1896 - 1916
PERCY EVE was born in 1895 at Broads Green, Great Waltham. He was the eleventh child and seventh son of Walter and Alice Eve (née Emberson) who were married on the 25th February 1876 in the village church. Walter was a Labourer and the family lived at Peach Cottage, Broads Green.
In 1901, Percy was 5 years old and attended the village school in Great Waltham.
By 1911, Percy was living at home and employed as a Farm Labourer aged 15 years.
He enlisted in Kitcheners’ Volunteer Army on the 4th October 1915 when he was 20 years old. On the 7th October he joined the Regiment in Belgium, at Proven Camp, near the village of Lijssenthoek in the rear area of the Ypres Salient. This was west of Ypres and south of Poperinghe. On the 11th October they marched out for new billets with an inspection by a Brigadier. They worked in the trenches and in November they were working on the Potijze trenches with worsening weather, before being relieved and travelling by train from Ypres to Poperinghe to billets. In December, after baths, a church parade and inspections, the Battalion moved quickly along the railway lines to dug outs near Ypres. The Regiment stayed in the area, during January and February 1915 in trenches at Potjze, returning to billets at Poperinghe for rest and bathing. On their return to Potjze it was snowing. There was snowfall throughout the rest of February and March making the trenches very bad.
On the 19th March the Battalion moved into Camp L for a period of Divisional rest at Poperinghe, then to Calais for a second rest period. The Battalion moved back to Elverdinghe.
Death and Memorial
On the 22nd April they werein the trenches which were wet and in bad condition and almost non-existent from the bombardment. The trenches were mortared during the early hours of the 26th and 27th April, resulting in two men being killed. It is possible that Percy was one of the casualties.
He was killed exactly one year after his brother Frederick at the age of 22 years.
The Newsman 6th May 1916
Percy is buried at the Essex Farm Cemetery at Boezinge north of Ieper. The land south of Essex Farm was used as a dressing station cemetery from April 1915 to August 1917. There are 28 men from the 11th Battalion Essex Regiment buried here.
It was in Essex Farm Cemetery that Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae of the Canadian Army Medical Corps wrote the poem ‘In Flanders Field’ in May 1915.
Percy is buried in Essex Farm Cemetery
Percy is also remembered on the War Memorial in Great Waltham.
Percy’s mother Alice, received £7.7s.2d on the 7th August 1916 with a further Gratuity payment of £7 on the 1st September 1919.
Percy was awarded the Victory Medal, the British War Medal, and the 1915 Star.