Rank: Private 15674
Regiment: 1st Bn, Devonshire Regiment
Died: 9 May, 1917
Huish War Memorial
Other Memorial: Arras Memorial [Google]
PDF Download: FISHLEIGH Percy
On 9 May 1917 the 1st Battalion, The Devonshire Regiment, were part of what was supposed to be a coordinated attack to recover the village of Fresnoy in northern France, lost to the Germans the previous day.
Unfortunately the Canadian battalion earmarked to support the left flank of the Devons in their attack on Fresnoy received their orders too late. Nevertheless Captain Lionel Maton felt 'honour bound' to carry the operation through. The Germans were ready for the counter-attack and manned their trenches in strength: the battle lasted all day, scarcely any ground was gained but the 1st Battalion, The Devonshire Regiment lost six officers and 80 men killed and a further 98 officers and men wounded.
It is likely, therefore, that Private 15674 Fishleigh died in that action. He is remembered with honour at the Arras Memorial, alongside more than 30,000 other servicemen from the UK, South Africa and New Zealand who died in the area and who have no known grave. He is also remembered with honour on the memorial at Huish.
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Thanks for this - it is both interesting and moving to learn a little more about the fate of my great-uncle Percy. Through my grandad, we knew that he'd died in the first world war but knew nothing about how or where. To be honest, I don't think my grandad really knew. It's just a shame that he did not live to discover sites like this and the war graves commission and learn more about his brother's story. We have visited both Huish and the impressive but deeply saddening memorial in Arras to pay our respects ( again something I'm sure my grandad would like to have done) but it is great to finally have a more complete narrative of the action at which Percy met his end. Thanks very much. I suspect that this is not the only tragic story of failed communication and misplaced honour to come out of WWI - strikes a little harder when close to home though