Lance Corporal Percy Meadows
Thank you to Patricia Brazier for the following research. Thank you to Gordon Meadows, son of John “Jack” Meadows; Percy’s brother; for additional family research.
Percy was born on 3rd January 1898 in Dorking. His parents, Charles Joseph and Emily married in Bermondsey in 1894. Emily’s maiden name is Doubtfire.
Charles (1869-1936) was a publican and licensed Waterman and Lighterman of the River Thames. He was also a member of the Royal Antediluvian Order Of Buffaloes, a philanthropic organisation, started by stage hands from Drury Lane Theatre.
In the 1901 census the family are living in the High Street in Dorking, where Percy’s father is the Landlord of the Ram Inn. Percy has one older brother Joseph Charles who was born in Bermondsey, a sister Ethel Emily born in Dorking and a younger brother Frank also born in Dorking.
Records from the Dorking British School show that Percy started there in 1901, then left in 1908 when the family left the district. The family later moved back to Dorking and in 1910 Percy attended the school again, along with Brothers Frank and Jack and Sister Grace.
In the 1911 census the family are living at 37 Vincent Lane in Dorking, Charles is still a Landlord, Joseph Charles has left home, Ethel Emily is a Scullery Maid at Mickleham Hall and Percy, Frank, Jack and Grace are still at school. Percy’s Grandfather, also named Charles is the Landlord of the Spotted Cow in Betchworth. Later in 1911 the family left Dorking again and moved to Hackney.
Percy was living in Hackney when he enlisted into the London Regiment in 1915; his medal records show that he entered the theatre of War in the Balkans in May 1915. His Battalion arrived at Sulva Bay, Gallipoli on 11th August 1915 and left the following December. They then moved to Egypt where they were involved in the defence of the Suez Canal. March 1917 saw the start of the invasion of Palestine.
After two failed attempts by the British forces to capture Gaza from the Ottoman Empire (Turks), It was decided to attack from another front via Beersheba. The famous charge by the Australian Light Horse and the capture of Beersheba allowed the allied forces to finally capture the strategic city of Gaza at their 3rd attempt. Percy was killed in this action, five days before the end of the Battle and was buried at the Gaza War Cemetery, Israel.
His Medals and personal effects were sent to his mother in Hackney. He is buried in the Gaza War Cemetery, Grave Reference XX1. G.12. His name also appears on a plaque in St Peter De Beauvoir Church in Hackney, dedicated to men of Hackney who died in the First World War.
Percy’s sister Ethel emmigrated to Canada in 1914 and lived to celebrate her 100th birthday. His brother Frank was landlord of the Star Public House in Cheam, with his father Charles. His mother, Emily died in Hackney in 1922 and his father, Charles died in Epsom in 1935. His Grandfather, Charles stayed in Betchworth and died in 1923, he is buried in Betchworth churchyard.
Percy’s brother Jack joined the Army in the Second War World, and was one of the soldiers landing on the Normandy Beaches in June 1944.
Percy’s great-nephew (son of Gordon Meadows) Daniel Jack, served in Afghanistan with the 2nd / 14th Australian Light Horse – Cavalry.
Son of Charles Joseph and Emily (nee Doubtfire) Meadows
School Dorking British School (Powell Corderoy School)
Regiment 1/10th London Regiment
Date of Death 2nd November 1917
Place of Death Palestine
Cause of Death Killed in Action
Cemetery Gaza War Cemetery, Israel