Rank: Private
Number: 61065
Unit: 17th Battalion WELSH REGIMENT
Date of Death: 20 January 1918
Age: 19 (based on 1901 Census)
Cemetery: St Leger British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France

The Rowley family originated from Staffordshire and the family's four oldest children had been born in the county. In the late 1890s, Samuel Rowley, a labourer, moved to the Stockport area with his wife Elizabeth and the children. Joseph was born in the area in about 1897 and Ernest two years later. When the Census was taken in the spring of 1901, the eight of them were living in a "two up, two down" at 1 Frances Street, South Reddish. Nothing else is known of Percy's life until he enlisted into the army at Stockport, almost certainly as a conscript, when he became 18.

January 1918 was a relatively quiet time. There were no major attacks underway by either side. On the 17th, the Battalion was relieved from the front line near the French village of Croisilles and moved back into the brigade's reserve trenches, known as Railway Reserve. The next day, there was time for each Company to march to St Leger, where the men had baths. The remainder of the day was spent in cleaning equipment.

On the 19th, Percy and his mates were put to work clearing the communication trenches of mud which had fallen in due to a recent thaw and rain. This work continued into the next day. The Battalion's War Diary notes that the enemy artillery was active and "C" Company, which was working at "Railway Embankment" was shelled. Six men were wounded but Percy was unlucky to be the only man killed.

© 2006. Design and Layout are the property of Ihelm Enterprises Limited and cannot be reproduced without express permission.
Enter Search Phrase Here:(search may take up to 30 seconds) 
Close Search Window