LEMON, Percy Harold

Gunner Percy Harold Lemon
(Private) 204237 Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
(Private) 17038 Yorks & Lancs Regiment
193527 Royal Garrison Artillery

Percy Harold was born in 1897 at Selston, Nottinghamshire. His father George had moved to the area from Derby, as a single man and was living at his uncle James Lemon’s home at Stone Row, Jacksdale in 1891. In 1892 George married Elizabeth Rutland and settled at Toad Hole, near Jacksdale with his wife. In 1901 they had children George William b.1893, Jane Annie b. 1894, both at Westwood, Percy Harold (known as Harold) b. 1897 at Selston   and Rose May b. 1899, also at Selston.

In 1911, George and the family had moved back to Westwood, living at Woodland View, Primrose Lane, Back Lane, near Barrows Hill. By this time, Harold aged 13 was employed as a coal ganger.

Harold was conscripted into the Sherwood Foresters attesting on 17th October 1916 at the age of 19 years and two months. His civilian occupation at the time was given as ‘coke worker’. He was 5’6″ in height, had brown hair and blue eyes and a chest girth of 36″. After a few months basic training, on 14th January 1917 Harold embarked at Southampton en route for France. As he was entering a theatre of war he was also instructed to make a will on the same day. On 15th Jan 1917 he disembarked at Le Havre.  In February 1917 he was disciplined and given 7 days Field Punishment No. 2 and shackled  as a punishment for ‘making an improper reply to a NCO’.

In April 1917 Harold reported sick on two separate occasions with P.U.O. Pyrexia (fever) of Unknown Origin and on 1st May 1917 he was admitted to Hospital Ship Western Australia with endocarditis. The medical notes record that he had 3 weeks of feverish attacks before admission and that he now had a soft systolic mitral heart murmur. Endocarditis was a life threatening condition at the time, an inflammation of the lining of the heart and its valves caused by streptococcus, possibly contracted due to field conditions. Harold was returned to England and hospitalised for 43 days until 16th June when he was granted a further 28 days, home leave to Back Lane, Westwood. At the end of his furlough he fell ill again with gastritis and was hospitalised for a further period at Ripon.

In late October 1917 he was transferred to the Yorks & Lancs.

In January 1918 he was posted to the RGA Depot at Ripon, Yorkshire and in March 1918 to Malta. His health had improved apart from a short spell in hospital in Malta with a stomach disorder.  In February 1919 he was demobbed and on his demob. statement he signed to say that he was not at that time suffering from any disability due to his military service.

His Medal Rolls Index Card indicates that he was awarded the British War Medal.

In 1921 Percy Harold married Gertrude A. Birch in the Basford District and in 1922  they had a son named Charles.

Percy died in 1965, aged 68 in Chesterfield.

His father George died in 1948 aged 74 and his mother Elizabeth died in 1961 aged 87, they are both buried at St. Mary’s, Westwood.

Thanks got to www.rootschat.com military forum members for helping to interpret Percy Harold’s service record.