Percy TURNBULL
Rank: Sergeant
Number: 250944
Unit: 2/6th Battalion MANCHESTER REGIMENT
Date of Death: 7 October 1917
Age: 43
Cemetery: Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Belgium

Percy was the second son of Robert and Sarah who, when the 1901 Census was taken, were living at 98 Heaton Moor Road. Also living there were Percy's two brothers, Andrew and Frank, and sister, Blanche. The year before, Percy had married Blanche Maud Hilton in the Ormskirk area. They had set up home at 4 Gladstone Grove, Heaton Moor and, by the time of the Census, had a daughter - 3 month old Annie. Percy, aged 25, was recorded as being a manager with a firm of mantle manufacturers. It provided a comfortable living and enabled them to employ a live-in general servant; 16 year old Fanny Turnbull.

As far as is known, Percy was not an early volunteer for the army. Certainly his age would have gone against his early enlistment but conscription was introduced in 1916 and this is probably when he joined. The 2/6th Battalion went overseas on active service in March 1917.  

On 5 October, Percy and his comrades moved out of No. 2 Toronto Camp at Brandhoek (near Ypres) to relieve the 41st Australian Infantry Battalion in the front line. The line consisted of four trenches cut by the Australians and the Battalion's War Diary confirms it "affording fair cover from shell fire - three companies were in front line, "B", "C", "D", with "A" in close support. The line was held without difficulty- no counter attack being made - shelling was persistent and a certain number of casualties were sustained."  The area had been captured the previous day in a large scale advance later given the official title of the Battle of Broodseinde.

On the night of the 6/7th, the Battalion was itself relieved from the front line and moved back to positions at Hill 40. At dawn on the 7th, two companies were attached to the 2/8th Battalion. The remaining two battalions took a position on the west slope of Hill 40. There are no further details of the day, but seven soldiers, including Percy, were posted as "missing". They had probably fallen victim to enemy shellfire. Nothing was ever heard of Percy again and, in February 1918, the War Office made the official determination that he must have been killed. His body is still unaccounted for.

When the War Graves Commission collated its casualty records, in the early 1920s, Blanche was living at 19 Norman Road, Heaton Moor.

   
           
   
     
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