Private Percy Bonsall
427994  Lincolnshire Regiment

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Percy Bonsall was born in 1881 at Pye Hill, Jacksdale, son of Samuel, a coal miner and his wife Emma Bonsall. He had brothers Joseph, John, George, Christopher and sisters Florence (m. Cartledge) & Lily (m. Key) At the time of the census in 1901 Percy was aged 18 and was employed as a shoe maker. The family was living at Laverick Road, Jacksdale.

Percy married Harriett Giles in 1904 and in 1911 they were living at Edward Avenue, Jacksdale with son Arthur born 1909 and daughter Evelyn born 1913. Tragically Evelyn died aged only 3 days and is buried at St. Mary’s, Westwood.

Kelly’s Directory for 1916 and 1922, confirms that Percy Bonsall was a Boot Repairer at Wagstaff Lane, Jacksdale. The ‘Absent Voters List 1918/19’ gives his address as Edward Avenue.

Percy joined up in May 1917 enlisting at Hucknall. He was aged 34 years and 11 months and gave his occupation as ‘Master Boot Repairer’. He said he would prefer to serve with the ASC (Army Service Corps) or the RFA (Royal Field Artillery).  His record shows he was 5 ft 5 inches tall, weighed 122 lbs and had a scar on his left upper arm. During his time with the army he served with several regiments: firstly the Sherwood Foresters No. 85798; then  with the 7th Reserve No. 268782; then the Lincs Regiment No. 427994; and also with 456 Co Royal Defence Corps as No. 68267 and No. 85060A.  Percy was demobbed in February 1919, the railway station to which he was proceeding was listed as ‘Codnor Park’. He was returning to his trade and calling as a ‘one man business’ boot repairer.

In 1920 Percy applied to the Army Service Corps on behalf of his neighbour, Rose Beatrice Scattergood, widow of Driver Samuel Scattergood of Edward Avenue, Jacksdale, who had died since leaving the army. It is unclear whether Percy and Rose’s appeals resulted in the payment of a war widow’s pension, but Percy’s kindly act shows how the ex-servicemen looked out for each other and their dependents, even after the war had ended.

Percy’s nephew Bertram Bonsall also served, in the Leicestershire Regiment. Several of the Bonsall family, including Percy were members of the Pye Hill Male Voice Choir.

Percy’s mother Emma died in 1928 and the Eastwood & Kimberley Advertiser paid her the following tribute:
‘ Death At Jacksdale. Mrs. S. Bonsall. A wide circle of friends in Jacksdale and district extend their sympathy to Mr. Samuel Bonsall, of Edward Avenue, Jacksdale, who has suffered a terrible loss through the bereavement of his wife, Emma Bonsall. Mrs. Bonsall, who had been failing in health for about twelve months, passed away at her residence on Wednesday in last week, at 76 years of age. Before her marriage, deceased resided at Ironville, her maiden name being Miss Emma Burnham.

For approximately 58 years Mr. and Mrs. Bonsall enjoyed happy matrimony, and much sympathy and regret is felt at the conclusion of a noble and useful life. Deceased was one of the oldest inhabitants of Jacksdale and Pye Hill, and was a life-long member of the United Methodist Chapel, Pye Hill, where she will be greatly missed. She was keenly interested in the “Women’s Bright Hour” movement, and a most faithful and ardent worker in all causes connected with the chapel. Mrs. Bonsall leaves a family of five sons, two daughters, and nine grand-children and three great-grandchildren.

The interment took place on Saturday last in Westwood St. Mary’s Churchyard. The Rev. H. M. Sanders conducted the burial service. The mourners were: – Mr. Samuel Bonsall, husband; Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Bonsall, Mr. and Mrs. John Thos. Bonsall, Mr. and Mrs. George Arthur Bonsall, Mr. and Mrs. Chris. Bonsall, Mr. and Mrs. Percy Bonsall, sons and daughters-in-law; Mr. and Mrs. Harry Cartlidge, son-in-law and daughter; Mrs. L. Key, daughter; Mr. Dennis Bonsall, grandson; Mr. Alfred Bonsall and Mr. John Mills, brothers-in-law; Miss M. Mills, Mrs. M. J. Robinson, nieces; Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Foulds. The bearers were nephews, Messrs. Alf. Bonsall, Wm. Bonsall, Jos. Bonsall, John Mills, and Kenneth Foulds, and Joseph Knight. The undermentioned represented the “Women’s Bright Hour” movement: – Mesdames Hanson, King, Gibson, Newell, Hodge, and Waplington. Floral tributes were sent by: Husband, Lily and Ada; Joe and Polly; John Thomas and Maria; George Arthur, Nellie, and Dennis; Chris. and Tillie; Percy, Harriet and Arthur; Florrie and Harry; Bert, Reg, Elsie, and Harriet; Jean (great grandchild); Winnie, Jack, Charles, and Evelyn (grand-children); Sam, Louie, Ken, and Winnie; Joe and Alvina; Friends and neighbours.’