Percy Bentley was born in Knottingley in January 1891. He was commissioned into the Territorial Army in 1910 and posted to the 5th K.O.Y.L.I. Percy reached France in April 1915.
Percy Bentley is one of only four recipients to win the Military Cross four times, as shown by the medal’s three bars. The Military Cross (MC) is a gallantry medal, given to commissioned officers of the rank of Captain and below. Percy won his first MC in January 1917 and the following three in the last three months of the war. All four of Percy’s Military Cross citations describe how he moved forward under heavy fire to organise and gather information. The citation for his third bar describes how throughout the dangerous operations he was ‘indefatigable and showed great courage.’
The oak leaf pin attached to Percy’s Allied Victory Medal shows that he was ‘mentioned in despatches.’ Senior British Commanders submitted reports, known as despatches, to the War Office. These included lists of men mentioned for their significant contributions or acts of bravery. Receiving a mention in despatches was often the first step in being awarded a gallantry medal.
During the war, on August 13th 1917, Percy married Frances Ann Poskitt. Following the end of his military service after the war, Percy joined his family’s auction and valuation business. In the 1930s, he served as the Mayor of Pontefract and was heavily involved in local politics. Percy died in Pontefract in 1956.