WW1 Alumni

Boswell, PG


Percy George Boswell

Percy George Boswell

2nd Lieutenant, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Percy George Boswell was born 1st January 1894 and was the son of Lewis Charles Boswell and his wife Caroline. He lived at 183 Coldharbour Lane, Camberwell and later at 26 Norfolk House Road, Streatham, and joined Alleyn's in September 1905. 

He joined the war effort in 1914 as part of the London Rifles, and was promoted to temporary Lieutenant in October 1915. By 1916 he was part of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. After receiving the necessary training, Percy joined the regiment as a 2nd Lieutenant and was sent overseas to serve in France. In July 1916, he was involved in the first major British offensive of the war, the Battle of the Somme. This full scale frontal attack, supplemented by an intense and prolonged bombardment, was intended to cause a massive blow to the German Army and ease the pressure off the French at Verdun. In a letter to his family on the day before the attack, Percy expressed his optimism about the operation. He was confident the attack would be a success and stated he was sure he would survive the battle. Unfortunately, Percy did not survive and he was killed in action on July 1st when leading his men in attack. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme. 

Percy's last letter to his family was recently featured in an article published by the Guardian and can be viewed by clicking here.

With thanks to Trevor Harkin for providing some of this information.