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  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte, Somme France. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
Person Details
Beeston Nottingham
Percy was the son of Frederick and Sarah Giles (née Sleaford). His father Frederick was born in Beeston in 1872, the son of John, a farmer's labourer, and Rebecca Giles. Frederick and six of his siblings were living with their parents on Windsor Street, Beeston, in 1891. His mother Sarah Sleaford was born in Hucknall Torkard, Nottinghamshire, in about 1876. Frederick and Sarah were married at Beeston St John the Baptist on 4 August 1894 and had seven children of whom six survived infancy: Lilian May b. 1894, Percy b. 1896, John (Jack) b. 1898, Sidney b. 1900, Frederick Walter (Walter) birth registered 1903 (J/F/M) and Florence b. 1907. All the children were born in Beeston. In 1901 Frederick, a bicycle fitter, and Sarah were living at 23 Windsor Street, Beeston, with their four children Lilian (6), Percy (4), John (2) and Sidney (under 1 year). The family was still living in Beeston in 1911 but were now at 34 Derby Street. All six children were in the home on the night of the census: Lilian a machinist and Percy a blouse cutter who were working for a blouse manufacturer, Jack, Sidney and Walter (8) who were at school and Florence (3). Sarah Giles died in 1911 (reg. Basford) and by the time Percy attested in 1914 the family had moved to 15 Warwick Street, Old Lenton, Nottingham. An 'In Memoriam' notice placed in the local paper in October 1918 includes a 'stepmother' and there is a record of the marriage of a Frederick Giles to Florence M Hazzeldine in 1918 (reg. J/A/S Nottingham). However, two earlier notices in 1916 and 1917 include 'ma' in the family names although this may refer to a grandmother. Percy's father probably died in November 1935. Two of Percy's brothers also served in the war: John attested in the Territorial Force (4 years service UK), serving in the Sherwood Foresters (4341, 203323). Embodied service dated from 7 October 1915 and he served in France from 1917 when he would have been 19 years old. He was demobilized on 26 March 1919 to 15 Warwick Street. Sidney joined the Royal Navy in July 1917 as a Boy 2nd Class and entered on a 'Hostilities Only' engagement on his 18th birthday the following year. He served in HMS Powerful from July 1917 to 3 October 1917 (Boy 1st Class 29 September) and then in HMS Cambrian from 4 October 1917 (Ordinary Seaman 2 April 1918) until his discharge shore on demobilization on 28 February 1919.
1911 - blouse cutter (blouse manufacturer). 1914 - telephone (?hand).
17 Oct 1916
20
31084 - CWGC Website
4952
15 Warwick Street, Old Lenton, Nottingham
Private
2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment) Percy attested on 13 August 1914 aged 18 years. He named his father and three brothers, John, Sidney and Walter, as his next of kin. He served in France from 17 August 1915 until his death two years later. Percy may have been wounded on 15 October 1917, suffering injuries to his left arm and also his left leg resulting in a fractured femur. He died in No. 2/2 London Casualty Clearing Station on 17 October, probably from sepsis. He is buried in Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte, Somme, France (grave ref. 1.N.20). He qualified for the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - History of Grove Town Cemetery (extract): 'In September 1916, the 34th and 2/2nd London Casualty Clearing Stations were established at this point, known to the troops as Grove Town, to deal with casualties from the Somme battlefields. They were moved in April 1917 and, except for a few burials in August and September 1918, the cemetery was closed.' (www.cwgc.org)
CWGC headstone personal inscription: 'In loving memory Died of wounds Peace perfect peace' Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 26 October 1916: ‘Giles. Died of wounds, October 17th, Private Percy Giles, Sherwood Foresters, aged 20. In a far and lonely battlefield, where the trees their branches bend, lies my ever-loving son, gone to his untimely end. Sleep on, dear son, in a hero’s grave, a grave I may never see, but as long as life and memory last I will remember thee. It’s the unknown grave that’s the bitterest blow, none but the aching hearts can know. Broken-hearted father, brothers, sisters and ma.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 17 October 1917: ‘Giles. In loving memory of my dear son, Percy Giles, Sherwood Foresters, died of wounds in France, October 15th, 1916. He sleeps beside his comrades, in a hallowed green unknown. Peacefully he rests, secure from this life’s woes. From ma, father, brothers and sisters.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 17 October 1918: ‘Giles In living memory of Pte Percy Giles, Sherwood Foresters, died of wounds October 17th, 1916. Ever in our thoughts. Loving father, stepmother, sisters and brothers Sidney and Jack (in France).’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) The family also placed an 'In Memoriam' notice in the Nottingham Evening Post on 16 October 1919. Percy's personal possessions were returned to his father in May 1917 and comprised: letters, photographs, pocket book, leather wallet, 2 knives, dagger, (-), 2 pencils, comb, (-), match box cover, mirror, leather purse. WW1 Pension Ledgers Index Cards: named his father, Frederick. Registers of Soldiers' Effects: his father Frederick was his sole legatee.
Remembered on

Photos

  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte, Somme France. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
    Percy Giles - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte, Somme France. Courtesy of Murray Biddle