Percy Edwards was born in Rhuddlan the son of Edward & Elizabeth Ann Evans. His birth was registered at St. Asaph Registry Office during the March quarter 1892. [Free BMD]
The 1901 Census records him living at 7 High Street, Rhuddlan, with his Parents. He is shown as the middle child of five, aged 9. His Father’s occupation is given as “wheelwright”. The census recorded that the family spoke both Welsh & English.
On 22nd March 1911, Percy arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada from Liverpool aboard the s.s. Grampian. He had previously been employed as a, “moulder” in the Rhuddlan Foundry. According to Immigration records [Ancestry], he was looking for work as a Farm Labourer.
Percy is recorded on the 1911 Canadian Census [taken on 1st June 1911], living in Brandon, the second largest city in Manitoba some 133 miles west of Winnipeg. His occupation was given as Farm Labourer, date of birth September 1892, place of birth Wales.
On the 8th December 1915, he enlisted in the 52nd Bn Canadian Infantry [Manitoba Regiment] at Winnipeg, and subsequently transferred to the 144th Ban. [Winnipeg Rifles] Canadian Infantry. The Battalion arrived in England in September 1916 as part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Sometime later it deployed to France. The Canadian Corps were regarded by friend and foe alike as the most effective Allied military formation on the western front [Wikipedia].
Percy was wounded by shrapnel which fractured his right leg. He was evacuated to No 4 Casualty Clearing Station, where he eventually died of his wounds.
His death is reported in the Rhyl Journal which quotes from a letter recieved by the family from the Regimental Chaplin R.L.Brydgen; that Percy had been seriously wounded by a gunshot to his right leg, and had laid out on the battlefield for some time before being recoved and lost a lot of blood. His leg had been amputated but gangerine had subsequently set in. Everything possible had been done to save him and he remained brave & cheerful to the end.
There is a Flintshire War Memorial Record of Service Card for Percy, signed by his Father, Edward Evans and dated 22nd September 1919, at Hawarden Records Office.
Several of his brothers also served in the war, James Ellis in the Navy; Howell in the Royal welch Fusiliers; Iorweth in the Royal Engineers. His brother Tommy, who had also immigrated to Canada, enlisted in the Canadian Army, but returned to Rhuddlan after demobilisation.
He is remembered on the Rhuddlan War Memorial, the Royal British Legion Roll of Honour [in the Community Centre], St Mary’s Church Window & Roll of Honour.
I am indebted to Sarah Hodnett of Rhuddlan Local History Club, for her assistance in compiling this record.