Percy was born in Canning Town, London , the son of Edward and Dinah. When the 1901 Census was taken, the family was living at 28 Great Suffolk Street, Southwark. He was the youngest son of the family and had four older brothers - Edward (then 26), Herbert (24), Walter (22) and George (19). He had a younger sister, Mabel, then 11. Percy was then a pupil teacher and, from 1909, was a handicraft instructor working for Cheshire County Council. He worked in centres at Cheadle and Hazel Grove. The press said that "though a strict disciplinarian, he was a favourite with all his pupils."
In October 1914, Percy volunteered for the army and travelled to Southport to enlist in the East Lancashire (Territorial) Company of the Royal Engineers. The Engineers was a Corps of the Army where Percy would have been able to use his craft skills but, for reasons unknown, he was transferred to the Manchesters, where he became an infantryman. The Battalion went overseas on active service in November 1915 and Percy was almost certainly amongst them at the time.
By the end of May 1916, the men were well established in the routine of manning the trenches. On the 25th, the Companies changed over their duties. "A" Company went into the front line at Vaux Wood in the south of the future Somme battlefield. "C" Company took over a sector at Royal Dragon's Wood. It is not known which Company Percy was a member of , but it was one of these. He was reported to have been on sentry duty in the early hours of the morning in trenches "in front of a wood", when he was hit by a stray bullet from a German machine gun. He died instantly.