Percy Richard Lee (1882-1917)

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This page is part of a project by David Verguson to research the lives of those who appear on war memorials and rolls of honour in the Lindley area.

Biography

Percy Richard Lee was the son of Mrs. Lee, of 5 Back Thornhill, Longwood, Huddersfield.

The Lee brothers lived at Back Thornhill Street, Longwood. Percy was born on 3 March 1882 at Spring Street, not far from the town centre, and Tom was born 9 September 1888 at Mission Street, Marsh.

The boys' father was Walker Lee, a warehouseman born in Huddersfield in 1850. Their mother Elizabeth was from Wellington in Shropshire and when they were married at Huddersfield parish church in November 1873 she gave no occupation but may have come to the area as a domestic servant. Her father was a blacksmith.

By 1901 the family were living at 74 Longwood Gate, not far from the Iredales at no. 92, whose son Farrar was killed a few months before Percy. Both boys were educated at Holy Trinity School.

Walker and Elizabeth had ten children but three died young. In 1901 only Tom was too young to be at work. Percy was working as a beamer in a local mill; the three oldest girls worked as laundresses, Blanche, three years younger than Percy, worked as a wire temperer.

By 1911 the Lees had moved to Back Thornhill Street, Longwood, perhaps for a bigger house — no. 5 had five rooms. Most of the girls had left home, probably after marrying, and Tom was then a weaver. Percy still worked as a beamer: he was working at Crowther's in Milnsbridge when he enlisted. By the time Tom enlisted he had become a mechanic at the Karrier Car works in Huddersfield.

Tom was a member of the Salendine Baptist Church and the Sunday School and a member of the Longwood Conservative Club on Thornhill Road, not far from the family home.

Tom and Percy have similar Service Numbers which may suggest they enlisted at about the same time; neither enlisted early in the war and neither served in local regiments, nor did they serve in 1914.

Tom joined up in May 1916 and died of wounds at No. 4 Casualty Clearing Station on the Somme, on 9 November that same year. He is buried at the Varennes Militarty Cemetery, just north of Albert.

Percy was presumed killed on 26 September 1917. Having no known grave, he is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing, near Ypres.

Locally, both boys are remembered at the Salendine Nook Baptist Church and at the memorial at St. Mark's, Longwood.

Walker Lee died in January 1920 at Greenwood's Yard on New Street, and was buried at St. Mark's. Elizabeth died seven years later.

Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922

The following extract is from Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922 (2014) by J. Margaret Stansfield:

LEE, PERCY RICHARD. Private. No 40787. 2/5th Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment. Born Spring Street, Huddersfield, 3.3.1882. Son of Mrs Walter Lee, 5 Back Thornhill, Longwood. Educated Holy Trinity School, Huddersfield. Employed as a beamer by Messrs John Crowther and Sons, Stanley Mills, Milnsbridge. Single. Reported wounded and missing on 26.9.1917 and afterwards presumed to have been killed on that date. Has no known grave. Commemorated TYNE COT MEMORIAL TO THE MISSING.
ROH:- St. Mark's Parish Church, Longwood; Salendine Nook Baptist Church.
Brother of Private TOM WALKER LEE died of wounds, 19.11.1916.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

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