Charles Percival

Charles Percival was born on 16th May 1862 at Five Crosses near Frodsham.  

According to “Every One Remembered” the Remembrance website of the Royal British Legion, he was the son of Albert Percival and C Percival, but this may be an error.  A Charles Percival was born to George Percival and Ann/Hannah Percival (nee Corkin) at the same time.

The Census of 1871 recorded Charles as living with his widowed mother Hannah at Bradley Brook, Kingsley. His mother was a labourer’s widow and eight-year-old Charles was at school. 

Ten years later Charles was lodging with others at 63, Lower Bridge Street in Chester which was a beerhouse occupied by Richard Rose and his family.  It would appear that Charles was a militiaman in Chester, but it not known with which militia.  Being in a militia appealed to agricultural labourers as they could volunteer, undertake basic training and then report for periods of military training at an army depot.  They would receive military pay and a financial retainer to supplement their civilian wage.  However in 1881 the remaining militia regiments were redesignated as numbered regiments of the line.

By 1891 thirty-year-old Charles was living at Five Crosses with his mother and was working as a general labourer.  A year later, on 5th December 1892, he married Alice Ainsworth at St Paul’s in Warrington.  She had also been born in Frodsham. They had three sons called Charles, Albert and Wilfred.  Sadly, Charles died at the age of six months in 1894 and Wilfred died at the age of 13 days in 1897. 

The Census of 1901 showed the family living at Parkside in Aston-by-Sutton. Charles was working as an agricultural labourer.  They continued to live there for at least the next ten years, Albert also becoming a farm labourer.  He married in 1912, but continued to live in the village.  

As Charles was in his fifties when the Great War began, he did not enlist to fight, but at some time in this period he joined the Royal Defence Corps.  He was in the 307th Company, which was under Western Command.  The R D C was formed in March 1916 to provide troops for security and guard duties in the United Kingdom.  He had the rank of Private and the service number 25717.  His son Albert also served in the Great War.

Sadly, Charles fell ill and was admitted to Frodsham Auxiliary Military Hospital.  He died of lobar pneumonia on 9th January 1917 at the age of 55 years and was buried at St Laurence’s Church in Frodsham.  He is commemorated on Aston-by-Sutton Memorial and on memorials in Frodsham.  His widow Alice passed away in March 1942 at Five Crosses , Frodsham at the age of 84 years.