Acting Regimental Sergeant Major, D/20758, Percival Sudworth (49) D.C.M.- Died of Illness

2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys), 16th January 1919

The Grave of Percival Sudworth at Dunbar Parish Church Cemetery – © Billy Muir

Synopsis of Life and Military Service

Percival Sudworth was born at Wigan, Lancashire in the first quarter of 1867 to his mother Alice Bate or Sudworth. By the time he was 4 years old his father was dead and he was residing with his mother and his uncle John Bate at Mather Farm, Golborne Village, Wigan, Lancashire.

He was to join the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) on 31 December 1888 at Dundalk, Ireland, he had been a Labourer prior to enlisting on a Short Service entry. His initial number on entry was 3288.

He was medically examined prior to enlistment on 27 December 1888 at Manchester, Lancashire where he was found to be fit to serve. He was described at follows :-

  • 20 years and 4 months old.
  • Height – 5’9″.
  • Weight – 148 lbs.
  • Chest – 34 inches.
  • Complexion – Fresh.
  • Eyes – Grey.
  • Hair – Brown.
  • Religion – Church of England.
  • Distinctive Marks – Mark on back of head and blue dot on left forearm.
Scots Greys Cap Badge, similar to the one which would have been worn by Percival Sudworth.

The army Pension Record displays the following :-

  • 18 January 1893 – Promoted to Lance-Corporal.
  • 15 March 1894 – Promoted to Corporal.
  • 20 November 1895 – Married Emma Maria Mills at Petham, Kent.
  • 23 May 1896 – Promoted to Lance-Sergeant.
  • 1 August 1897 – Promoted to Sergeant.
  • 6 November 1899 to 28 January 1903 – South African Campaign – Percival Sudworth was heavily involved in the Boer War campaign where he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, Mentioned in Dispatches and was awarded 6 Bars to his Queen’s South Africa Medal namely The Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg, Driefontein, Diamond Hill, Belfast and Johannesburg.
  • 21 November 1902 – Promoted to W.O.II – Squadron Sergeant Major.
  • 29 January 1903 – Home Service until 8 April 1903
  • 9 April 1903 – to 8 June 1904 returned to South Africa.
  • 9 June 1904 to 4 August 1914 – Home Service.
  • 1 February 1907 – Appears in newspaper as attending Burns Night at Queens Bay Hotel, Joppa, Edinburgh.
  • 8 October 1908 – Posted to Mounted Unit, Cambridge University Officer Training Corps.
  • 8 January 1909 – Permitted to continue in the service after completing 21 years.
  • 13 June 1913 – Appears in newspaper as Committee Member for Cambridge University O.T.C., Military Tournament.
  • 8 August 1914 – Posted to 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) for a week.
  • 16 August 1914 to until his death served in various training and depot units, namely 5th Reserve Cavalry Regiment, Scottish Cavalry Depot, 6th Reserve Cavalry, 2/1 Lanarkshire Yeomanry which he was attached to when he died.
  • 21 September 1918 – Appeared in Londonderry Sentinel as organising member of sports tournament in Strabane, Co. Tyrone while with Lanarkshire Yeomanry.
  • 16 January 1919 – Percival died of Heart Failure aged 49 years at Strabane. He was buried at Dunbar Cemetery, East Lothian.
Notification of Percival Sudworth’s Death – Dundee Evening Telegraph dated 17 January 1919 – © D.C. Thomson’s

Family

Percival Sudworth was born in the first quarter of 1867 at Wigan, Lancashire.

His family is shown as follows :-

  • Mother – Alice Sudworth
  • Wife – Emma Maria Mills or Sudworth, born 2 August 1874 at Petham, Kent.
  • Daughter – Emily Catherine, born 8 November 1896 at Hounslow, Kent.
  • Son – Percival Clifford, born 21 December 1898 at Glasgow.
  • Daughter – Lillian Adeline, born 16 April 1905 at Weedon, Northamptonshire.
  • Daughter – Rose Evelyn, born 12 April 1907 at Edinburgh.
  • Daughter – Margaret Irene, born 26 August 1908at Tidworth, Hampshire.
  • Son – Harold Edward, born 29 October 1910 at Cambridge.
  • Daughter – Nellie Louvain, born 2 August 1914.
Percival’s signature from his enlistment document.

Tragically his wife Emma died ten months after Percival on 20 December 1919 and is buried in the same grave at Dunbar Cemetery. His son Percival Clifford Sudworth also died shortly after his father on 17 March 1921 at the British Hospital Belbeis, Egypt and also while serving with The Royal Scots Greys and is buried at Cairo New British Protestant Cemetery, Cairo, Egypt.

Addresses

From information found in the 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901 Census, Pension Card and Commonwealth War Graves Commission site the following addresses have been ascertained.

  • In 1871 and 1881 Census he was residing with his mother who was a widow at his uncles John Bates house at Mather Farm, Golborne Village, Lancashire. He was 4 years old in 1871.
  • In the 1901 Census while he was away in South Africa, his wife and families address is shown as Cavalry Barracks, Jocks Lodge, Edinburgh.
  • In the 1910-11 Cambridge Electoral Register the family is shown as residing at 76 Russel Street, Cambridge.
  • Following his death, his wife’s address was given as 12 North Street, Bellhaven, Haddington.

Medals

Percival Clifford was awarded the following medals :-

  • Queen’s South Africa Medal – 1899 – 1902 with the following clasps
    • Diamond Hill – Awarded to all troops who, on 11th or 12th June, 1900, were east of a north and south line drawn through Silverton Siding and north of an east and west line through Vlakfontain.
    • Belfast – Granted to all troops who, on 26th or 27th August, 1900, were east of a north and south line drawn through Wonderfontein (the garrison and troops quartered at Wonderfontein on those dates did not receive this bar), and west of a north and south line through Dalmanutha Station, and north of an east and west line through Carolina.
    • Johanesburg – Awarded to all troops who, on 31st May, 1900, were north of an east and west line through Klip River Station (exclusive) and east of a north and south line through Krugersdorp Station (inclusive).
    • Relief of Kimberley – Issued to all troops in the relief column under Lt.General French who marched from Klip Drift on 15th February, 1900, and all the 6th Division under Lt General Kelly-Kenny who were within 7,000 yards of Klip Drift on 15th February. Rare as a single bar to South African units.
    • Paardeberg – Awarded to all troops within 7,000 yards of General Cronje’s final Laager between midnight of 17th February and midnight of 26th February, 1900, and to all troops within 7,000 yards of Koodoe’s Rand Drift between those dates.
    • Driefontein – Awarded to all troops with Army Headquarters and Lt General French’s column – ie, the left and centre columns, which advanced from Popular Grove on 10th March, 1900.
  • King’s South Africa Medal with two bars, South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902.
  • Mentioned in Dispatches – Is mentioned in the final dispatch of Lord Kitchener as specially mentioned just after the surrender of the Boers. At that time he was a Sergeant.
  • Distinguished Conduct Medal – 31 October 1902.
  • Awarded the Good Conduct and Long Service Medal on 1 April 1907.
  • Awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his services at home during the Great War, at the time he was with the 6th Reserve Cavalry unit.
Lanarkshire Yeomanry Cap Badge similar to the one which may have been worn by Percival Sudworth.

Memorials

Percival Sudworth is honoured and remembered on the Dunbar War Memorial, East Lothian. His name was only added in 2019 after a group researched those who were missing from the memorial.

Links to Additional Information

References

  •  Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
  • Cambridge Electoral Register 1910-11
  • Pension Records.
  • Pension Card.
  • 1871 Census.
  • 1881 Census.
  • 1901 Census.
  • 1911 Census.
  • Musselburgh News – 1 February 1907.
  • The Cambridge Independent Press – 13 June 1913.
  • Edinburgh Gazette dated 4 November 1902, issue 11458, page 1086.
  • London Gazette dated 29 July 1902, issue 27459, page 4838.
  • London Gazette dated 31 October 1902.
  • England and Wales Births – 1867.
  • Dundee Evening Telegraph dated 17 January 1919.
  • Londonderry Sentinel newspaper dated 21 September 1918.

Groups

Contributors:-

  • Vincent Stuart
  • Billy Muir (Photo of Grave)
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