Other names: Percy William
Locations in this story: Fontmell Magna, Shaftesbury, DorsetNew ZealandFrance & FlandersEast Knoyle, WiltshireMere, Wiltshire
Story: Percy William Jesse was born in Fontmell Magna, Shaftesbury, Dorset, on 8 Jul 1894 and baptised there on 19 Aug 1894 the son of William Jesse and Kate Rose Jesse (nee Jeans). He lived his early life at Woodbridge Mill, Fontmell Magna, until the death of his father in 1905 when the rest of the family moved to Black Ven Farm, Fontmell Magna. At some time after 1911 he had emigrated to New Zealand and had enlisted on the 10 Oct 1915 joining the 5th Battalion of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (Rifle Brigade) as a Rifleman (Service Nos. 14/616 and 25/646). He served in France and Flanders where he was wounded on 6 Aug 1917. On the 31 Oct 1917 it was announced he had been awarded the Military Medal for 'acts of gallantry in the field'. He was discharged in the UK on 8 May 1919 and further awarded the Victory and British War Medals. At that time he did not choose to return to New Zealand. His marriage to Doris Evelyn Green was registered at Mere, Wiltshire, in 1924 and they had one child. Regrettably his wife died in 1931. By the time of the 1939 Register he was living at Hadden Farm, Upton, East Knoyle, Wiltshire, described as a Dairy Farmer and widower. (NB There is an uncorroborated record that he may have joined the Royal Artillery in WW2 under Service No. 2588024 though proof has yet to be found). His death was recorded at the Mere, Wiltshire, Registry, on 7 Apr 1957. His brothers, Charles Jesse and Frank Jesse, also served in the conflict though Frank did not return having been killed in action.