CHALLICE, Percy Edward

No.5854, Lance Corporal, Percy Edward CHALLICE
Aged 31

2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Saturday 25th September 1915

An Old Contemptible

Percy Edward Challice was born on 1st March 1884 in Mildenhall (Mildenhall Q1-1884 4A:679), baptised 6th April 1884 in Mildenhall, son of William and Sarah Annie CHALLICE (née CROWE).

1891 census...Aged 7, he was at Holywell Road, Mildenhall with his father William CHALLICE [32] farm labourer, born Mildenhall; his mother Sarah A [33] born Great Saxham; brothers Aubrey [8] and Oliver B. [4]

1901 census...Aged 17, a general labourer, he was at "The Field", Beck Row with his parents, brother Oliver (labourer); sisters Alice [8] and Beatrice [4], both born in Mildenhall. Brother Aubrey seems to be Andrey Challiss, boarding at 66, Magdalen Street, Thetford, Thetford St Cuthbert, Norfolk, England.

1911 census...Aged 27, single, a labourer, he was at The Field, Holywell Row Road, Mildenhall with his parents, brother Bertie (Oliver) and sister Beatrice.

He married Edith AYRES [8-11-1883] (Mildenhall Q2-1911). Two sons, Percy Robert, born on 23-6-1912 and Leslie Claud on 28-7-1913.

Percy enlisted in Mildenhall. His Army service records have not been found.
25th September 1915 was another horrendous day in the history of the British Army with over 1,600 killed in the Salient and over 8,000 in battle of Loos in France.
The 2nd Suffolks were at Maple Copse (west of Zillebeke just off the Zandvoordestraat). The war diary of the battalion for this day is unusual in that it actually names the other ranks fatalities:-
Sept 25th -3:45 am - Heavy bombardment of the enemy's trenches commenced. At 4:19 two of our mines were exploded under the enemys trenches and at 4:19 1/2 two more were "sent up". At 4:20 the 8th Bde attacked. 1st GH (Gordon Highlanders] on left, 4h GH in centre, 2 R.S. [Royal Scots] on right and the 4th Mx [Middlesex] in reserve in SANCTUARY WOOD and 2nd Sk [Suffolk] in reserve in MAPLE COPSE. The 14th Div co-operated on the left of the 1st GH. The 4th GH and 2 RS gained their objective. The 1st GH were however "held up" by 1/2 " wire, which had not previously been located and consequently not cut off by the artillery, in front of "The Hall" on the Menin Road. Touch was consequently lost between the 1st and 4th GH.
The Germans then countered in a southerly direction from the MENIN ROAD - cut off the 4th GH and compelled to " RS to conform and consequently give up a great portion of the ground they had taken.
7:0 pm Took over trenches - Appendix C1-B8-B7 with A and B Coys with M.G's and bombers- BBS and 4 GH HQ with D Coy and head quarters from 4th GH and 6 RS
No 1943t Pte L Brewer -3/8656 Pte L Jakes - 5854 L/C P Challice - 12942 Pte W Bridges - No. 12970 Pte A Manning - 15691 Pte W.Pegg - 15653 Pte F Dear - 19357 Pte G Berry killed. Eighteen men wounded.

CWGC actually have recorded 12 of the 2nd Suffolks killed.

map from Sherwood Foresters diary

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Percy Challice is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Ypres, panel 21

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details