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Sergeant, DIV. Insp. Tel. Percy John Hockaday - Dawlish World War One Project

Sergeant, DIV. Insp. Tel. Percy John Hockaday


Service Army Service No. 15361
Rank Sergeant, DIV. Insp. Tel.
Regiment:Royal Engineers,
Date of Birth: 01/02/1884
Born Dawlish
Date of Death: 31/08/1917
Memorial: Dawlish Memorial Inscription HOCKADAY.P.J. Divn Ins, Tel R.E.

Service History

From the news report in the Western Times of 7th September 1917 (see pictures, below) it appears that Percy Hockaday joined the Royal Engineers ca 1904 when he was twenty and specialised in wireless telegraphy. He may have been serving abroad at the time of the 1911 census, but in 1912 he was at home and Percy married Gertrude Gummer (1891- ) in Exeter. It is not known if they had children or if she married again after his death. A War Gratuity of £18. 10s. 0d. was paid to his widow Gertrude in 1919.

He was appointed Inspector of Telegraphs for the Egyptian Government in 1912 and although granted leave in 1914 he remained in Egypt and the Sudan on the outbreak of war.

Percy John Hockaday was entitled to the 1915 Star as well as the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and the Sultan’s Sudan (1910) Medal with the ‘Darfur 16’ clasp. This last was given by the Khedive of Egypt and there are a large number of differing clasps given as the medal was issued over years. A Medal Roll Index Card gives his rank as Sergeant and this is adopted here.

His death was given as sunstroke.

Association with Dawlish

Percy John Hockaday was the second son of John Hockaday (1854-1922) and Matilda Hayes Bevan (1855-1945). His father was from Dawlish and his mother was born in Chudleigh and they married ca 1880. They had four children of which the eldest had died young: Percy John Hockaday (1880-1882), Winifred Hockaday (1882-1929), Percy John Hockaday (1884-1917), and Alfred Hayes Hockaday (1886-1965).

John Hockaday ran a carriage hire business and was located at Brunswick Place in 1891 and at Plantation Terrace in 1901. His daughter Winifred married Henry Thomas Simmonds in 1905 and they were living with her parents at 16 Eaton Place, Exeter in 1911. There was a child, John Henry L Simmonds (1910- ) and an adopted son, Ernest John Gilman Hill (1901- ) and three boarders.

Percy married Gertrude Gummer (1891- ) in Exeter in 1912. It is not known if they had children or if she married again after his death.

Devon Roll of Honour Hockaday, Percy John, Divn Insp, R.E., 31st Aug 1917, Egypt
Additional Information Commonwealth War Graves Site


Next of Kin: Gertrude Hockaday, widow
Last Known Address: 16 Eaton Place, Exeter


Royal Engineers badge ca WW1

Hockaday family graves in Dawlish cemetery

Report in the Western Times, Friday 7 September 1917

Free birth marriage death refs

profile by Sheila Ralls – see Document "Percy John Hockaday - Service History"

refs via subscription websites:

Census data

UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects

British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards

Farleigh/Skinner family tree; Ancestry.co.uk

Violet Caroline Townley-Parker