Percy Gifford

Name

Percy Gifford

Conflict

First World War

Date of Death / Age

18/09/1918
22

Rank, Service Number & Service Details

Private
96730
Royal Welsh Fusiliers
11th Bn.

Awards

British War and Victory medals

Cemetery/Memorial

DOIRAN MILITARY CEMETERY
Greece

UK Memorials

Christchurch Memorial, Chorleywood
Memorial Hall Plaque, Chorleywood
Not on the Croxley Green memorials

Pre War

Percy was born Percy Clapperton on 17 May 1897 and christened at Croxley Green. His mother Eliza Emma Clapperton was single, a domestic servant and aged 25 when he was born. Eliza subsequently married a gardener, George Mercer, in Compton, Guildford on 30 December 1905.

By 1901, at the age of 3, Percy was living at Woodwalk, Red Heath, in Watford Civil Parish and Croxley Green Ecclesiastical Parish as the adopted son of John and Emily (nee Ryder) Gifford. According to the census returns, Percy was born at Woodwalk, Croxley Green. John Gifford came originally from Dorset and Emily from Maple Cross. John worked as a carter on a farm. By 1911 he was living as Percy Gifford with the family at 2 New House Cottages, New House Farm in what is now Farm Road, Chorleywood. Percy entered Christ Church School on 10 May 1904. In 1911 he was still at school at the age of 13 but working as a milk boy.

He is recorded as enlisting in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

Wartime Service

Percy enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps in Aylesbury (74612) on 29 October 1915 at the age of 18 years and was posted to Bulford, Wilts, on 1 November 1915.

He embarked on hospital ship HS Britannic at Southampton on 20 October 1916 and disembarked at Salonika on 6 November where he joined the 33rd Stationary Hospital. According to his army record Percy had a lot of dental treatment in Salonika during late 1917 and early 1918 which resulted in him being fitted with dentures.

On 21 June 1918 he was transferred to 8th Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (45219) for duties at the base depot. Then on 7 September 1918 he was transferred to 11th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers (6730) for special duties. He was posted as missing, presumed dead on 18 September 1918. 11th Royal Welsh were part of the attack on Bulgarian positions that day in the second battle of Doiran. Although unsuccessful, the British attack was part of the victorious Allied advance that led to the Bulgarian armistice of 30 September.

The army paid a gratuity of £16 10s to his father John Gifford on 21 Feb 1920.

Acknowledgments

Malcolm Lennox, Our Village in the Great War - Chorleywood U3A, Brian Thomson, Mike Collins