Percival Edward Morfee

Date of birth: 10th November 1877
Place of birth: Bridport, Dorset
Date of marriage: 1910
Place of marriage: Southampton
Service No.:  R / 25
Rank: Able Seaman
Service: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Battalion: Nelson
Died: 25th January 1917 aged 39 years
Death location: France


Life before the War

Percival’s father Edward was born in Hastings, Sussex in 1839 and died on 6th July 1898 in Cuckfield, Sussex.  He left a Probate as follows:

“Morfee Edward of Cuckfield Sussex retired schoolmaster died 6 July 1898.  Probate Lewes 17 August 1898 to Elizabeth Ann Morfee widow. Effects £259 4s 11d”

Percival’s mother, Elizabeth Ann, nee Bumstead, was born in Hastings in 1838.  She was baptised in St. Clement’s Church, Hastings on 18th January 1839.  Elizabeth, like her husband, died in Hastings 30 years later in 1928.

Edward and Elizabeth married in 1867 in Sevenoaks, Kent.

Pecival’s 6 siblings – 4 sisters and 2 brothers – were:

Edith Emma   Born 1868 Wotton, Surrey and died 1874 Dorset.

Edward Hope   Born 1869 Wotton, Surrey.  Married Marion Elizabeth Hulme 1895.  Died 18th February 1932 Tottenham, Middlesex.  His Probate shows he left £1203 19s 7d to his wife.

Ernest Edward   Born 1873 Bridport, Dorset.  Married Annie Mears.  Died 20th January 1954 Cuckfield, leaving, as per his Probate, £1591 4s.

Evelyn Edith   Born 1875 Bridport, Dorset. Was baptised on 9th May 1875 Bridport.  She married Frank Thomas Payne 1904.

Beatrice Lizzie   Born 1880 Cuckfield and died in 1896 in Cuckfield.

Constance Mary F   Born 1883 Cuckfield.

In 1881 and 1891 the family lived at Church House, Cuckfield, West Sussex where Edward was employed by National Schools as a School Master and Elizabeth was the School Mistress.  Edward’s mother Mary, a widow, was the House Keeper along with his cousin Harriet Bailey.

By 1901 Elizabeth was a widow.  She had moved to South Street, Cuckfield and now a retired School Mistress.  Ernest was employed as a Hotel Clerk, Evelyn was an Assistant School Mistress and Constance was working as a School Mistress in a Private School.  Harriet, the cousin, was still the House Keeper.  Percival had moved to Southampton where he was a boarder at 16 York Street, St. Mary’s Parish.  He was employed as a Solicitor’s Clerk.

Percival married Adeline Ethel Marr in Southampton in 1910.  Adeline was born in 1885 West Ham, Essex.  They had two daughters:

Joyce Evelyn   Born 1911

Jean   Born 1915

By 1911 Percival, with his wife Adeline and daughter Joyce were living at 128 Richmond Road, Freemantle, Southampton.  Percival was working as a Law Clerk.  by the time of his death the family were living in Hill Lane, Southampton.


War Service

National Probate Calender
“Morfee Percival Edward of 6 Upper Hill Lane Southampton A.B. Royal Navy died 25 January 1917 in France on active service. Probate London 27 March to Adeline Ethel Morfee widow. Effects £452 12s 2d”

Royal Naval Division Casualties of the Great War

Name: Percival Edward Morfee
Service Branch: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve 
Unit: Nelson Bn.
Rank: Able Seaman
Death Date: 25 Jan 1917
Cause of death: Died in 11th Casualty Clearing Station from Peritonitis
Burial: Varennes Military Cemetery (FR 41)
Service History: Army Reserve 4/12/15 ; Entered 18/8/16 ; Draft for BEF 4/12/16, joined Nelson Bn. 12/12/16-20/1/17 to hospital.
Service No.: R / 25
Notes: Now buried in a joint grave with another soldier ; A Law Clerk ; b.Bridport, Dorset 10/11/1877 ; Next-of-Kin & home address: Wife, A., 6 Upper Hill Lane, Southampton.


Cuckfield War Memorial
There is a memorial tablet in Holy Trinity Church and a Memorial Cross in the Churchyard facing the South Downs. It reads:

 Able Seaman R/25, Nelson Battalion, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. 63rd Royal Naval Division
Killed in action 25th January 1917. Age 39.
Son of Elizabeth & Edward Morfee.
Husband of Adeline E. Morfee of Wivelsfield.
Buried in Varennes Military Cemetery. F. 41”

 For his service to his country, Percival was entitled to the British Service and Victory Medals.


Researcher: Becky Lonergan
Published: 25th May 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

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