King Edward’s School and the Great War

Memorial Roll of Honour 1914 - 1918


Turner, John Percival

Acting Captain ▪ 3rd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment

John Percival Turner, born on 26th August 1878, was admitted to King Edward’s School in September 1894 as a Scholarship student, having transferred from Queen Mary’s Grammar School, Walsall. He was the eldest son of six children, living with his father, John, an Assistant Director of Higher Education, his mother, Ellen, and his two younger siblings at Park Road, Great Barr, Walsall.

John was a highly able academic, studying in the Second Class of the Classical school under the Headmaster, the Reverend AR Vardy. He was consistently above average in his class, and in his final year won proxime (second prize) in his mathematics set, A III. He was also a Recitation Prizewinner in July 1897. Outside of the classroom, John was equally gifted, and his name litters the School Chronicles. He was in the debating society, Captain of Eton Fives and a regular player in the 1st XV rugby team where his tackling was described as “most deadly”. He was also a top-flight gymnast, coming a close second in the 1897 School individual gymnastics competition by one mark. In the 1,000 yards steeplechase at Eastern Road (where the event is still hosted annually today), John was recorded as “devoting one of his shoes to the water nymphs” in one of the many jumps on the course. After leaving School in 1898, he attended Wadham College, Oxford,

John enlisted as a Private Soldier with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, landing in France on 23rd February 1915. He was severely wounded two months later, though the School’s Service Record does not provide information as to whether he was invalided back to Britain. However, he obtained his commission as a Second Lieutenant with the 3rd Battalion, RWR, in September 1915, and returned to France a year later. John was killed on 26th October 1917, by which time he had attained the rank of Acting Captain. His body was never recovered but he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial. He left his estate of £438 to his father.