Percy Riggott Bonser

Map

About Percy Riggott

  • Name
    Percy Riggott
  • Initials
    PR
  • Surname
    Bonser
  • Date of Birth
    01 May 1894
  • Birth town
    West Bridgford Notts
  • Resided town
    Nottingham
  • Commemorated
  • Nationality
    English
  • Place of death
    Claro Yorkshire
  • Date of death
    1970
  • Married
    yes
  • Occupation
    Fitter

Service Information

Biography

Percy Riggott Bonser was born in Nottingham on 1 May 1894, to father John, a plumber, and Elizabeth (nee Riggott) Bonser.  Percy was one of  seven children.

In 1911, Percy enlisted to the Notts & Derby Territorial Army, and at the time was working for William Horton as an apprentice lace machine builder.  William Horton witnessed his attestation papers.  Percy gave his address as 14 Rectory Road, West Bridgeford, Nottingham.   Percy attended annual camp in 1911 and 1912 before being embodied full time on 5 August 1914, with the 1/7 Battalion Notts & Derby (Sherwood Foresters) Regiment.  Percy embarked for France at the end of February 1915. In October 1915, the battalion were involved in heavy fighting near Saill-La-Bourse, north of Lens, France and we believe Percy was wounded in action around 13 – 15 October.  Percy returned home on 18 October 1915, due to a gunshot wound to the head and spent some time at the cottage hospital in Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex.  After a week’s furlough in December, he transferred to the 3/7 Battalion.  On 2 March 1916, Percy was medically discharged from the Army.  On his discharge papers he wrote ‘I have not received the balance of my pay’.

In June 1916, he joined the Royal Flying Corps as an Air Mechanic 2nd Class.  His visitors’ book entry from that month displays a sense of humour, a gummed stamp across which is written “By Gum I’m Stuck” The stamp itself is unusual and we have been unable to trace anything like it.  In July 1916, he went to France with 19 Squadron and the Headquarters 15 Wing.  He returned to the UK in January 1917, before leaving for France again in May with 4 Squadron and then 53 Squadron with whom he was promoted to Air Mechanic 1st Class.  He finally returned from France in February 1919, and was placed in the RAF Reserve.

Percy returned to Nottingham and married Dorothy Tomlinson in 1921, and they had two daughters and we believe they lived in Burford Road, Nottingham.  Sadly, Dorothy died at the age of 32 in Nottingham and we found no further trace of Percy until his death in 1970 at the age of 75.  The death was registered in the district of Claro, Yorkshire.

Can you tell us anything about Percy’s later life?  Please get in touch if you recognise this soldier.

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