Exhibit of the Week: Details of Major’s military career in army service book

Percy Stewart's army service book showing his superior's comments
Percy Stewart's army service book showing his superior's comments

Given the recent centenary of the beginning of World War One, I thought it would be appropriate to start another series of Stewart Museum artefacts of the week by looking at how Percy Stewart of Burnby Hall got the title of ‘Major’.

Percy’s army service book is on display in the Stewart Museum and, from it, we learn of his military career, both as a volunteer reservist before 1914, and as a trainer during World War One.

When the war began, Percy was in Russia. He quickly visited his brother Herbert near Yalta in order to borrow some money to get him home and then set out back to Britain via Odessa.

The Russians initially thought he was a spy and detained him but, through the good graces of the British Consul, he was freed and allowed to go home.

On arrival, he immediately volunteered his services to the War Office but as a 43-year-old volunteer officer he was deemed too old for active service. So where could he be used?

Read Peter’s full article in this week’s (18 September) Pocklington Post.