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Alderley -World War 1.May 1916

We will remember them.....

        May 1916                                     

 

Charles Percivale Gillies was the son of A.A. Gillies, J.P., and Katherine Gillies, who lived at Mar Lodge, Macclesfield Road. A. A Gillies was a chartered accountant and Chairman of Alderley Edge Urban District Council. Charles Percivale was born in 1892 and educated at Repton and Pembroke College, Cambridge. He gained a degree in Classics just before the outbreak of the war, joined the army soon afterwards and was commissioned in the 9th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment on 29th November 1914. His battalion was posted to France in September 1915 and entered the trench line south of Ypres. He passed three examinations in machine gunnery with distinction and on 7th April 1916 was promoted to Captain in the newly formed Machine Gun Corps. Before he was able to take up this new position he was wounded on 25th  April,  when the Germans attacked his battalion’s section of the trench line.

 

What happened was described by a fellow officer in a letter reported in the local paper and also in The Times:

The whole brigade is mad with excitement in their thoughts of his gallantry... He absolutely saved the situation by himself putting his machine-gun on the parapet and mowing down probably dozens of Germans. There is not an officer in the whole brigade who doesnt almost pray that so gallant a soldier and so fair a gentleman will live, so that we can express our feelings. He deserves a V.C.

 

In fact, he was awarded the Military Cross. The citation in the London Gazette reads:

For conspicuous gallantry. During an attack by the enemy he exposed himself freely in order to encourage the young soldiers who were working the machine guns under a hot fire. He personally shot three of the enemy with a rifle, and set a fine example till he was severely wounded. His wounds proved fatal; he died on May 5th in hospital and is buried in Etaples Military Cemetery.

If you know of Alderley Edge men who served in the war and returned home afterwards, we should be glad to hear of them.


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