitman, Mrs Fanny Plant (also for Doris Harper), Harry [George Henry] and Thomas Frederick. Samuel's legacy, at Samuel's request, was transferred to Edith.
Remembered on


  • Buried in Zantvoorde British Cemetery, Belgium. (www.cwgc.org)
    Percy Richard Harper - Buried in Zantvoorde British Cemetery, Belgium. (www.cwgc.org)