Thursday, January 25, 2007

Silent Heroes - Percy Galloway

Percival Albert Galloway was born at Lydd, Kent in 1885, one of nine children of Albert and Agnes Galloway.

By the time the First World War was declared, he was close to 30 years old, working as a butcher, married and with two children of his own. Nevertheless, he did what thousands of other men were doing and enlisted in the army to serve his King and Country. He attested with the Royal Field Artillery at Bordon, Hampshire on 5th August 1915, giving his address as 1 Chalton Street, Steyning, Sussex.

He was given army number 90415, the rank of gunner and posted to the 23rd Divisional Artillery Column (DAC). His surviving papers record that he was at home until 28th August 1915 and then in France between 29th August 1915 and 7th November 1917.

On 29th September 1915 he was appointed acting bombardier and promoted to full bombardier on 11th November. On 7th February he was promoted corporal. On 10th June 1916 he was posted to No 1 section of the Divisional Artillery Column and on 25th January 1917 appointed acting sergeant. He was confirmed as full sergeant on 10th March 1917.

On 5th May 1917 he was appointed section rough rider and later that year (on 8th November) moved to Italy where he would remain until 27th January 1919. On 10th February his record notes that he ceased to draw additional pay as section rough rider on appointment to acting battery sergeant major. The following day the appointment was confirmed and he assumed duties in his new role.

By 28th May however, he had reverted to the rank of sergeant on the posting of Battery Sergeant Major Parker. He was granted leave between 7th and 21st June and on 13th June a third child, Cecil Alfred Galloway, was born at Chailey. He re-joined his unit in Italy on the 21st June and remained in Italy until 5th January 1919 when he was again granted two weeks’ home leave. He remained in England after his period of leave was up and was discharged on 27th March 1919.

On 21st August 1920 he received the British War Medal at his home address of Appletree Cottage, North Common, Chailey. A year later, in September 1921, he received his Victory Medal at his new address: Elm Cottage, Morris Road, Lewes.

That's all I know of this man; an ordinary man like so many others but one who willingly left his family and his lifestyle behind when his country called him.
My thanks to Percy's niece, Lesley Busby, for sending me the photographs of Percy in later life. Medal index card courtesy of Ancestry.

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