BLAND, Private Percival Charles

BLAND, Private Percival Charles   (On Nelson Cenotaph as T.C. Bland)

Regimental Number: 442940

Military Unit: Canadian Infantry, Manitoba Regiment, “C” Company, 27th Battalion

Date of Death: 15 September, 1916 (Courcelette)

Age at Death:   27

Place of Burial: Courcelette British Cemetery, Somme, France

Medals:

Attestation: 31 May, 1915, Vernon Camp (54th Battalion)

Previous Military Experience:

Date and Place of Birth: 30 January, 1889; Birmingham, England

Occupation: Accountant

Residence: Nelson, BC

Next of Kin: Mrs. Margaret Bland (Mother), Birmingham, England

Religion: Church of England

Marital Status:   Single

Newspaper items; Letters; Other information:

The Daily News, June 12, 1915:

Enlisted with the 54th battalion at Nelson; Member of the Nelson YMCA.

The Daily News, November 26, 1915:

Went overseas with the 2nd contingent of the 54th battalion.

UK, De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour, 1914-1924, Ancestry.com.

BLAND, PERCIVAL CHARLES, Private, No. 442940, 27th Battn. Canadian Expeditionary Force, elder s. of the late Charles Bland, by his wife, Margaret Harman (79, Ryland Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham), dau. of the late Edward Skinner, of Edgbaston, Birmingham; and brother to Gunner A.E. Bland; b. Birmingham, co. Warwick, 30 Jan. 1889; educ. St. George’s School, Edgbaston, Birmingham; went to Canada in 1913, and settled in Nelson, British Columbia, as an Accountant on the Staff of the Hudson Bay Company; volunteered for foreign service and joined the Canadian Infantry 2 June, 1915; served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from April, 1916; was reported missing after fighting on the Somme 15 Sept. following, and is now assumed to have been killed in action on that date. His Commanding Officer wrote: “He was loved by all the officers of his platoon, and all men thought so much of him throughout his regiment.”

27th Battalion War Diary:

Report on the operation by 27th (City of Winnipeg) Battalion on the morning of September 15, 1916—At 6:20 a.m. the artillery barrage opened, 50 yards in advance of German trench and the first wave commenced crawling over. As the barrage lifted the Bttn. advanced onto the first German line and were met with heavy rifle and machine gun fire. As soon as our men reached the trench, the Germans threw up their hands and surrendered. At least 70 dead Germans were counted in this trench. The Battn. followed up the barrage closely and met very little opposition at Sunken Road, Germans surrendering in large numbers. By this time the first wave was nearly wiped out and the second wave took its place. A Company then swung to the left and captured its last objective with one Corpl. and 15 O.R. C and D Companies reached their objectives and immediately commenced to dig in….Enemy attempted to advance up Sunken Road but were driven off by our Lewis Gun fire….The enemy artillery fire was very intense for 48 hours on our front line….Runners were employed continuously and although 75 per cent became casualties, a good number of messages were got through. Visual signalling was attempted with flags and flappers but this drew the enemy’s fire and could not be carried on. During the first 24 hours, owing to the intense barrage it was only possible to get through limited supplies. Coys and Sections were instructed to collect water, ammunition, bombs and rations from the dead. Our stretcher bearers worked unceasingly carrying out the wounded….Our Bttn. evacuated the trenches at 2 a.m., 17th September, 1916 and proceeded to Brigade Reserve. Our casualties amounted to: Killed 5 officer, 67 O.R.; wounded 7 officers, 243 O.R.; missing 1 officer, 71 O.R.; Total all ranks 394.

The Daily News, June 7, 1917:

Pte. P.C. Bland, former accountant at the Hudson’s Bay Company’s local store, who left here with the 54th battalion, is reported in the casualty lists as missing and is thought to have died of wounds. He was a member of St. Saviour’s church choir and his name is inscribed on the honor roll unveiled at the church last Sunday. He has been missing since last fall. He was unmarried. Pte. Bland was given a handsome present by the firm and the staff of employees.