Private Percy Albery

Regiment: Hampshire Regiment (variously 1/6th or 2/5th Battalion)
Service No.: 1794
Date of birth: Approx. 1892
Date and place of death: 21 September 1916 (aged 24) in India

Although details of Private Albery’s war service are fairly clear it has proved impossible thus far to trace details of his life prior to the war. He enlisted in the Hampshire Regiment probably near the beginning of the war and his battalion was sent to serve in India. He died there in 1916 but the cause of his death is not known.

Family background

Although the army lists Private Albery’s place of birth as ‘Esbourne’(sic) no birth under the name of Percy Albery was registered in this area during the years surrounding his putative birth-date of 1892. There is also no trace of him in the area during the 1901 or 1911 censuses. There are one or two other births under this name in other parts of the country but none has any obvious connection to this part of Sussex/Hampshire.

There are several Albery families in Iping parish and the surname also occurs in Midhurst, Easebourne and in nearby Hampshire. One can only speculate that either he was known as Percy although his birth was originally registered under another Christian name or else that he was born in another part of the country but that his family was related to the Alberys of Iping parish and they wished to have his name remembered in Iping.

Military service

Army records indicate that Percy Albery enlisted in Petersfield, Hampshire into the Hampshire Regiment. He is variously listed as being part of the 1st/6th or of the 2nd/5th Battalions. The 1st/6th Battalion was the unit under which Percy Albery is listed for the British War Medal and the 2nd/5th was the unit listed at his death.

The 1st/6th Battalion was formed in Portsmouth in August 1914 and became part of the Wessex Division. In October 1914 the unit sailed for India landing at Karachi in November 1914. The unit remained in India until September 1917.

The 2nd/5th Battalion was formed at Salisbury Plain in September 1914 and also came under the command of the Wessex Division. This unit sailed for India in December 1914 and remained there until April 1917.

 Death and commemoration

Private Percy Albery died on 21 September 1916 and was buried at the Trimulgherry Cantonment Cemetery. No cause of death was given. His name is listed on the Madras 1914/1918 War memorial as well as on the memorial in Iping Church

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project