Persse, Edward & Henry


Names recorded on Highfield War MemorialBitterne War Memorial and Southampton Cenotaph.

Other Information

Birth recorded for Edward Aubrey Persse, Jul-Sep 1881, South Stoneham, Vol 2c, page 60. Born 28th June 1881, baptised at Christ Church, Portswood (Highfield Church) on 29th July 1881.

Birth recorded for Henry Wilfred Persse, Oct-Dec 1885, South Stoneham, Vol 2c, page 53. Born 19th September 1895, baptised as Christ Church, Portswood (Highfield Church) on 30th October 1895.

In May 1885 their father, Edward Persse, was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the Madras Staff Corps Source – The Times, Wednesday, May 13, 1885; pg. 11; Issue 31445; col C.
His retirement was approved in 1886. Source – The Times, Wednesday, Apr 14, 1886; pg. 13; Issue 31733; col A

In 1891, the family were living at The Beeches, Portswood, South Stoneham. Head of the household was Edward Persse (b.1838, Dublin, Ireland) who was a retired army Colonel. His wife was Margaret (b.1850, Cape Town, South Africa). 
Eight children were listed; Ethel F. (b.1834, Somerset), George S. (b.1878, India), Marion (b.1879, India), Richard (b.1880, India), Edward A. (b.1882, Southampton), Thomas B. (b.1875, Southampton), Henry W. (b.1886, Southampton) and Gertrude (b.1888, Southampton). They also had a cook, Elizabeth C. Bessant (b.1867, Exeter, Devon).
Source Citation: Class: RG12; Piece: 926; Folio 20; Page 33; GSU roll: 6096036.

In 1901, the family lived at 69 Westridge Road, Portswood. Present was head, Edward and children; Alexander A (b.1872, Ireland) who was in the Cape Civil Service, Marion, Thomas B., Henry W., Gertrude and Gerard B. (b.1892, Southampton). Edward was still married but his wife was not present. They had 2 servants, a cook (Emma J. Barfoot, b.1879, Bishops Waltham) and a housemaid (Alice L. Rowe, b.1882, Southampton).
Source Citation: Class: RG13; Piece: 1069; Folio: 42; Page: 33.

Edward Aubrey Persse appeared on the nominals rolls (WO 127) of the Roberts Horse, a colonial unit of the Boer War 1899-1902.

Captain Edward Aubrey Persse, “A” Battery, 47th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. Killed in action at the 5th Battle of Ypres on 14th October 1918. Aged 37. Son of Col. Edward Persse (Madras Army), of 69, Westridge Rd., Southampton. Buried in POND FARM CEMETERY, Heuvelland, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot/Row/Section Q. Grave 1.

Edward Aubrey Persse War Grave has been photographed and can be viewed here.

Henry Wilfred Persse played 51 first-class cricket matches for Hampshire, 1905-1909. For more information see

Henry enlisted in September 1914 as a Private into the 16th Lancers Cavalry of the Horse however before he was required to present he had received his commission into the 6th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers on the 28th September 1914.

Henry married Marjorie Frances Hoskyn (daughter of Mr & Mrs R.F.Hoskyn of Southampton and sister to Frank Hebden Hoskyn who is also listed on this memorial) in July 1915. At this time he was a Lieutenant in the 6th Royal Fusiliers.
Source – Marriage Announcement, The Times, Tuesday, Jul 13, 1915; pg. 9; Issue 40905; col D

On June 19th 1917, The Times carried ‘Short Reports of Brave Deeds’ including the actions of Acting Captain Henry Wilfred Persse who “As second in command had to take over the front after midnight, a very difficult task under heavy shellfire and the line uncertain. After daylight he made a bold reconnaissance of the whole line. His fearless example and great skill were mainly instrumental in making good the defence of a critical part of the line”. 
It also indicated that he had received his Military Cross in January 1916.
Source: The Times, Tuesday, Jun 19, 1917; pg. 10; Issue 41508; col A

Major Henry Wilfred Persse, 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment). Died of wounds 28th June 1918. Aged 32. Son of Col. and Mrs. Edward Persse, of 69, Westridge Rd., Southampton; husband of Majorie F. Persse, of 48, Westwood Rd., Southampton. Awarded the Military Cross (M.C.) and Bar. Buried in LONGUENESSE (ST. OMER) SOUVENIR CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France. Plot V. Row C. Grave 7.
Taken from

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