Percy Walter

Percy Walter Paveley was born in 1889 and married Alice Eliza Hatcher at St Leonard’s, Colchester, on 25th October, 1913. They had one son, Ronald Ernest Paveley, born in September 1918.

Percy Walter Paveley was born in Colchester. His father Frederick Saunders Paveley moved from Southend to Colchester to work in the railway laundry service. The Paveley, or Pavely, family tracks back eventually to Sawbridgeworth, south of Stansted.

Percy worked in the laundry service all his life and took over his father’s job as foreman when Frederick retired. The London and North Eastern Railway Company was one of the largest companies in the country, however its laundry service has yet to be investigated. It does not share in the glamour of the old railways. It did however qualify Percy for a rail pass, which is why our mother Christina McCrae Parvin, whose father John James Parvin also worked for the railway, and Ronald Ernest Paveley met in Scarborough.

The key part of Percy’s life was not the laundry but his involvement in first aid. The first record is in 1909 when he qualified to render “First Aid to the Injured”.

In 1877 the British Priory established St John’s Ambulance Associations in large railway centres and mining districts so that the workers could treat victims of accidents. This was followed in 1887 by the formation of the St John’s Ambulance Brigade.

Percy’s involvement in the Ambulance Brigade seems to have exempted him from overseas service in WW1.

We have found no records of military service, and there are St Johns Ambulance Service annual medals throughout the war period. Their marriage was in 1913 and their son was not born until 1918, so it is possible that he was not at home over the war years.

In 1947 Percy was awarded the “Dignity of a Serving Brother”, and could “wear his medal”.

Percy’s annual medals go up to 1960 which is over 50 years in the service and he continued to work with the brigade afterwards.


Percy’s other great interest was his allotment and his prize chrysanthemums.


Percy and Alice lived in their house in Essex Hall Road, near Colchester Station, all their lives, and the picture shows them in the garden there on their Golden Wedding in 1963. Percy died in 1966

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