2/Lt. Percy Ainsworth

Percy Ainsworth was born in Blackburn on January 14, 1890. His father, Edwin James Ainsworth, was a Cotton Manufacturer. Percy was the youngest of 5 children, (John “Jack” James, Isabel, Alice and Edwin). Educated at Blackburn Grammar school, by 1911 he was living with his parents and Isabel and Edwin in St. Annes-on-Sea, along with a domestic servant. Percy was employed as a Yarn Salesman, as was his father.

On September 3, 1914 he joined the 17th Manchester Regiment as a private. He was quickly promoted to Corporal and then Lance Sergeant. On April 16, 1915 he was discharged from the 17th Battalion as he had been granted a commission as a Second Lieutenant with the 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment (Territorial Force). He joined the 2/9th at training in Southport and moved with them to Pease Pottage in June 1915.

On August 2, 1915 2/Lt. Percy Ainsworth embarked on His Majesty’s Transport Ship Arcadian along with 3 other Officers and 145 other ranks en-route to Mudros where they arrived on August 19th and joined the Battalion at Cape Helles on August 22nd. He was assigned to C Company but in late September took over the Battalion machine gun section. He served the remainder of his time in Gallipoli without incident.

He sailed with the Battalion to Egypt, arriving January 18, 1916 but 10 days later reported sick to hospital. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps on March 14, 1916 where he underwent training. On October 8, 1916 he was appointed as a Flying Officer (Observer) and attached to the 67th Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, Kantara. On April 7, 1917 he was appointed Flying Officer and attached to 63rd Squadron in Mesopotamia.  He made his way back to the UK before departing Devonport on June 23rd for Basra. He joined the 63rd Squadron in Basra on August 13, 1917 and during his sea passage was promoted to Lieutenant. He contracted sand fly fever within a week of arriving and spent 8 days in No 3 British General Hospital and the Beit Nama Officers convalescent hospital. In April 1918 he earned six weeks leave in India departing on April 17th and returning on May 31st.  He remained with the 63rd Squadron until July 18, 1918 when he embarked Basra for Egypt and the No 32 Training Wing. In Egypt he was attached to the No 20 Training Depot Station in Shallufa, where he remained for 3 months except for a two-week training course at the 32 Wing Flying Instruction School. He was then briefly attached to the No 58 Training Squadron before he was re-assigned for duty in the UK. In England he was attached to the No. 4 Training Depot Station, (at Hooton Park on the Wirral), where he was appointed Aeroplane Officer. He resigned his commission on January 27, 1919 retaining the rank of Lieutenant, and he was demobilised on March 17, 1919.

In 1937 he married Mollie Jenkinson and they lived in Altrincham where he had resumed his profession as a yarn salesman. Lt. Percy Ainsworth died in Cheshire in 1963. He was 73 years old.