Percy Jordan was the son of the Rev. Dr. Thomas Jordan, rector of Magherafelt, and his wife Marianne. Orphaned at an early age, he and Maria, his elder sister, went to live with my paternal grandparents, my grandmother being their first cousin. After attending St Columba’s College in Rathfarnham he entered Trinity College Dublin; there is no record of his having graduated, but it is known that he joined the Officers Training Corps while a student.
2nd Lieutenant Percy Thomas Jordan | Source: J.W. Jackson
Thus it was that when he enlisted for service in WW I, he secured a commission on 14 October 1914 as a Second Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. On 2 July 1915 he took a draft out from that battalion to the 1st, which was part of the 29th Infantry Division, assigned to the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. Not two months later, on 30 August Maria was to write to my grandmother, "The awful blow has fallen. The War Office wired today to say the darling was killed on Aug. 21st." He had died in the Dardanelles, leading his platoon in an attack on the Turkish lines. A member of his battalion later wrote, "We had advanced about 400 yds and we were forced to retire about 100. We formed up again and advanced again and during this advance Mr. Jordan was seen to fall ... Mr. Jordan was very good and kind to his men and his men thought a lot of him."
His name appears on the Helles Memorial, an obelisk over 30 metres high that stands on the tip of the Gallipoli Peninsula. He was one of those on all sides whose adult lives were ended when they had scarcely begun. As my brother Bill has written, "it was a senseless loss of life in one of the bloodiest and least successful ventures of a war of carnage, which seems to have had little to justify it and achieved still less." He and I remember the affection with which Maria still spoke of Percy in her old age.