Whitby High School
Battlefields Tour 18-21st March 2006

Vimy - Albert - Somme Tour, France - Monday 20th March


Private George Percival

10th Battalion Cheshire Regiment
Died 9th October 1916, Aged 36



Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France

On 1 July 1916, supported by a French attack to the south, thirteen divisions of Commonwealth forces launched an offensive on a line from north of Gommecourt to Maricourt. Despite a preliminary bombardment lasting seven days, the German defences were barely touched and the attack met unexpectedly fierce resistance. Losses were catastrophic and with only minimal advances on the southern flank, the initial attack was a failure. In the following weeks, huge resources of manpower and equipment were deployed in an attempt to exploit the modest successes of the first day. However, the German Army resisted tenaciously and repeated attacks and counter attacks meant a major battle for every village, copse and farmhouse gained.

At the end of September, Thiepval was finally captured. The village had been an original objective of 1 July. Attacks north and east continued throughout October and into November in increasingly difficult weather conditions. The Battle of the Somme finally ended on 18 November with the onset of winter.

In the spring of 1917, the German forces fell back to their newly prepared defences, the Hindenburg Line, and there were no further significant engagements in the Somme sector until the Germans mounted their major offensive in March 1918.

The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. The memorial also serves as an Anglo-French Battle Memorial in recognition of the joint nature of the 1916 offensive and a small cemetery containing equal numbers of Commonwealth and French graves lies at the foot of the memorial. The memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, was built between 1928 and 1932 and unveiled by the Prince of Wales, in the presence of the President of France, on 31 July 1932. The dead of other Commonwealth countries who died on the Somme and have no known graves are commemorated on national memorials elsewhere.

From Albert our tour roughly followed the dotted trench line

Casualty Details

Name: PERCIVAL, GEORGE
Initials: G
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: Cheshire Regiment
Unit Text: 10th Bn.
Age: 36
Date of Death: 09/10/1916
Service No: 36383
Additional information: Son of William and Margaret Percival, of 7, Reform St., Ellesmere Port. Wirral, Cheshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Pier and Face 3 C and 4 A.
Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL


George is also comemorated on the family grave in Christchurch Graveyard, Ellesmere Port

Certificate

In Memory of
Private GEORGE PERCIVAL

36383, 10th Bn., Cheshire Regiment
who died age 36
on 09 October 1916
Son of William and Margaret Percival, of 7, Reform St., Ellesmere Port. Wirral, Cheshire.
Remembered with honour

THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

Commemorated in perpetuity by
the Commonwealth War Graves Commission



Most of the Cheshires are recorded on the panels behind the memorial party



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