PERCY ABELS – LANCE CORPORAL 6617
Percy Charles Abels/Ables (note variation in spelling) was born in 1886 in the St.Pancras area of London, son of William and Sarah Abels.
By 1901, he was working, aged 15 as a general farm servant in Lutterworth, South Leicestershire, in the household of a James Richardson, who gives his own birth place, as Warford Hall Farm, Cheshire.
On 30th December 1902, Percy enlisted in the Leicestershire Regiment, giving his age as 18, and his trade as a labourer.
After his demobolisation, the next sighting of Percy was on the 1911 census. Percy was living in Great Warford and was working as an agricultural labourer with two other men. The census entry reads: “The above three persons are reported by the police as being found in a barn at Stag’s Head Inn, Great Warford” (The Stag’s Head had been run by James parents, William and Emily Richardson for more than twenty years).
At about 6.10am the left were over the German parapet and our flag was seen flying on their lines. The left went forward with such dash that they outstripped the 2nd/8th GURKHAS and came in for a lot of fire from rifles and maxim guns from our right. This caused a good many casualties including all the officers.
Undeterred the men went on, got over the uncut wire and reached the road with parties of the 2nd/8th GURKHAS and gained their objective. In the meantime our right had not fared so well. They went forward in good line under a heavy fire till held up by the German wire. A number of our men here were collected in the ditch in front of the German wire waiting for developments.
What was left of the Battn. were relieved from the front line by the 2nd/39th GARWHAL RIFLES at 6.30pm and moved into support and local reserve just in rear.
Before the operations began the Battn. worked for a week in strengthening the front line and preparing the defences behind. Four very strong lines were constructed capable of resisting the enemy’s bombardment.