Percy Carlile was born in Old Whittington on June 2nd 1896.  His parents were Thomas and Sarah Ann Carlile and the family home was 34 Holland Road Old Whittington.


1919 Map, courtesy of Chesterfield Local studies library, showing Broomhill Park and Holland Road.

Percy was baptised at Old Whittington Church on June 25th 1896.

percy baptism

Thomas and Sarah Ann already had a son John, who was 2 years old when Percy was born.

By the 1901 census Thomas had changed his occupation from a Furnaceman to a Coal Hewer and the family had grown . John and Percy had been joined by two more brothers, Joseph 3 and Thomas 1.

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Percy attended Websters Endowed Mixed school from 4th September 1899, when he would be just three years old, until 28th November 1900 when the record shows that he ‘left for winter’.


Percy was back at school in 1903, an entry in the Derbyshire Courier January 31st 1903 lists Percy as one of the children who won a prize for Behaviour, Industry and Attendance.  Prior to this only the senior children had won prizes, Percy was one of the first younger children to be awarded a prize.

The 1911 census shows that the family had moved and were living at 102 Holland Road Old Whittington. Thomas and Sarah Ann had 10 children to the marriage but sadly, as was the case often, two children had died. The rest of the brothers and sisters were still living at home.

By 1911 John at 16 was working as a coal miner (pony driver) at Grassmoor Pit and Percy at 14 was working as a Wagon builder for Sheepbridge Co.,  even Joseph, at 13, was working as a Moulder at Sheepbridge.

1911 census

Percy changed his place of work to Lockers Wagon Works at New Whittington, sometime before joining up.

Percy’s older brother John joined up at the outbreak of WW1 and Percy’s father had also served in the military but was now deemed medically unfit, due to his age.  This may have inspired Percy to enlist  and he joined the 16th Battalion Notts and Derbyshire, Service Number 28538.

There is no recorded date of enlistment for Percy, his medal card doesn’t show the date he went overseas. However, he wasn’t awarded the 14/15 Star medal which would mean that he didn’t enter a Theatre of War until after 31st December 1915.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that he hadn’t joined up before then.

The 16th Service Battalion were formed at Derby on 16 April 1915, by the Duke of Devonshire and the Derbyshire TF Association.
Moved to Buxton on 4 May 1915 and then on to Redmires near Sheffield on 8 June.
2 September 1915 : moved to Hursley near Winchester and came under orders of 117th Brigade in 39th Division.
6 March 1916 : landed at Le Havre.

(Information courtesy of

As part of 39th Division the Battalion saw action at the Battles of the Somme, namely the Battle of Thiepval Ridge and the Battle of the Ancre Heights, including the capture of Schwaben Redoubt. More information can be found at

The Schwaben Redoubt dominated Thiepval.


There is a good chance that Percy was killed during the fight for Schwaben Redoubt, (the redoubt was a German strong point 460–550 m long and 180 m wide, built in stages since 1915, near the village of Thiepval, overlooking the River Ancre. It formed part of the German defensive system in the Somme sector of the Western Front during the First World War and consisting of a mass of machine-gun emplacements, trenches and dug-outs. The redoubt was defended by the 26th Reserve Division, from Swabia in south-west Germany, which had arrived in the area during the First Battle of Albert in 1914).

(Information courtesy of

There is no documentary evidence to support this assumption apart from the fact that  the 16th Notts and Derbys (as part of 39th Division) were involved in the fight for Schwaben Redoubt during the time of Percy’s death.

Percy was posted as missing on 8th October 1916, as with many of his fellow soldiers Percy’s body was never found and he is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.  He was 20 years old when he died.

The Thiepval Memorial is the memorial to the missing on the Somme and carries the names of more than 72,000 officers and men.  90% of these men died between July and November 1916. More information can be found here

Thiepval Ceremony

The Opening Ceremony 1st August 1932. The memorial was unveiled by Prince Edward.

medal card

Percy was awarded the Victory and  British War Medals.

His personal effects were sent to his father Thomas in 1919.

condensed persona effe

Percy is remembered on Old Whittington and the Brushes War memorials, he is also listed on the 16th Battalion Sherwood Foresters Roll of Honour at

Tragically for the Carlile family Percy was not the only casualty of WW1.  His older brother John who joined up in 1914 was killed on 27th March 1918 and his cousin Alexander died a few days after Percy on 12th October 1916.

head shoulders


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