Arthur William Perry

Private 12995 Bedfordshire Regiment, 6th Battalion

 

Pte 12995 A.W. Perry is not commemorated on the Every One Remembered website nor on the CWGC website.

The reason for this is that Arthur (known as William) didn't actually die during WWI.

He was medically discharged on 5th January 1918 (Silver War Badge No. 297973) having suffered a severe gunshot wound.

He actually died on 23rd May 1922 aged 28 of TB.

The official date of the end of the war is 28th June 1919 which is why he does not appear on either website.

His address at the time of his death was Maids Moreton, Buckinghamshire.

 

It is therefore unclear why William Perry's name appears on the St Mary's Church Memorial to the fallen, although he and his family had strong links with Churchgate Street where St Mary's is located.

 

Research shows that William's name was a late addition to the Memorial Cross with it possible that an influencial family member or family friend may have been persuasive in having his name added.

However, we will probably never know the real reason why the name Arthur William Perry is there.

St Mary's Memorial is the only Harlow Memorial to bear his name.

 

He volunteered for service and was enlisted in to the 2nd Battalion of Bedfordshire Regiment on 2nd August 1914.

William was later transferred, possibly on 31st August 1914, to the 6th Battalion.

After training on Salisbury Plains, the regiment was sent to France, landing in Le Harve on 30th July 1915.

During the next 2 years, the battalion served on the Western Front.

In 1916 the battalion fought in the Battles of the Somme and in 1917 they fought in the Battles of Arras and the 2nd Battle of Ypres.

At the Battle of Vimy Ridge, he suffered a severe gunshot wound to his left side for which he suffered greatly in the last five years of his life with him eventually being wheelchair bound.

 

Although he survived the war, after being medically discharged and obviously suffering great pain from being shot, one thing that cannot be forgotten is that William served King and Country at many of the now infamous battles during WWI

 

He was laid to rest with honours in St Edmunds Church, Maids Moreton, Buckinghamshire in the presence of many villagers, friends and family. His coffin was covered in a Union Jack and preceded by approximately 30 ex-servicemen lead by Mr F. W. Stanley. 

Wiiliam, who was born in Harlow, married Kate Oldfellow who lived in Maids Moreton.

Together they had a daughter who was described as being a small child at the time of his death.

The inscription at the base of the cross erected in his memory in Maids Moreton graveyard reads: 

 

In loving memory of Arthur William PERRY
a soldier of the Bedfordshire Regt who, crippled by wounds received
in his country's service and bravely borne,
passed into rest May 23 1922. Aged 28 years.
This stone is laid here by those whose affection and respect
he won while living in this parish.