Lieutenant-General Arthur Ernest Percival


Lieutenant-General Arthur E. Percival

Lieutenant-General Arthur E. Percival

Lieutenant-General Arthur Ernest Percival (CB, OBE, DSO and Bar, MC.) was born in Aspenden, Hertsfordshire, on 26 Decemeber 1887, the son of Alfred Reginald and Edith Percival.

Percival was educated at Rugby School and worked in London with Naylor, Benzon & Company Limited from 1907-1914.

He served in Great Britain during the First World War 1914-1915 and with the British Expeditionary Force in France in 1915-1919, wounded in September 1916, Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in 1918, Military Cross (MC) and French Croix de Guerre.

He was Captain in Essex Regiment between 1916-1918, commanded 7th Service Battalion, and 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment between 1918-1919. He also went to North Russia in 1919 receiving Bar to his DSO.

Brevet Major, Essex Regiment in 1919-1924. In Ireland 1920-22, being twice Mentioned In Despatches and bestowed with Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1921.

He was at the Staff College, Camberley in 1923-1924, Major in Cheshire Regiment in 1924-1928, General Staff Officer Grade 2, Second Nigeria Regiment in 1925-1927 and Staff Officer, Nigeria Regiment, Nigeria between 1927-1929.

In 1927 he married Margret Elizabeth MacGregor (died in 1956), the daughter of Thomas MacGregor Greer of Sea Park, Carrickfergus and Tallylagan Manor, County Tyrone, and had one son and one daughter.

He was at Royal Naval Staff College, Greenwich in 1930, General Staff Officer, Grade 2, Staff College, Camberley in 1931-1932, Lieutenant-Colonel in 1932, and commanded 2nd Battalion, 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment between 1932-1936. He was also at the Imperial Defence College course in 1935, promoted to Colonel in 1936, General Staff Officer, Grade 1, Malaya in 1936-1938 and to Major-General in 1940, ante-dated to 1938. He soon became Brigadier, General Staff, Aldershot Command between 1938-1939. Brigadier, General Staff, 1st Corps BEF in 1939-1940.

He became General Officer Commanding 43rd (Wessex) Division in 1940, Assistant Chief of Imperial General Staff, War Office in 1940 and General Officer Commanding 44th (Home Counties) Division in 1940-1941. He was also Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB), created in 1941.

Named as General Officer Commanding Malaya in July 1941 and signed Singapore's surrender in February 1942. He spent the rest of the war in captivity in Manchuria by the Imperial Japanese and was specially flown to the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay on 2 September 1945.

Retired with pay in 1946. He was Honourary Colonel of the 479th (Hertfordshire Yeomanry) H.A.A. Regiment T.A. in 1949-1954 and Colonel of the 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment in 1950-1955. He was also Deputy-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire in 1951 and Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel of Cheshire Regiment in 1959. He published a book The War in Malaya, printed in 1949.

He died on 31 January 1966.

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