His birth certificate lists him as being born July 6, 1884 at 2 Armenia Place U.S.D. Alfred Henry Percy Simmonds
, father Alfred Simmonds, musician, mother Emily Margaret Simmonds formerly Lowe address 15 Spring Hill Terrace, Headingly Leeds. Registered on August 12, 1884 in the sub district of North Leeds, district Leeds, county of York.
Parish records St. Michael Parish Church, Headingley, Leeds
Born July 6 1884, baptism September 3, 1884, Alfred Henry Percy Simmonds
, parents Alfred and Emily Margaret Simmonds, Leeds, father’s occupation Trumpeter XI Hussars
In 1891 census he was living with grandmother Sarah Lowe, and uncle John Thomas Lowe at 32 Royal Park Grove, Headingley, Leeds.
In the 1901 census 64 Royal Park Grove, Headingley cum Burley, Leeds, Yorkshire. Head Edith Patience Jewell, widow, age 46, living on own menas, born Harewood, Yorkshire. Mother Sarah Lowe, widow, age 74, living on own means, born Horsforth, Yorkshire. Brother John Thomas Lowe, single, age 30, commercial clark, born Harewood. Nephew Henry Alfred Percy Simmonds
[order of names incorrect], age 16, railway do????, born Leeds.
Railway Employment Records London and North Western Railway, Leeds Station, District Goods Managers DepartmentA H P Simmonds
, apprentice, born July 6, 1884, date of entry into service November 30, 1900, 12 shillings per week on December 19, 1902, 40 pounds per annum July 1, 1903, transferred from goodswages here July 1, 1903, resigned February 19, 1904.
Immigrated to Canada in 1904. There is a Percy Simmonds
listed as a passenger on the BAVARIAN of the Allan Line which departed Liverpool on March 24, 1904 with destination Halifax, Canada. His age is listed as 19, marital status single, occupation labourer. The number of passengers was listed as 1424 and the tonnage 6713. His ticket number is 9975.
In the Canadian Passenger lists there is also a Percy Simmonds
listed as a passenger of the Sarmatian which arrived March 31, 1904. His age is listed as 19, born Yorkshire, occupation farmer (lab is crossed out), destination Winnipeg.
Filed for Homestead in 1905. Began farming the homestead in 1906.
The 1906 Canadian Western Census lists him and his uncle Joe living in separate homes.
The 1911 Canadian census lists Percy
, his Aunt Edith Jewell and her friend Miss Jarmine as living on the home quarter.
The 1916 Canadian census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Township 44, Range 11, Meridian 3, Municipality DouglasPercy Simmonds
, military overseas, head, single age 32, born England, Anglican, immigrated 1904, Canadian, farmer. Uncle Joseph Lowe, single age 57 born England, Canadian, farmer. Aunt Edith Jewell, widow, age 61, born England, immigrated 1905, Canadian. Lodger Jessie Jarman,?, single age 48, immigrated 1909, Canadian.
He was an original member of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool and served as a Wheat Pool delegate for many years.
Served in World War I as a Lance Corporal, with the 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles Regimental Number 106553. The 1st CMR’s were formed at Brandon, Manitoba and made up of recruits from Saskatchewan and Manitoba. They sailed to England on June 12, 1915. The unit was eventually assigned to the 8th Brigade of the Third Canadian Division. The Brigade went to France as infantry on September 22, 1915. He was wounded in action June 2, 1916 at Ypres. Percy spent 2 days in no man’s land before found by the Germans and taken POW. The battle is known variously as the Battle of Mount Sorrel, Hill 62 or Sanctuary Wood.
The nominal rolls of the 1st Regiment Canadian Mounted Rifles 1915
Regimental Number 106553 Lance Corporal Alfred Henry P. Simmond
s, no former corps, next of kin Mrs. E. P. Jewell, Keatly [as spelled] Post Office, Saskatchewan, born England, taken on strength December 29, 1914, Saskatoon.
The following quote is from 1st CMR official War Diary for June 1 and 2, 1916.
In the Field
Battn. occupying T. 54 to 60 inclusive. No futrher information at hand as all Orderly Room Records were destroyed.
Battn. occupying T. 54 to 60
The Enemy commenced heavy bombardment which lasted until 1:15 PM
Lt. Col. A. E. Shaw killed at Battn. H Qtrs. during a determined stand made by him and about 80 others of the Battn., against Enemy’s Troops who had succeeded in piercing our line to right of T. 52 occupied by 4th C.M.R. Battn. The Company of this Battn. occupying the trenches on our right being completely destroyed by being blown up by one of the Enemy’s mines. After Col. Shaw was killed, Major Palmer took command and defended the position at VIGO ST. at Battn. HQrs. until there was only two officers and eight other ranks remaining alive and unwounded. The Enemy having bombed the survivors to one end of the trench and having no ammunition or bombs to reply to the Enemy’s fire, he gave orders for remainder to get out if they could, and retire to S.P. 14 and hold on there. As far as it is known only one officer Lieut. F. A. Hey? and about four or five others were the only ones who arrived at this point which they found occupied by Lieut. A. V. Coins? and a few men with a Colt Machine Gun. This position was held by them until relieved, and has since remained in our possession. Out of 21 officers and 671 other ranks who went into the trenches during this tour, 5 Officers are reported killed, 5 wounded and 10 missing. Other Ranks, total casualties 536, 135 returning.”
[These are incredible losses. Officers 95% and other ranks 80%.]
web sites http://www.ww1battlefields.co.uk/flanders/sanctuary_wood.htmlhttp://www.1914-1918.netPercy
was quite musically adept as a young man, but he never played after he was wounded in WW1, as his hands were stiffened and he was unable to move his fingers easily, in fact some not at all. A family memory is that he in fact had on one occasion played the piano, as a boy, with a symphony orchestra in Leeds. The impression was that it involved a special occasion on which young talent was being displayed.
PERCY SIMMONDS FAMILY
By John Simmonds With Reference From Islae Johnson’s Newspaper Column
Taken from Along the Carlton Trail (edited)
Have you ever found yourself in snow so deep you had to swim through it? This is what happened to Percy Simmond
s during one winter of his early years in Saskatchewan. He and two other chaps were logging at Meeting Lake, when a storm blocked all trails. Leaving the others with the tent and team, Percy set out for home on foot. By the time he reached the deep ravine that runs four miles south of Mayfair, he was almost snow-blind, one moccasin was torn and his foot starting to freeze. He recalled that he didn’t walk through that coulee, the snow was so deep, he swam through it. Heading south-east he made it to Venosse Gareau’s shack that night.
Next morning, eyes swollen shut, he set out again, feeling his way along familiar terrain, he eventually came to where he thought Maud Lake ought to be. Edging along what appeared to be a huge drift, he suddenly stepped off into emptiness. He had walked on top of snow covered trees, stepped off the crest and landed with hurting force on the ice covered lake. When the shock of landing wore off he resumed his journey, moccasined feet feeling for the ox trail he knew would lead to a settlers shack. Finding it and stumbling into the welcome warmth that housed a Scotsman, an American and an Easterner, are memories to be treasured. He told of the stew they served being so tough that he chewed it until his jaws ached, then swallowed it whole. In those days when an ox died, they didn’t bury it, they butchered it.
Against all arguments, Percy set out for home next morning. He made it too, in spite of painful eyes that could not see, and a foot sore from freezing. His aunt used cold tea leaf packs on his eyes until he could get to see a doctor in Saskatoon. For the next year, he was forced to wear two pairs of glasses, one pair tinted.
It was a long way from the farm to Fielding, the closest town, and once it took four days to make the round trip with a load of grain. A blizzard made it necessary to shovel ahead of the team, temperatures dipped to 30 degrees below zero, and when the wily oxen spotted an old barn, they turned in and called it a day. The men lit a fire in the airy shack used by Bill Scott in the summer, but they still had to take turns keeping the fire going while the others huddled in a horse blanket to keep warm and sleep.
Alfred Henry Percy Simmonds was born in 1884 at Bradford, Yorkshire, England. His family had always planned to send him to Sandhurst Military College; however, when the time came finances would not allow it. In the meantime Percy had befriended a young man who had gone to school in Montreal; his interest in Canada was kindled. Early in 1904, at a ripe old age of 19, Percy landed in Montreal and stayed a few days with friends of his young pal. He then headed west to make his fortune. Percy carried with him a letter of introduction, given to him by his Montreal hosts, for a farmer in the ‘Hartney’ district in Manitoba.
His new employer advanced Percy $10 (a month’s wages), to buy some work clothes. The ten dollars bought a pair of bib-overalls, a smock, a pair of work boots, a pair of gloves and some socks, with some change left. It was there that he learned about feeding pigs, raising cattle, caring for horses and the growing of crops; of course, the land work was all done with horse drawn implements. The crop was cut with a binder and stooked, then stacked and left until the arrival of a steam threshing outfit. The threshing machine would be set up between stacks and the grain was bagged as it came from the machine. The bagged grain was then hauled to, and stored in a shed in the farm yard. It would then be hauled to town when a platform railway car could be arranged for, so the grain went to a terminal or mill, still in bags.
Percy learned that one worked hard, and for long hours to earn one’s wages, and that the ‘locals’ liked to make fun of a green Englishman. In the fall of 1905, Percy traveled to Saskatoon and on to Radisson, (the end of the rail at that time), then headed north-westerly on foot, looking for land on which to file for a homestead. He subsequently filed on SW 34-44-11 W3rd, in an area later known as the Keatley Ridge. At the same time he filed on homesteads for an uncle [Joseph Lowe] (NW 34-44-11-W3rd) and for Joe Speed (SE 4-45-11-W3rd). In return for doing breaking on these quarters, he was to have first chance to buy them. After filing these homesteads in Battleford, Percy returned to his employer in Manitoba for the Winter.
In the Spring of 1906, Percy was back ready to ‘prove up’ his homestead. To ‘prove up’ a homestead, you first paid a $10.00 fee, then you were required to break at least ten acres of prairie a year for three years, and to build a house on the quarter. You were supposed to live on your homestead for at least six months of each of the three years. If you met these requirements you received title to your homestead.
The young Englishman had a busy year in 1906. Ten acres were broken on each of the three quarters. A ‘soddy’ was built to live in and a small barn built as well. The sods for sod buildings were usually obtained by plowing a long furrow in a slough bottom, then the long sods were cut into lengths and laid much the same as bricks, one layer lengthwise (two or three sods wide), the second layer laid crosswise and so on. Rough frames for a door and for several small windows would be set in as you built. Percy didn’t like the idea of a sod roof laid up on poles (the usual roof for a soddy) so he built a roof out of lumber.
Soon after this Percy was joined by an aunt, Mrs. Jewell, an uncle, Joe Lowe, and a friend of his aunt, Miss Jarmine, and so the ‘soddy’ was enlarged. Furniture consisted of canvas camp cots and apple boxes with a home made table.
In 1907 the first seeding on the homestead was to be done. Percy had no drill and no experience at hand-broadcasting of the seed. He made a deal with a neighbour, Jim McBlain, who had considerable experience at broadcast seeding. Bags of seed were laid out at predetermined distance apart at each end of the field. Jim would fill his apron and walk toward the first bag at the other end of the field, broadcasting the grain by hand as he went. When he reached the bag, he would fill the apron again, and head toward the bag at the opposite end of the field, and continue until the field was completed. The field was then harrowed to cover the seed. In return for his seeding, Percy harrowed in Jim’s crop.
Pioneer life continued, a log house was built, more land cleared and broken, and a horse and buggy were bought. During the opening of the west the Anglican Church had travelling clergymen and many church services were held in the ‘soddy’, then the log house. The need for a church was apparent.
Mrs. Jewell, whose husband was killed in the Sudan campaigns of the 1880’s, [January 19, 1885] was instrumental in getting funds for the building of St. Mary’s Church from a missionary society in England, and a church was built in 1909 on land donated by Percy. Later on a chancel was added to the church and still later on the building was placed on a cement foundation. Mrs. Jewell and Miss Jarmine taught Sunday School in those early years, and Mr. And Mrs. Walter Pope were the first couple to be married in the church. St. Mary’s still stands on its original site, surrounded by the graves of many of the pioneers of the district. In 1913, the railroad from Prince Albert to North Battleford was built, Speers sprang up and became the trading centre for the district. Now it was barely ten miles from the homestead to ‘town’.
In 1914, World War I broke out and Percy answered the call to arms in the winter of 1914 – 15, and left Mrs. Jewell and Uncle Joe in charge of the homestead. He went overseas with the Canadian Mounted Rifles, a cavalry unit, however, their horses were taken away in England and they went to France as infantry. They fought over a few hundred of yards of soil in the water logged area of northeastern France and Belgium. The fighting in the area had soon destroyed and drainage ditches and canals, so the trenches nearly always had water in the bottom of them.
During the attack by the Allies, Percy was severely wounded in the thigh by shrapnel, from a shell that exploded nearby. He passed in and out of consciousness, slowly slipping toward the bottom of a shell hole containing water. Percy learned later that a Canadian stretcher party, looking for wounded after the battle was over, had passed him by as dead, and it was two days later then the German’s re-occupied the area, that he was found and taken prisoner. Gangrene had set in Percy’s wounds and without the benefit of pain killers, the German doctors dug out the shrapnel, set his leg, and treated the wounds by pouring iodine into them and packing the wounds with gauze. This was repeated every 12 hours, and the leg was saved. The Germans, however, were so sure that the leg would be of little use, that they released Percy to the Red Cross in Switzerland, to convalesce. With therapy in Swiss and English hospitals, the leg regained most of its strength. Finally, Percy was allowed to return to the homestead in January 1919. Percy had been reported as killed in action. A telegram to that effect arrived in Speers for Mrs. Jewell. A neighbour a mile to the south of the homestead, Lyman Linnell, brought the telegram out to the homestead to Mrs. Jewell. She opened and read the telegram, looked up and said, "Lyman, you are a damn liar. Percy is not dead." Her intuition was correct. Upon hearing of the report of Percy’s death, Joe Speed sold the quarter, promised to Percy.
In June of 1921, Percy married Margaret Patience Deakin
in Winnipeg. They had originally met as school children and again in Winnipeg, when Percy’s unit was in training near there.
Pat was the daughter of an English, clergyman and grew up just outside of Birmingham. She first came to Canada in 1912. Originally she had intended to sail on the Titanic, but at the last moment changed to a boat leaving the following week, and thus missed the fateful journey of the most modern ship of its day.
Pat stayed with a brother while working in Winnipeg, and she too returned to England after war broke out. She joined the Woman’s Auxiliary Army, serving in France with H.Q. Staff.
They were very active in the community. Pat played the organ at St. Mary’s Church and was a strong supporter of the Anglican Women’s Auxiliary, being president of it for 25 years. Percy served on the Keatley School Board, on the R.M. of Douglas Council, the Speers Rural Telephone Co. Board, a life member of the Royal Canadian Legion, and later was on the supervisory committee of the Speers and District Credit Union. However, Percy’s greatest interest was efforts were directed towards the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool.
During the formative years of the Pool in 1923 – 1924, Percy drove many miles getting neighbours to sign ‘pooling contracts’. He was a member of the first Speers Wheat Pool Committee, and soon after was elected delegate for the sub-district, a position he held almost continuously until his retirement in 1962.
When the railroad was built between Speers and Medstead in 1927 – 1928, Keatley Wheat Pool members organized and naturally chose ‘No. 1’ site for the proposed Pool elevator. One day the telephone rang and an excited voice urged Percy to get over to Keatley as someone was beginning to build on the Pool site. Sure enough, there they were, a whole crew of men and a carload of lumber. When the interlopers refused to move, Percy telephoned Regina over the problem. With 17 other men, they tore up the stakes as fast as the crew put them in. For two days, they worked in shifts to prevent the crew from working. On the third day, a gentleman came walking down the track, inquiring as to who headed the stoppage. Percy was nudged to the foreground, the stranger handed him a card. The stranger turned out to be Mr. Charles, Chief Engineer, Prairie Division, C.N.R.
After a bit of chewing back and forth, Percy suddenly asked Mr. Charles if he was from Hampshire, he admitted that he was.
"You have a sister named Marion, don’t you?"
"Yes," he said.
"Yours sister and my wife became good friends while attending the same private school", said Percy. Recognition dawned, and needless to say it was not long before Mr. Charles told the crew to move on, and the ‘No. 1’ site was saved for the Pool.
Percy had played a lot of sports while going to school. He was very interested in local sports. In the early days there were many soccer games amongst the pioneers. Every so often the British pioneers would have to make a stab at playing baseball to satisfy the Americans, (who played soccer so there were enough to make two teams).
Percy’s favourite Canadian game was hockey; in the late ‘30’s and early ‘40’s, he promoted local hockey. The Keatley hockey team made many a trip to North Battleford on the ‘skunk’ in the early evening. Even in later years, Percy rarely missed a hockey game in Hafford; he was a real hockey critic.
In 1948, the old log house and additions were replaced by a two-story frame house. Their family had grown up by then. John had been a pilot in the R.C.A.F. during W.W.II, and served in the European theatre, bringing back a Welsh war bride, Enid.
In April of 1966, Pat died of a heart attack in her kitchen. Percy lived alone in the ‘new house’, vowing he would not live anywhere else but on the homestead. In 1975, Percy died after a short illness, ending almost 70 years of seeing the prairies develop from an uninhabited region to an area where the way of life is second to none. Both Pat and Percy, along with Mrs. Jewell, are buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery; on the land that was originally part of the ‘homestead’, the land they loved so much, and endured so much, in order to retain it.
Since she is not listed by name in the January to March 1888 birth index, she is probably the person listed as Female Deakin, Bromsgrove district, Worcestershire, volume 6c, page 391.
In the 1891 census Keelinge Deakin is living at the Vicarage, Coston Hackett. His occupation is Clergy, Vicar of Cofton Hackett. His wife Annie G.H. and children Mary H.H., Ethel M., Elizabeth K., Dorothy Emily and Margaret P. are there as well. Also is a governess and 2 servants. The next homes are Kendal End (St. Michaels Schools), Kendal End, Kendal End Farm and the Warren.
Attended school in Emsworth, Hampshire, England
The address of the school is listed as 5 & 7 King Street School.
The school mistresses are listed as Jewells
In the 1901 census 5 & 7 King Street (School). Head Jane Anne Jewell, Widow, age 75, Schoolmistress, own account, born Emsworth. Daughter Ellen Jewell, single, age 47, school mistress, own account, born Emsworth. Daughter Florence Jewell, age 39, single, own account, born Emsworth. Boarder Ida Hetty Mabury Charles, age 16, born Fulham London. Boarder Gwaldys Mary Wilson, age 16, born Galway Ireland. Boarder Dorothy Emily Deakin, age 15, born Cofton Worcester.. Boarder Marion Francis Charles, age 13, born Harting, Sussex. Boarder Margaret Patience Deakin, age 13, born Cofton. Boarder Doris Charles, age 11, born Bosham Sussex. 2 servants.
In the 1911 census Ormond House, 13 Bull Pitch, Woodmancote, Dursley, Gloucestershire. Margaret Deakin, single, age 23, Music Teacher, born Cofton Hackett, Worcestershire. Henrietta Matilda Knapp, single, age 68, Principal of Prepatory School, Dursley, Gloucestershire. The house had 9 rooms. [The school nearby was the Ormond House School possibly on Silver Street,Long Street or Bull Pitch listed 2 assistants, Matron and head governess ages 21 and 27, 17 boarders (students) boys aged 8 to 13 and 5 servants ages 13 to 23] [Dursley enumeration district 3, page 84]
Emigrated to Canada in 1912.
UK Outward Passenger Lists
Departed Liverpool April 20, 1912 on the Canada, Miss M. P. Deakin, second class, contracted to land at Portland, occupation domestic, age 23, country of last permanent residence England, country of intended permanent residence Canada.
The Canadian Passenger Lists
Arrived April 28, 1912 on the Canada. Her age is 23 years. Her occupation is governess. Her parents are Rev K. O? Deakin, Cofton Parsonage Barnt Green, Worc.. Her destination is Winnipeg. Her nearest relative in Canada is brother R.C. Deakin 127 Kennedy Street Winnipeg.
The Titanic Story is as follows.
Margaret Deakin was emigrating to Canada along with her first cousin Paul Aiken Homer, Paul’s wife Emily Homer (nee Nicholson), Paul’s mother-in-law Mary Ann Nicholson, Paul’s sister-in-law Ethel Reid (nee Nicholson) and Ethel’s husband David Reid. On April 8th Ethel gave birth to a son Andrew Reid. Presumably this was sooner than expected. Since their ship the Titanic was sailing on April 10th from Southampton they decided to delay their departure. Margaret departed April 20 from Liverpool on the SS Canada as a second-cabin passenger and arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia on April 28, 1912. Oddly, she did not travel with the Homer/Reid/Nicholson group. Most of the others, but not the men arrived in Canada on June 3, aboard the Megantic.
Information about the S.S. Canada
Years in Service 1896 to 1926
Shipping Line: Dominion
Built by Harland and Wolff Limited, Belfast, Ireland
Ship description: Tonnage 9415, dimensions 500 feet by 58 feet (514 feet overall length), twin-screw, 15 knots, two masts, one funnel.
History: First twin-screw steamship built for Canadian service. Maiden voyage Liverpool-Quebec-Montreal, November 1, 1896. Tonnage was originally listed as 8806. Made a number of sailings to Boston. Scrapped in Italy in 1926.
Listed as a passenger on the Orduna (Cunard Line) arrived June 12, 1916, Liverpool, port of departure New York, New York, Margaret Deakin, permanent resident of Canada, proposed address, Coftun Parsonage, Barn’t Green Worc., stenographer, age 28.
Served in WWI in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps later the Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps, Rank of Corporal (Acting Forewoman) Regimental Number 338. Served at Canadian Army Headquarters, St Omer France until discharge in 1918.
A medal card from WWI for Deakin, Margaret P. Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps, Regimental Number 338, Acting Forewoman is available.
Listed as a passenger on the Corsican, Port of Arrival Montreal Quebec, port of Departure London, England arrived May 5, 1920. Margaret P. Deakin age 30?, to brother arrived in Canada in 1912, Winnipeg, lived there for 4 years, destination Winnipeg, 57- Rosedale Ave , Fort Rouge, Winnipeg.
Canada Ocean Arrival (Form 30A)
Miss Margaret P. Deakin, age 30, Stenographer, birthplace, Cofton Hackett, race English, Church of England, object in coming to Canada joining brother, previous Canadian address Moulvey? Ave, Winnipeg, port of previous entry Portland Me., 1912, Port of departure New York 1916, passage paid by government, destined to brother Robert Deakin, 570 Rosedale Ave, Winnipeg, nearest relative from country whence came mother Mrs. Deakin Barron Rd, Northfield, dated April 27, 1920.
Was quite musically adept, playing the piano, the organ and the violin.
When living in Winnipeg was a member of the Winnipeg Canoe Club.