Percival Bonner was a 21 year old married man, working as a labourer, when he enlisted in July 1915. He and his wife, Mary, had been living in Melbourne, but during the war, Mary spent some time in Ross, staying with Percival’s parents in their cottage in Badajos Street.
Percival arrived in France in April 1916, but less than three months later suffered a gunshot would to the abdomen. He returned to the action, fighting in Belgium. In July 1917, he was promoted to Lance Corporal. In October, he was killed fighting around Ypres.
The effects returned to his widow amounted to his discs and some photos. In 1922, when soldiers’ remains were being re interred, a pocket book belonging to Percival was uncovered but his file notes that it was in such bad condition that it had to be destroyed. Percival is buried in the Oxford Road Cemetery, just outside Ypres.
Percival’s story is part of our exhibition: Our Grateful Thanks and Loving Remembrance, a moving and deeply personal exhibition remembering the soldiers whose names are immortalised on the Ross War Memorial.