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Military Service Record (1915-1919)

Percy Eastland.











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Force served: British Army.


Regiment: 1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment.


Service number: 15128.


Rank: Private.


Previous occupation: Dockyardman.


Date/place of birth: 26 February 1898, Portsmouth, Hampshire.


Enlistment date: 16 July 1915.

Percy volunteered for service on 16 July 1915, 1 day after the National Registration Act came into being on 15 July 1915, and 6 months before compulsory conscription was introduced on 27 January 1916.


At the time of his enlistment, Percy was 17 years and 11 months old (under the minimum age of 19 years for the Regular Army, and 18 years for the Territorial Force. There are many recorded instances of under-age, and indeed over-age, men having been accepted into the services as volunteers). This seems to be borne out by the fact that in Percy’s Medal Card records, his original age was shown as 23 years, and later crossed out and corrected to 20 years.


Height: 6 ft 2 ins.


Hair colour: Dark brown.


Colour of eyes: Blue.


Complexion: Ruddy.


Distinguishing marks: None.


Discharge date: 1 February 1919.


Reason for discharge: Kings Regulations paragraph 392 (xvi) 'no longer physically fit for war service'.


WW1 service: Yes.




After his basic training, Percy was sent to France in February 1916 where he was in action and wounded during the Battle of Albert (1 to 13 July 1916) on the Somme. The wounds he sustained at this time were not severe enough to have made him 'no longer physically fit for war service', and he later took part in the 3rd Battle of Yyres (Passchendaele) in 1917, and the Retreat from the Somme in 1918.


On 28 March 1918, Percy was severely wounded and lost his left leg in consequence. Strangely enough, during the Retreat, the 1st Hampshire’s were in positions west of Fampoux away from the direct line of fire. Percy is remembered as saying that he lost his leg whilst sitting on a box of munitions that exploded after being hit by a stray shell.


Percy was considered by his comrades to be 'lucky', and given the circumstances under which he lost his leg, he certainly seems to have been lucky not to have lost his life!


The Hampshire’s regimental history states that after the German attack was repulsed, the 1st Hampshire’s had 4 officers and 39 men killed,  with 2 officers and 85 men missing, and 2 officers and 81 men wounded.


After prolonged hospital treatment, Percy was discharged on 1 February 1919 under Kings Regulations paragraph 392 (xvi) 'no longer physically fit for war service'. In Percy’s case this was as a result of wounding (something which is supported by the large handwritten ‘W’ on his Medal Roll Index Card).




Upon his discharge, Percy was 20 years and 11 months old, and was awarded the Victory Medal, the British War Medal and the Silver War Badge. Interestingly, either due to an administrative error or the fact that Percy had mistakenly applied twice for the Silver War Badge, there are 2 entries for Percy on the Silver War Badge lists dated 25 May 1919 and 2 July 1920.


After the War, Percy benefitted from the post war re-training available to wounded servicemen, and became a skilled engine fitter on H.M. Dockyard, Portsmouth.


Note: If you'd like to know more than has been summarised on this website or have information that improves this history, we'd love to hear from you.

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