Percy White was born in the spring of 1890, the youngest of four children to Frank and Fanny White. Frank was a tailor from Frome, Somerset, and this is where the family were raised and settled for most of Percy’s life.
By the time of the 1911 census, Frank and Fanny had been married for 30 years. Frank was still working as a tailor, while Percy’s three older siblings – all girls – were working as silk weavers and packers. Percy had moved away from the family’s clothing heritage, and had found work as a hairdresser.
War was on the horizon, however, and Percy was called upon to do his duty for King and Country. He was initially assigned as a Private to the King’s (Liverpool Regiment) when he joined up in the autumn of 1914. Full details of his military service are not readily available, but it seems that he served on the Front Line in France, but was invalided out late in 1917.
By that point, he had met Bessie Cundick, who had been born in Wiltshire. They married in Andover in the spring of 1916, when they were both 26 years old.
Back in England, and discharged from the King’s (Liverpool Regiment), Percy was transferred to the Labour Corps and, for the last year of the war had done agricultural work in Cambridgeshire. After the armistice was signed, Frank fell ill and died on 4th February 1919.
Private White attended the funeral at the Vallis Road Cemetery in Frome with his family, before returning to his unit. By this point, however, he had himself fallen ill with influenza, and was admitted to the East General Hospital in Cambridge. The condition was to prove too much, however, and he passed away on 16th March, less than six weeks after his father’s death. He was just 29 years of age.
Percy’s body was brought back to Frome; he too was laid to rest in the Dissenters’ Cemetery in Vallis Road, Frome.