Every day on the British Army Ancestors Facebook page I take time to commemorate a British soldier. This post will look at three of the men I have remembered recently; from left to right: George Percy, John Trotter & William Brewerton.
72770 Gunner George Percy was a career soldier who enlisted with the Royal Field Artillery on the 31st May 1913 and served overseas with XXIX Brigade from the 23rd August 1914. The photo on the left almost certainly dates to 1913 whilst the one on the right cannot date to any earlier than 31st May 1915 (because he wears a good conduct badge/chevron on his lower left sleeve, and this was granted after two years’ service).
George was discharged from the army on the 18th June 1916, qualifying for a silver war badge as well as his 1914 Star trio. In 1920 he claimed the clasp and roses for his 1914 Star, and I only hope he lived long to wear his medals.
‘The Graphic’ published photos of casualties throughout the war, and the image in the centre is a page spread from the 19th September 1914 detailing Scottish officer casualties. Lieutenant John Keith Trotter of the 1st Battalion, Gordon Highlanders was reported missing in ‘The Graphic’, and later confirmed killed in action on the 16th August 1914, the portrait on the right later published in volume 1 of The Bond of Sacrifice in 1916. Both photos of Lieutenant Trotter, and all those of the Scots officers from this page of ‘The Graphic’ are now re-published on https://
The Balliol College War Memorial Book 1914-1919 has some great portraits and touching tributes to the old boys who were killed in the service of their country during the First World War. This portrait is of William Leslie Brewerton who was born in 1897. He was refused a commission owing to defective eyesight but undeterred enlisted as a private and served with the 13th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers until he was killed in action near Achiet-le-Grand on the 23rd August 1918. Betraying his class and his literary tastes, a letter sent home from France noted, “I have read all through Virgil in my last spell in the trenches, and that is my biggest achievement so far.”