Percy Whitehurst 1892 – 1967

Percy Whitehurst was born on 31st May 1892 in Yorkshire. His father was Robert Peacock Whitehurst who was born in Wem, Shropshire. His mother was Elizabeth Fanny Measy, she was born in Oakley.

The 1901 Census shows Percy, aged eight was living with his grandparents George and Elizabeth Measey in Oakley. He had been attending Oakley School since March 1896 and continued to do so until May 1906, a few days before his fourteenth birthday.

His father Robert had died in 1898 when Percy was five years old. In 1901, his mother, now a widow was living and working in the household of a Doctor of Medicine and his wife in St. Giles, Oxford, as a nurse to their one year old son.

The 1911 census shows Percy was still living in Oakley. His mother had remarried and Percy, now aged 19 was living with her and his stepfather Richard Shirley in Little London. He appears to have been working with his stepfather as they both give their occupation as carman. Richard as carman / haulier, Percy as carman / carter.

By the time Percy signed up to serve in WW1 in 1915 he had changed his career. His army records show his occupation to be Police Constable.

One of the most remarkable things his records reveal about him is his height of

6’11”, this is very tall by today’s standards but 100 years ago he must have appeared something of a giant!

His earlier work as a carter must have proved useful in his first posting with the Oxfordshire (Heavy)Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery as horses would have been used to move the large guns around.

He served his first year in the army on home ground and in March 1916 he was sent to Le Havre via Southampton. In September 1916 he was transferred to the Military Mounted Police, and given a new regimental number P/11676.

In June 1917 Percy was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal. He continued to serve as part of the British Expeditionary Force until July 1919 when he returned to England and was demobilized one month later. His service totalled 4years, 135 days.

He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, he was also Mentioned in Despatches.

Percy married Emily Grace Judd (born 4th September 1891) in the third quarter of 1919, so probably just after his discharge from the Army. In 1911 Emily was living with her parents in Buckingham but no more is known about her otherwise.

It has not been possible to ascertain if Percy continued his police career after the war or where he and Emily lived.

No records of them having any children been found either.

Both of them were living in Oxford at the time of their death.

Percy died aged 74 in March 1967. No probate records have been found for him.

Emily died in December 1974 aged 83. Her probate records show her address at the time of her death was 98, Kingston Road, Oxford.