Finch, Percy King

Percy came to my notice on the Commonwealth War Graves when I was looking for any Soldiers from Shotton that I may have missed.   He is not on any war memorial locally, but his wife was living in Beaconsfield Road, Shotton on his CWGC Certificate. i.e. Additional information: Husband of Amy Gertrude Finch, of 23, Beaconsfield Rd., Shotton, Chester.

Percy King Finch and Gertrude must have come to live in Shotton, after the 1911 census, presumably for work.   Gertrude and their son High Frederick was to stay in Shotton or the surrounding district after Percy had died as Hugh Frederick Finch was also buried with his mother.   So in essence, Hugh was to have been orphaned at 18 years of age.

He is also remembered on a Gravestone in Hawarden (St. Deniol’s) – Green Book – Monumental Inscriptions in St. Deniol’s Churchyard.

 Page 3 G1 Red vertical Stone & Step Base, no surround (Flat grass)
Percy King FINCH Welch Regiment Killed at Layentie, France 9th January 1915* – age 26.
Amy Gertrude FINCH Died 14th June 1928 age 40.
Hugh Frederick FINCH Died 7th Jan 1994 age 84.
* It shows 1916 on all Official sources and the age is also different.

The above is also on the Imperial War Museum – Memorial Project website –
St. Deniol’s Church, Hawarden – Churchyard. G1 (Front of church).

I will start his story, as always – at the beginning, with his birth in Norwood, Surrey, which is at odds with other documentation from the Army.

Percy was born circa 1887, the son of Frederick and Susannah Lornedress Finch (nee Burton).(Marriage 1884 – Pancras    Vol 1b, Page 145).

The 1891 census shows them living at High Street, Send And Ripley, Ripley, Surrey.   Frederick, 28 was a Gardener born at Sible Hedingham, Essex.   His wife Susannah L., 28, was born in Hutton, Essex.   Their children were daughter Ethel K., 6, born in Barnes, Surrey, Percy K., 4, and daughters Maud E. 3, born Rusper, Sussex and Ellen L., 1 born Bognor, Sussex.

The family seem to have moved so much, obviously following the work for Frederick, so 1901 sees them again on the move and living at Fairy Hill Cottage, Reynoldston, Glamorganshire. Frederick, 37, still head of the household was now both a Gardener and Farm Bailiff with Susannah L., 38 and family, which is now increased by 3.   Percy K., 15 and a Gardener and 5 daughters – Maude E., 13, Ellen L., 11, Jessie,9, born in Ripley, Surrey, Mabel A., 7 and Violet E. 5 both born in Weybridge, Surrey.

Eight years later, in 1909, Percy married Amy Gertrude Greenslade at Neath (Vol. 11a, Page 1083) and the 1911 census finds Percy and new bride Amy now living at Kilns Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.   Percy, 25, still following his father’s occupation of Gardener states his place of birth as London. Amy Gertrude, 22,born in Neath, Glamorganshire states they had been married 2 years, she had borne 1 child who was still living.   He was Hugh Frederick,1, and been born at Camrose Pembrokeshire.   In the household was Amy’s sister Elsie, 16, single and born in Aberavon, Glamorganshire.

Percy’s parents, and sister Violet were now living at 4 Norton Cottages Norton West Cross, Glamorganshire.

As stated earlier, I believe that Percy’s family moved here after the 1911 census.

Percy King Finch in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was his wife, Amy Gertrude.

Percy King Finch in the UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919confirms his regimental details tells us his birth place was East Dulwich, his residence was Camrose, Pembrokeshire, he enlisted at Haverfordwest and his Theatre of War was Western Europe.

Percy K. Finch in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 tell us that his Theatre of War was France and he entered it on the 2nd December 1915, he was to be Killed in Action 5 weeks and 3 days after.

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