Percy is not remembered on the war memorial at Christchurch Park.


Born: 16th April 1878, St. Helen’s, Ipswich.

Died: 19th March 1918; age 42; killed by explosion following collision at sea – English Coast.

Residence: 17, Gloucester Road, Coleford, Gloucestershire.

Enlistment location: Portsmouth; date: 15th June 1899.


Rank: Private; Service Number; PO/10347.

Regiment: Royal Marine Light Infantry, H.M.S.’Motagua.’


Memorial Reference:

Panel 30.

Portsmouth Naval Memorial,



Relatives Notified & Address: Husband of Florence Sarah Levett, of 17, Gloucester Road, Coleford, Gloucestershire.




1881   Baker Street, St. Clement’s, Ipswich.


Percy was 3 years old and living with his parents & brothers.

Henry George Levett, 38, a Blacksmith, born Framlingham, Suffolk.

Rebecca Levett (nee Cutter), 39, born Bridgman, Norfolk.

Bernard George Levett, 10, born Ipswich – died 1893, Ipswich.

Albert Harry Levett, 8, born Ipswich.


1891   Baker Street, St. Clement’s, Ipswich.


Percy was 13 years old, an Errand Boy. He was living with his parents & siblings.

Henry, 48, a Blacksmith.

Rebecca, 49.

Albert, 18, a Railway Servant.

‘Kate’ Catherine Maria Levett, 6, born Ipswich.


Percy’s father, Henry George Levett died February 1898, of 2, York Road, Ipswich. His mother, Rebecca Levett, of 2, York Road, died a few weeks later in March 1898.


In 1911, Monmouth, Monmouthshire, Percy married Anna Maria Frowen, born 1875, Coleford, Gloucestershire – died 1912, Monmouth, Monmouthshire. They had 1 son:

Percival John Henry Levett, born November 1912, Monmouth, Monmouthshire. Baptised: 2nd February 1913, at St. Peter’s Church, Clearwell, Gloucestershire. Percy was a Postman, and the family were living at Sling, Gloucestershire.


On the 7th July 1913, at St. Peter’s Church, Clearwell, Gloucestershire, 35 year old, Percy, a widower, and Postman of Coleford, married Florence Sarah Wilton, aged 28, of Clearwell; born 1880, Kingsbridge, Devon. They had 1 son:

Edwin Wilton Levett, born June 1914, Monmouth, Monmouthshire.


Probate to Florence Sarah Levett – widow.


19th March 1918


H.M.S.’Motagua’ was built by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd., at Wallsend, Yard 913, as a Passenger Refrigerated Cargo Ship. She was launched in October 1912, and named S.S.’Normannia’ for the Hamburg-America Line, but on purchase was re-named S.S.’Emil L. Boas’ after the death in May 1912, of Emil Leopold Boas, general manager and resident director of the steamship company. In early 1914, she was sold to Elder & Fyffes Ltd., of Bristol, and re-named S.S.’Motagua.’ In November 1914, The Admiralty requisitioned S.S.’Motagua’ as an armoured merchant cruiser.

On the 4th March 1918, H.M.S.’Motagua’ (Captain Lawrence Leopold Dundas R.N.) sailed from Dakar, West Africa for the UK, as escort for 16 merchant ships of Convoy HD 26. On the morning of the 19th March, a mixed convoy of U.S. destroyers and British sloops approached Convoy HD 26, which had reduced to 10 merchant ships. The order was given to change course towards the Scillies, the U.S.S.’Manley’ (Commander Robert L. Berry U.S.N.) approached H.M.S.’Motagua’ with the intention of throwing a heaving line to pass the despatches. The U.S.S.’Manley’ came too close and her stern collided with the stern of H.M.S.’Motagua.’ The collision triggered an accidental detonation of U.S.S.’Manley’ depth charges. Fragments from the explosion caused a gas fire spreading flames across both ships. 28 men were killed from H.M.S.’Motagua’ and 34 men were from U.S.S.’Manley.’

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