Friday, August 07, 2015

D/14263 Private Percy Ernest S Hellier, Corps of Dragoons

Chailey Parish Magazine first mentions Percy Hellier In October 1914, listing him among a number of men serving their King and Country.  In October 1915 he is listed simply as Hellier, Pte P and the following month further information is added; namely that he is with the 17th Lancers in England.  In April 1916 it is reported that he is in France and this information is then repeated up to and including the final published entry for this man in November 1916. 

The National Archives notes Percy E S Hellier as L/8004 Private Percy E S Hellier serving with the Corps of Lancers and D/14263 Corporal Percy E S Hellier serving with the Corps of Dragoons. 

The England and Wales, Civil Registration Index: 1837-1983 notes that Percy Ernest S Hellier was born in 1896, his birth registered at Westhampnett in the September quarter of that year. 

He appears on the 1901 census of England and Wales living at Little Buckingham, Old Shoreham, Sussex.  The household comprised: George Hellier (aged 46, a cowman on a farm), his wife Catherine Hellier (also aged 46) and four children: Lucy Minnie Hellier (aged 12), Susan Lillian Hellier (aged eight), Percy Ernest (aged four) and Emily Kathleen Hellier (aged two).  There were also two lodgers: Albert Hinton (aged 22) and Albert Miller (aged 19).  George Hellier had been born at Lyme Regis, Dorset; his wife at Uplyme, Devon but the children had all been born in various towns and villages in Sussex.  Percy’s place of birth is given as Chichester 

There were also other children.  The 1891 census shows the family living at Truleigh Cottages, Lewes.  Lucy is a two year old and has three older brothers: George William Hellier (aged 14), James Henry Hellier (aged 12) and John G Hellier (aged nine).  All three boys had been born at Uplyme, Devon. 

Percy’s connection with Chailey is not known.  His two older brothers are shown on the 1891 census as cowman’s helpers on farms and it is possible that Percy was also working on a farm in Chailey when he joined the army.

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