Percy Arthur Turnbull


About Percy Arthur

  • Name
    Percy Arthur
  • Initials
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
    21 February 1893
  • Birth town
    Harlesden, Middlesex
  • Resided town
    Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire
  • Commemorated
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
    Dacorum, Hertfordshire
  • Date of death
    September 1975
  • Married
  • Occupation
    Ledger Clerk

Service Information

  • Army

  • Service Number
  • Rank
  • Regiment
    Royal Field Artillery


Percy Arthur Turnbull was born on the 21 February 1893, in Harlesden to parents John (clerk to bookmaker) and Caroline Ellen. On the 1901 census, Percy’s sibling were listed as Herbert John 12, Elsie May 9 and Kathleen Grace 3.

By the 1911 census, Percy was living with his Uncle Frederick Charles Cowper. Percy was employed as a ledger clerk at a paper mill. His uncle’s address was the Oddfellows Arms, Apsby, Hemel Hampstead Hertfordshire.

Service records for Sergeant Turnbull could not be located but the 1919 Medal Roll lists him as Acting Battery Quarter Master Sergeant (BQMS) with the Essex and Suffolk Royal Artillery. He was awarded the Allied Victory Medal and British War Medal.

Early in 1917, Percy was married in Peterborough to Ida Winifred Martin, a school teacher, who in 1911 was living with her family at The Golden Fleece, Westgate where her father was the beer house keeper.  Their daughter, Margaret, was born in Hemel Hempstead in 1924.  In the 1939 Register Percy and Ida were living in Manchester and Percy was working as a stationery representative.  Percy died in 1975 in Dacorum, Herts, aged 92.

Percy’s elder brother Herbert emigrated to Canada in the early 1900s.  Following his father’s death, Percy’s mother, Caroline and siblings Kathleen and Albert sailed to Canada in September 1913.  Caroline and Albert were returning to Liverpool on the RMS Empress of Ireland which sank in May 1914.  Of the 1,477 people on board, 1,012 died, sadly Caroline and Albert were among those that drowned.

Do you recognise this soldier and can you tell us more about his story?


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