838517 Pte. Percy Harding was born in Erin, Wellington County, Ontario, on June 13th, 1895, the eldest son of William and Minnie Harding.

The family was living and farming near the town of Dundalk when hostilities broke. The 20 year old Percy attested to the 147th Battalion, Owen Sound, on January 6th, 1916, and was assigned to "C" Company.

Percy would have been billeted locally over the winter until the unit left for centralized training in the spring of 1916. The 147th Battalion mobilized in Owen Sound in May to finalize the administration and organization of the unit, just prior to their departure for Camp Niagara later that month. As the conditions in this Camp were wanting the unit moved to the new training facility of Camp Borden in late June.

In September, the unit received their orders to proceed overseas. Whilst en route to Halifax there was an outbreak of diphtheria and they were detained in Amherst, Nova Scotia, for over a month. The unit finally sailed for Great Britain, on board the infamous Titanic's sister ship, the SS Olympic, on November 14th 1916.

Between December 23rd, 1916, and 12th January, 1917, Percy was in the Canadian Hospital, Etchinghill, Lyminge, near Folkestone, England, under measles quarantine.

On January 1st, 1917, the 147th Battalion ceased to exist when it became the nucleus for the 8th Reserve Battalion, whose task it was to supply reinforcements to the 58th Battalion and the 4th C.M.R. Percy was taken on strength of the 4th C.M.R. on April 21st, 1917, in a reinforcement draft after the First Battle of Arras. On May 31st, whilst at Railway Embankment, near Vimy Station, he was cleaning a rifle when it discharged, shooting him through a finger on his right hand. Although charged with negligence, he was found not guilty. Percy rejoined the 4th CMR, after treatment, on June 26th, 1917.

Serving with the unit through the summer, Percy was wounded by shrapnel, in the back on October 27th, 1917, during the Third Battle of Ypres, more commonly known as Passchendaele. Although not severe, Percy was initially hospitalised in Rouen, France, before being medically evacuated through the system to England, being attended to in Reading before transfer to the Canadian Hospital, first in Epsom, then in Orpington. Returning to the unit in April of 1918, he transferred to the 3rd Battalion Canadian Machine Gun Corps on May 30th, 1918, the unit he'd serve in for the remainder of the war.

838517 Private Percy Harding was struck off strength of the Canadian Expeditionary Force on March 29th, 1919.

Credit and many thanks go George Auer for the above biography.