Life Before The War
Percy was born in July 1891 in Southampton, his parents were James William b 1853 in Hamble and Elizabeth Pearce (Nee Bedford) b 1861 in Eastleigh, they were married in Southampton in 1881. Elisabeth already had a son William Titheridge b 1881. Percy had 4 brothers Walter b1881 , Harry b1885, Edward b1887 and Montague b1896 and 1 sister Beatrice b1889.
In the census of 1901 Percy was living at 1 Shamrock Villas. Adelaide Road. St.Denys.Southampton with his parents. His father was working as a railway coal porter in the port, William a railway porter, Walter working as a coachman/domestic groom, Harry working as a railway porter at the port, Edward working as a railway signal boy at the port, Montague and Beatrice. Also living at the address was John Snelgrove a boarder who was working as a journeyman painter.
Percy’s father died in 1908 in Southampton.
In the census of 1911 Percy’s mother Elizabeth was still living at 1 Shamrock Villas along with Harry who was now a locomotive fireman and Montague who was a school cleaner, John Snelgrove was still boarding at the address and was now working as a house painter.
Percy joined the Royal Navy and served on H.M.S Torrent a destroyer .
Torrent was 1 of 3 destroyer’s of the 10th Flotilla , with H.M.S.Torrent was also H.M.S. Surprise and H.M.S Tornado. On 23rd December 1917 Torrent was meeting with the convoy in the Dutch North Sea coast near Maas Light Buoy when she ran into a minefield. Torrent was hit first, then H.M.S.Surprise went to assist and also mined, H.M.S. Tornado tried to get clear and detonated two mines and sank. A total of 252 men were lost.
All three destroyers were new and the best the British Navy had at that time .
Percy was awarded the Victory Medal and the British Medal and is also remembered on the Portsmouth memorial wall.
Researched by Shaun Connolly May 2014.