CWG: Private Percy Westcott

Private Percy Westcott

Percy George Westcott was born at the end of 1877, the eldest of six children to George and Elizabeth Wescott. George was a police constable, and brought the family up in the Somerset town of Frome.

After leaving school, Percy sought a trade and, by 1901, was living in the East End of London, working as a wheelwright, work he continued with until the start of the war.

In November 1911, Percy married Annie Maria Meineke, a widow with a young son. The couple set up home in Clapton, East London.

War was on the horizon, however, and Percy was keen to enlist. He volunteered for the Army Service Corps at the beginning of June 1915. His application was turned down, however, and the reason for his discharge given was “Not being likely to become an efficient soldier”.

Percy appears to have been undeterred, however, and by September 1915 had enlisted successfully. He joined the London Regiment as a Private, but this is as much as is documented about his military service.

Private Westcott’s next appearance in records is on the Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects. This confirms that he had served in the 3rd/10th Battalion, which was a territorial force. The document also identifies that he passed away on 20th March 1916, at the age of 38.

While a cause of death is not noted, the location given – the London Asylum, Colney Hatch – is perhaps more significant. As the name suggests, this was a mental health facility; which gives an indication as to the Private Westcott’s state at the time of his passing.

While Percy’s widow was still living in London, his body was taken back to Somerset to be laid to rest. Percy George Westcott is buried in St James’ Cemetery in Taunton, where his parents lived.


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