© Avening Parish Council 2023
“Preserve, Conserve, Enhance”
19 Percy Sharp
Private: 7th Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment
Mark Sharp was born in Avening in 1847. He was a stonemason and married Mary Ann Drew, an
Avening girl, in 1879. They had seven children all born and baptised in the village, the eldest being
born in 1880 and the youngest in 1895. The fourth of these was Percy who was born on Sunday the
8th of March 1885. He was eleven when he was baptised in Holy Cross Church on Saturday the 19th
of April 1896 along with his sisters Gertrude Mary aged five and Winifred Lilian aged 6 months. Mark
and his family lived in various addresses in the village and by 1901 had a home in Woodstock with
his six youngest children. Percy, then aged 16, was a rural postman.
No records of Percy's military history have survived but we know that he was conscripted in 1916
into the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment and served in Belgium from early 1917 with the
7th Battalion. The battalion was involved in a number of sorties against enemy positions prior to the
Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). A huge artillery bombardment of the enemy lines started on
Monday the 16th of July 1917 and Percy died on that first day probably from an incoming shell.
He has no known grave but is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. He was 32 years of
age and unmarried. He received the British Medal and the Victory Medal, both of which would have
been presented to his father. We have been unable to locate any family members.