He joined the 28th (County of London) Battalion London Regiment (Artists Rifles) in June 1914, rising to the rank of Sergeant (1334) He was gazetted into the 2/1st (City of London) Battalion London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) [which combined to became 1st Battalion in Feb 1918] as a Second Lieutenant on 24 April 1915.
According to the Times Article about his death he served in the Gallipoli Campaign at Sulva Bay and Helles and after the Gallipoli Campaign was in Egypt.
He was promoted to Temporary Captain 8 September 1915 and was attached to the 7th Battalion and sent to France.
On the 15 September 1916 the 7th Battalion London regiment attacked a high wooded German Position during the battle of the Somme. This position had proved to be difficult to take over the past few months, with numerous casualties. This time 8 tanks were also in the attack, being the first time tanks were deployed in this way in warfare. 4 of the tanks were damaged or destroyed during this advance, but the objective was finally taken on 16 September 1915, when the position was consolidated and a new line dug. Sadly during this same day, Petley and another were killed by the same shell as they returned to their Battalion Headquarters for a briefing.
He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.
Location of Memorial:
He is remembered on the memorial at Holy Trinity church, Sydenham.
His Stepmother Emma Petley lived at 10, Eliot Bank, Sydenham until about 1921, when she moved to Southampton, so she could of been the informant that had Hugh's name added to the Holy Trinity War Memorial.
Captain HUGH PETLEY died on 16 September 1916, aged 28. He was the son of the late Edmund and Louisa Hyne Petley late of Watford. According to The Times’ report of his death he was educated at the Abbey School, Beckenham and Kings School, Canterbury.
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