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In the deep, dark corridors of the PIT where I usually hide out, I commented on page 1881 about it being the year that my “Riconym” was born. I decided, with encouragement, to venture out into polite society and share this cool story (if I do say so myself).
In honor of page 1881, I’m going to talk a little bit about my namesake here on Ricochet was born in 1881. Lt. Percy Watkiss Fisher DCM was born Dec 15, 1881, in Stratford-upon-Avon to an upper-middle-class shopkeeper. The family was wealthy enough that his older sister (my great-grandmother) never had to cook a meal until she had married and emigrated to Canada in the early 1900s to homestead when she was in her late 20’s. He attended King Edward VI School (founded in 1295) which is the same school Shakespeare attended. He and his younger brother Raymond (b. 1883) were near inseparable and had many adventures together, up to their volunteering on the same day, hours apart from each other, for service in World War I. Percy and Raymond had previously volunteered for the Boer War, were captured and escaped from POW camp. Percy trained as an electrical engineer and as a shipping engineer and also spent time as a war correspondent for the London Times in the Russo-Japanese War, where he devised a way to transmit battle maps. As stated below, he prepared 34 different maps to accompany the news reports. He also apparently fought in the Persian Civil War in 1908 and for 6 months in 1912 had an Engineering commission in Canada before returning to England. He won his Distinguished Conduct Medal (at the time it was the next step down from a Victoria Cross for an enlisted soldier) when he helped defend and repel an attack on a captured trench against superior numbers of Germans. He also later earned a battlefield commission; his promotion came with a month of leave in England and shortly after his return and, being given command of a platoon; he was killed on September 11, 1916, at Hill 60 in France. He is buried in the Hebuterne Communal Cemetery with a handful of other soldiers, likely killed at the same time/place. He died a day before his brother Raymond, who was posted to Salonika Army HQ in Greece as Raymond was fluent in Bulgarian (having fought in the Balkan War in 1912/13), and on the same day, a 3rd brother (Reggie) was seriously wounded fighting down in the Middle East. Receiving word of her two brothers’ deaths was immensely hard on my Great-Grandmother, made even worse when her eldest son (my grandfather) was killed 28 years and 4/5 days later.