Percy was born on 28th September 1889 at Birchington, Kent to parents Walter and Elizabeth, the ninth of ten children. Aged just one on the 1891 census, most of Percy’s siblings were already in school; his eldest brother, William, aged 18 was not working however - described as an imbecile from birth and another sibling had already left home. The family of 9 lived in Margate Road, Birchington, Thanet and Percy’s father William supported them working as a lamplighter.
By the 1901 census Percy was in school, aged 10 and he had one younger brother called Charles who was aged 6. The youngest children went to school and the eldest 4 siblings worked various jobs to support the household which still lived at Margate Road in Birchington. His father William had since changed jobs and worked as a bricklayers labourer.
The following 10 years saw the family reduce down to just William, Elizabeth, Percy and Charles, all other children having left home. On the 1911 census Percy was recorded being at home on leave from the Navy, Charles was a bricklayers labourer as was William. Percy joined the Navy on 6th February 1907 as a Boy 2nd Class, noted as 5’6” tall with fair hair and blue eyes, with 3 tattoo dots on his left forearm.
His service follows:
HMS GANGES II - 06/02/1907 - 17/07/1907 - rising to Boy 1st Class on 16/05/1907
HMS LONDON - 18/07/1907 - 15/11/1907, rising to Ordinary Seaman on 01/10/1907
HMS NATAL - 16/11/1907 - 06/03/1908
HMS CHARYBDIS - 07/03/1908 - 06/04/1908
HMS LANCASTER - 07/04/1908 - 01/11/1909, rising to Able Seaman on 23/02/1909
HMS EGMONT - 02/11/1909 - 09/05/1910
HMS LANCASTER - 10/05/1910 - 30/05/1910
HMS PEMBROKE - 31/05/1910 - 08/10/1910
HMS ENDYMION - 09/10/1910 - 30/09/1911
HMS PEMBROKE I - 01/10/1911 - 05/11/1911
HMS PELORUS - 06/11/1911 - 18/12/1911
HMS PERSEUS - 19/12/1911 - 19/09/1913, gaining his educational cert for Petty Officer on 03/12/1912
HMS PEMBROKE I - 20/09/1913 - 30/03/1914
HMS VANGUARD - 31/03/1914 - 17/08/1915
HMS PEMBROKE I - 18/08/1915 - 09/11/1915
HMS VANGUARD - 10/11/1915 - 09/07/1915
Percy married Ellen Hudson in the Autumn of 1913 and was awarded the Star, Victory and British medals following his death.
He died aged 27, his baby brother Charles also killed just 3 months later, serving with 6th Btn The Buffs.
(#22 - 541/843)
1891, 1901 & 1911 England Census (although recorded with the surname “Petts” on the 1891 census)
England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915 - Free BMD
Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services, 1848-1939 National Archives Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services; Class: ADM 188; Piece: 423
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919 ADM 242/9; Scan Number: 0498
National Archives Admiralty and predecessors: Office of the Director General of the Medical Department of the Navy and predecessors: Service Registers and Registers of Deaths and Injuries. Registers of Reports of Deaths
WWI Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 Western Front Association; London, England; Pension Record Cards; Reference: 135/0647/MIL-MIL
Naval Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1972 for Percy Augustus Millen
Photo source ~ Nigel Reid-Seaton.