Captain Percy Levick

Captain Percy Levick

Percy was born in West Ham, London, in 1873, the son of Dr George and Martha Levick. His father died in 1881 leaving his family unprovided for. Percy gained a Foundation Scholarship to Epsom College in 1886 and proved to be an all-round performer. Amongst his haul of prizes was the Propert prize in 1892, awarded to the boy who had achieved the highest honours during the year.

Percy was also a prominent athlete and sportsman. He was in the first cricket XI for four years and captain for two. He excelled at Fives, being captain and champion, and played in the first hockey XI. He became a prefect in 1891. He won a scholarship to Jesus College, University of Cambridge, where he graduated in natural science in 1895. He continued to excel at sport and played cricket for Jesus College where he was a useful bowler. He also played hockey for Cambridge University.

Percy proceeded to King’s College Hospital, London, where he won the gold medal, the surgery and pathological anatomy prizes, and was awarded a certificate of distinction for hygiene.

After filling the posts of house surgeon and clinical aural assistant at King’s College Hospital, Percy went into practice at Guildford. He worked with Dr Gabb, and became his partner, for nearly twenty years. He was much beloved by all his patients, young and old, for his genial nature and devotion to their care. He was particularly popular with the poor in the area. He was made honorary Medical Officer (MO) of the Royal Surrey County Hospital in 1902 and became Senior MO in 1908. He was also surgeon to the Fire Brigade.

Percy was a keen motorcyclist and around 1911 had a serious accident in which he sustained head injuries which prevented him from working for several months.

When war came, Percy served initially as medical examiner of recruits at Guildford prior to taking a temporary commission as a captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), attached to 4th Divisional Ammunition Column (DAC). He was posted to France on 21 January 1917.

Percy felt that the facilities for caring for the sick and wounded were inadequate and provided a hospital privately to accommodate about ninety men.

Percy was killed on 15 March 1918 whilst working with the ammunition column near Arras. His horse slipped, fell and threw him beneath a motor lorry.

A correspondent wrote of him ‘One cannot help comparing him with men of long ago like St Francis and St Martin. His loss will be felt as keenly in France as at home. He died as he would have wished – working for the alleviation of the sufferings of others’.

Percy is buried at Anzin-St Aubin British Cemetery on the north-western outskirts of Arras. His friends at home collected £570 for a cot in his memory in the children’s ward in Guildford Hospital.

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