Private 8317, 17th Battalion Manchester Regiment.
Killed in action 1st July 1916, age approx. 23.
Remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, France.
Former student of law.
Percy was born in 1883 at Sedgley House, Middleton, son of Thomas Wade, who was the headmaster of Beever Street Council School and Justice of the Peace in Middleton. He was educated at Manchester Grammar School between 1894 and 1898 having won a scholarship. On leaving school he entered the faculty of law at Manchester University in 1904, and later went on to work as deputy town clerk of Middleton. He also played rugby and cricket for Middleton teams.
When the Pals Battalions began to form in Manchester after the outbreak of war Percy was one of the first volunteers for the 17th (2nd City Pals) Battalion Manchester Regiment. Though offered a commission several time he turned it down preferring to “do my duty, not get into the limelight”. The battalion moved to France in early November 1915 as part of the 30th (New Army) Division serving in the trenches around Maricourt before being tasked with the capture of the village of Montaunban in the coming Somme offensive. On 1st July 1916 they went over the top at 08.30. The attack was up a slope under heavy fire with the men weighted down with heavy kit. Casualties mounted rapidly, but they finally took the Glatz redoubt and by 10.20 they were in Montaunban and consolidating on the village’s northern boundary. For the next 48 hours they held the village against counter attack until relieved. When they handed over the captured position they found that they had suffered 358 casualties, including Percy. He was described as “an ideal public servant, cool, considerate, and conciliatory. His fairness of mind, strength of character,and unfailing courtesy won him many friends and the respect of all”.