Photograph of Percy in Uniform
The Messham family was living in Dobs Hill, Pentrobin, Hawarden on the 1881 census. Edward Messham, 32, was a Coal Miner and his wife Mary Ellen, 31 was a Grocer. Their listed children were Martha J. 11, Annie 8, Alfred 6, Edward J. 4, Percy 2 and Mary E was 1 month.
The census of 1901 records the family still in Pentrobin, Hawarden. Edward 53 was a coalminer. His wife, Mary Ellen was 51. Their children were listed as follows. Edward James 24, and Percy 22, were both Colliery Fillers. Joseph, 17 was a General Labourer. Hugh, 13, Maud, 11, Gordon, 8 and Stanley, 3 completed the family. There was a Lodger, John Jenkins, 40, a Farm Bailiff.
The 1911 census finds the family living at Dobs Hill, Hawarden. Edward was still head of the household, 63 and still a Coal Miner. His wife of 41 years, Mary Ellen, 61 had borne 15 children, 2 of whom had died. The children at home were listed as Hugh, 23 Coal Miner (Hewer), Maud, 21, a “Domestic”, Gordon, 18 was a Coal Miner Jugger, Stanley 13 and Leigh 8 were at school. Percy 31 was a widower and a Coal Miner Drifter. Gladys, 8 and John 6 were at school
Percy married Ann Peters in a Civil Ceremony in Chester in the June Qtr of 1902 (ROC/44/105). I believe that Ann died in Hawarden Registration District in 1908 (HAW/04A/36). Percy is listed as a Widower on the 1911 census. (It isn’t clear but it seems possible that 2 of the listed children, Gladys, 8 and John, 6, were actually Percy’s children) If this is true, then they were left as orphans when Percy was killed in 1916, 5 years later. (In fact we can now add that Gladys and John were indeed Percy’s children. Confirmed by e mail November 2018, from family member Pauline)
UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms his regimental information and tells us that he was born in Hawarden and enlisted in Buckley. His medal card also on ‘Ancestry’ details his medals.
Percy is mentioned in the book” Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1918 Royal Welsh
There is an index card for Percy Messham in The Flintshire Roll of Honour at The County Record Office in Hawarden. (Penymynydd F 4)gives his address as Penymynydd and was signed by a Walter A, Arnold on the 18th September 1919,
Percy was the elder brother, by 14 years, of Gordon Messham who was killed and is also on this memorial. Stanley Messham was another brother who served but who survived. Please see Gordon’s page for more details. .
COUNTY HERALD – 15th July 1916 (page 4 )
Roll of Honour – MESSHAM – Killed in action, Lance-Corpl. P. Messham, Drury, Buckley, son of Mr. & Mrs. Edward Messham, Dobshill, near Hawarden, aged 37 years.
Percy is also on Caergwrle, Hope and Penyffordd & Penymynydd War Memorials
FWM visited Percy’s grave again on the 11th April 2015 and left 2 Flintshirewarmemorial.com crosses.