Sub-Lieutenant Algernon William PERCY
Royal Naval Reserve
Date of birth: 29 November 1884
Date of death: 31 May 1916
Killed in action aged 31
Buried in Fredrikstad Military Cemetery, south of Oslo.
Algernon William was born in Grosvenor Place, London, the only son of Lord Algernon Malcolm Arthur Percy, a son of the 6th Duke of Northumberland, and his wife Lady Victoria Edgecumbe
He was considered to be a delicate child and was taught at home until he came up to Christ Church in 1904, following in the footsteps of many of his forbears and cousins. He remained in College for only one year.
In 1902 he had joined the 3rd Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers, remaining with it until 1910 when he retired with the rank of Lieutenant. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace for the County of Warwick in 1906 and a County Councillor in 1913, and served on the Standing Joint Committee, the Prison Visiting Committee and the Hospitals Committee for the County.
At the outbreak of war, he enlisted and obtained a commission in the R.N. Reserve. He was employed on Patrol Duty on HMY Catania and in January 1915, was transferred to H.M.S. Queen Mary. After a bout of illness when he was hospitalised, and then on sick leave, he rejoined the ship and was killed within days at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916.
His body was recovered and he was buried, on the following day, with full naval honours by the Norwegian authorities.
He was a very popular and highly respected man. A senior Naval officer wrote “He had such a gallant big heart, always battling against delicate health and never flinching from anything because of it”. Another wrote “ His character was one of transparent truthfulness and honesty; he, honestly, was one of those not very common men who are absolutely incapable of a dishonourable action, and did us all no end of good by simply living with us.” A friend wrote “He was the soul of honour and chivalry.” A young brother officer who was saved and became a prisoner-of-war in Germany, told that Sub Lieutenant Percy whilst they were in the water together, had offered him his life-saving waistcoat which he refused to take.
Probate was granted to his father on 21 September 1916. He left £10,859-18s-3d.
His addresses were given as Guys Cliffe, Warwick and 5 Victoria Square, London
Above right: Sub-Lt Percy’s grave
Below: HMS Queen Mary seen during World War 1