We don’t have much information on Henry George Perkins who was killed in action in Gallipoli on 10th December 1915 whilst serving as a Private with the 7th Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment. He is buried at Azmak Cemetery, Suvla Bay, Turkey and is also commemorated on the Solihull war memorial. Soldiers Died in the Great War says he was born in Birmingham and lived in Solihull at the time he enlisted.
No information on his next-of-kin is included in the Commonwealth War Graves register, so it has been difficult to trace him. However, the Register of Soldiers’ Effects on the Ancestry website (available free of charge from library computers) gives his mother’s name as Emma. This is all the evidence we have been able to find, apart from his medal index card, which indicates that he first entered a Theatre of War on 15th September 1915.
There are no obvious candidates for the family on census returns, nor is there any record of the birth of a Henry George Perkins in the Birmingham area who would have been of an age to serve in the war. The nearest seems to be George Perkins, son of (Arthur) William Perkins and his wife, Emma (née Mitchell) who married at Sparkbrook, Birmingham in 1895 and continued to live in the area until at least 1911. Their eldest three children were born in Greet, Yardley, However, George was born in 1900, which would have made him underage when he joined the Army. It also seems that his middle name was William, and there is a George William Perkins on an electoral register at Dolphin Road, Sparkbrook (the same street in which parents Arthur William and Emma lived in 1911), living with an Arthur William Perkins, so it looks as if this rules out the theory that George William Perkins joined the Army as a boy soldier under the name Henry George Perkins.
The next most likely is Harry Perkins, who was aged 13 on the 1911 census, living at 6 Grove Avenue, Solihull, with parents James and Eliza. The mother’s name differs from that listed in ‘Soldiers’ Effects’ so we are not sure that this is the correct person.
If you can shed any light on Henry George Perkins, please let us know.
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
tel.: 0121 704 6977