Percy Wilson, Private 2104, 5th Battalion Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 2nd June 1915 in Belgium, aged 25
Percy Wilson was born on 30th May and baptised on 20th July 1890 at St John’s Church, Macclesfield, the oldest son of Minnie and Thomas Wilson, a gardener, of 3 Ivy Lane, Macclesfield. Percy’s mother Minnie was from Ireland.
Percy was admitted to St John’s Church of England School, Macclesfield, on 22nd March 1895, when the family lived at 347 Park Lane, and left the school in October 1899, having passed standard IV.
By 1901, Percy was living at 278, Crompton Road, Macclesfield with his parents and younger siblings Elizabeth (9), Thomas (8) and Robert (5).
On 19th September 1905, when living at 74 Beech Lane and employed as an office boy, Percy enrolled at the Macclesfield Technical School to further his education.
At the age of 20, in 1911, Percy was living with his family at 1 Taylor Square, Slater Street, Macclesfield and working as an order clerk for a flour mill. Percy’s sister Elizabeth was not with the family on the night of the census and Percy had another brother, Francis Edward Wilson, aged 6.
Percy attested at Macclesfield in early September 1914, when he was living at 77 Paradise Street. He was drafted to France on 14th February 1915, and was killed in action in Belgium on 2nd June 1915, aged 25 years.
A letter from a comrade in the same battalion, Private J. Holland, printed in the Macclesfield Courier of 10th July 1915, states:
“We were relieved out of the trenches on Thursday night, after having been in 17 days….. We had an awful lot of casualties…. I am sorry to tell you we lost three Macclesfield lads. Percy Wilson was fetching some water from a pump we had rigged up behind the trench, and Sergeant-Major Green’s son was killed by a bullet. He was standing in a trench when a stray bullet entered his head, and when they got him to the dressing station he was dead. And then there was Dakin, out of Hurdsfield Road. He was killed by a sniper. The bullet went through his head and wounded another chap in the shoulder.”
Private Percy Wilson is buried in grave ref. I. F. 9. in Spoilbank Cemetery in Belgium. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Percy Wilson, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.