11th Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) "The Men from the Greenwood"
Died of wounds Monday 3rd July 1916 aged 24.
Percy was wounded on Saturday 1st July when the 11th Battalion were ordered forward but faced withering German machine gun fire.
The history of the 11th Sherwood Foresters on the first day of the Somme offensive mirrors that of many of the 'New Army' battalions; uncut wire, German machine guns and confusion! The 11th Battalion Sherwood Foresters moved from Bouzincourt on the 30th June 1916 and up to the assembly trenches in 'Glasgow Road', 'Lower Horwich Street', 'Quarry Post' and 'Bamberbridge Street', prior to their attack on the 1st July.
In the assembly trenches in Authuille Wood, which formed part of 'Blighty Valley', they came under heavy German bombardment and began to suffer the first of their many casualties.
"At 7.45 a.m. a message was received that the German first line had been taken and the Battalion moved into the front line by Companies, along pre-arranged routes under a fairly heavy shrapnel fire." The front line trench was full of dead men, torn-off limbs and badly wounded who begged for help, but we dared not stop. The communication trench almost ran with blood that morning. While we were waiting in our front line to go over, a German machine-gun was spraying the top of the trench, flicking up dirt from the parapet."
"After we got out over all the trenches we came to No man's Land. The Germans had gone to a hiding place somewhere, but they must have had a machine gun to every man. They simply swept the earth with bullets. The Germans always like to kill the wounded off, and they shelled us, besides using their machine guns on us. There were a good many killed after they got wounded".
Percy was one of 518 casualties suffered by the 11th Sherwood Foresters during the attack and the Battalion were relieved later that night.
Percy is buried in the Ribemont Communal Cemetery Somme France. He is also commemorated on the J Bourne and Son Ltd First World War Memorial at Denby Pottery Visitors Centre, Derby Road, Denby.
The Nook, Holbrook Moor, Derbyshire.
He was born on Over Lane, Belper, in 1892. Enlisted in Belper, and was the son of the late Albert Cartwright a pottery labourer and the nephew of Ebenezer Cartwright of Church Street.
Before the war Percy was, like his father, a pottery labourer.
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