Tipton

Remembers

Private 15489 John Perks


 Perks John 96 400x600  Perkes John 96 210x400
   Photograph courtesy of grand-niece Carol Wardell.                Grave photograph courtesy Steve and Margaret Moore.    Further photograph at bottom.


Killed in Action Gallipoli on Monday, 9th August 1915, age 22.
Commemorated on Panel 134 to 136 of Helles Memorial, Turkey.

7th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 33rd Brigade of 11th Division.

Son of Mr Joseph and Mrs Elizabeth Perkes, of 65, Regent St., Woodsetton, Dudley.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Wolverhampton, Resident: Bilston.

First landed Balkans, 21st July 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Woodsetton, and Dudley Clock Tower memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/686879/


Genealogical Data

The surname Perks is also spelt as Perkes at various times for the 3 brothers. Perks is used here for consistency.

1901 Census
65 Regent Street, Woodsetton, Staffs.
Joseph Perks (44, Bricklayer's Labourer, born Wolverhampton), his wife Elizabeth (45, born Tipton), and their 6 children: William (20, Coal Miner, born Sedgley), Joseph (18, born Sedgley), George (14, Labourer, born Sedgley), Thomas (8, born Sedgley), Annie (5, born Tipton) and Mary Elizabeth (2 months, born Sedgley).

1911 Census
65 Regent Street, Woodsetton, Staffs.
Joseph Perks (52, Bricklayer's Labourer, born Willenhall), his wife Elizabeth (52, born Bloomfield), and 4 of their surviving 7 children of 8: Joseph (18, born Woodsetton), Thomas (21, Colliery Pump Minder, born Woodsetton), John (18, Colliery Labourer, born Woodsetton), Annie (14, born Woodsetton).


Personal Data

Brothers John, George and William Perks all joined the 7th South Staffs on the same day and had adjacent numbers. John still lived at home with his parents in Regent Street, Woodsetton; George and William lived in Tipton.

On August 6th the 7th South Staffs took part in the landings at 'B' beach Suvla Bay, two days later the 7th South Staffs took part in an attack on Chocolate and Scimitar Hill which went disastrously wrong. The 'History of the 7th South Staffs' reports 400 casualties, this is highly likely as 118 Other Ranks and 3 Officers were killed, amongst them 9 Tipton men. John Perks, like all 9 of the Tipton men, has no known grave and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial.

William Perks wrote to his parents that George had been shot through the head whilst at his side. He carried George to the Red Cross and returned to the front line, George lived for a further four hours. Before he reached the front again William was told that his youngest brother Jack (John) had been killed. William was also to lose his life, on 28th April 1917 during the Battle of Arras, and also has no known grave.

Action resulting in his death

A short extract from the 7th South Staffs War Diary of the events of the 8/9th August written by the Second-in-command of the 7th South Staffs Lt-Colonel A. Tool:
"Most of that night, the 8/9th, we spent in very slowly working our way back to the 33rd Brigade rendezvous. It was not really a very long way, but the dense scrub necessitated "snake" formation, and every time there was a check, which was very often, men dropped down asleep, and had to be kicked up by the officers.

As far as I can remember we were quite punctual at our rendezvous with the 6/Lincolns on our left, but the Borderers, who should have been on our right, were not in sight, and we were sent off and told that they would join in, which they did later on.

The right of the S.Staffs was to direct the 33rd Brigade on the line "Summit of Scimitar Hill - "W" Hill, and Col. Daukes ordered me to go forward with the leading troops and see that direction was accurately kept. To my horror I saw the companies starting to advance in the column of route, but I quickly ran up and shook them out into artillery formation, We had almost reached Scimitar Hill, the Borderers having come into place, when a Subaltern I was walking beside lit a cigarette and promptly dropped with a bullet in his forehead.

A moment later a Lincoln officer ran up to me and reported that Captain Martin, commanding the company I was with at the moment, was killed and that the Turks were just the other side of Chocolate Hill."


Following information taken from History of the Seventh South Staffordshire Regiment (Ashcroft):
9th August 1915
"At 06.00 we reached Hill 70 and at once came under murderous shrapnel and rifle fire. Every single officer in A & D companies (firing line) and in 'B' company (supporting line) were either killed or wounded in the first 10 minutes. At about 08.00 support arrived from the 10th Division, but even with their assistance no headway could be made. About 10.00 our line began to give way owing to the fact the scrub had caught fire, the Turks aided by this were working around our left. This flanking movement was checked by reinforcements of Dublins and Queens.

The battalion behaved magnificently but were overwhelmed by an enemy who had every position of advantage. On the 10th August, the losses in killed and wounded were computed to be well over 400. For three days, the Staffords and Borderers held an old Turkish communication trench running on to Chocolate Hill, and were then relieved by the 32nd Brigade."

118 Other Ranks and 3 Officers were killed, amongst them 9 Tipton men. John Perks, like all 9 of the Tipton men, has no known grave and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial.


Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 11th September 1915
AT THE DARDANELLES.
THE 7th SOUTH STAFFORD HEROES.
TWO BROTHERS KILLED ON THE SAME DAY.
There can be no doubt that the 7th South Staffs Battalion (Lord Kitchener's Army) suffered heavily in the tremendous battle at the end of the first week of August. Official notices of scores of deaths of our brave local lads in that wonderful conflict have been received by the relatives during the past few days.
In one case two brothers were killed on the same day, and it is noteworthy that together with a third brother who was in the same battle, they had enlisted on the same day. They are the sons of Mr and Mrs Perkes of 65 Regent Street, Swan Village, Woodsetton, Coseley.
Their two sons who are killed are George Perkes, aged 28 (married), who resided with his wife in Canal Street, Tipton. He was employed as a collier at the Park Lane Pits up to the outbreak of war. The other brother, who worked at the same colliery, is John Perkes (single), aged 22, who lived with his parents, and was the mainstay of the home. The father is quite unable to work, being an absolute invalid from chronic asthma.
Both brave young heroes threw up their work and joined the 7th South Staffordshire Battalion, together with an older brother, on November 4th last. All three were in the same battalion, and left England about a couple of months ago. The youngest had sent many postcards home to his mother while he had been training in England, and these mementoes are much treasured by her.
The eldest son of the family, William Perkes, is 35 years of age, and before the war was employed at one of Mr Barker's coal pits.
The official notification of the deaths of the two soldiers was received by the parents in the one case, and by the wife in respect of George Perkes on Sunday last, 6th inst., and on the following morning the parents received a letter from the eldest son, Private William Perkes, who was in the same battle.
DEAD SOLDIER BURIED BY BROTHER.
In this letter he tells his parents that his two brothers, Jack and George, were killed on August 9th. He describes in simple style how he carried his brother George back, they having been by the side of each other when his brother was shot through the head. He carried him to the Red Cross and leaving him there, returned to the firing line. Before he had reached the front again he ascertained that Jack (the youngest brother) had been killed. He had been unable at the time of writing to recover his body, but he explains that it fell to his lot to bury his brother George. He adds: "I shall bury Jack if I live."
The married brother leaves a widow and two little children at Canal Street. The children are a girl aged 4, and a boy of 2 years.
A private letter to the wife tells her that her husband (George) who was carried to the ambulance by his elder brother, William, lived four hours after his brother John.
The parents of John and George also received a letter from a companion, who is wounded in a hospital in Port Said, telling them of the death of their son George.


Perks Brothers 96 634x600From article in the Black Country Bugle December 1997.