Percy Maxted was born at Dover on 30 October 1891, the fourth son of Robert John Maxted, a builder’s labourer, and his wife Alma Amelia (née Friend). He had five brothers and a sister.
He joined the Royal Navy as a Stoker 2nd Class at Chatham on 23 March 1910, giving his previous occupation as labourer. In August he joined the battlecruiser HMS INDOMITABLE where he stayed for two and a half years, being rated Stoker 1st Class in June 1911. During 1913-15 he served in the destroyer depot ships HMS AQUARIUS and HMS TYNE. On 18 April 1915 he joined HMS DOLPHIN, and moved to HMS ARROGANT on 5 May, being rated Acting Leading Stoker on 1 May 1916. ARROGANT was depot ship for the Fourth Submarine Flotilla, based at Dover, consisting of “B” and “C” class submarines mainly for local defence. In September 1916, the Fourth Flotilla was renumbered as the Fifth.
Leading Stoker Maxted died accidentally when he was crushed by a lathe in Sheerness dockyard on 14 October 1916. An inquest heard that Maxted and another rating, an Engine Room Artificer, had taken to sleeping in one of the machinery shops in HM Dockyard since it was more cosy than their own quarters. Slinging their hammocks between the lathe and a bench, Maxted had entered his hammock first, but when the other rating did likewise, it overbalanced the lathe, which weighed three-quarters of a ton, falling on Maxted and killing him instantaneously. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.
In a Dover local paper account of his funeral, floral tributes were included from ‘submarine crews of the Fifth Submarine Flotilla’ and ‘from his late boatmates in submarine —’ , with the name not being reported owing to wartime restrictions. However, one officer attending was Lieut T B S McGregor-Robertson (q.v). He was commanding HMS C17 at the time, and it seems very likely that this was the boat in which Percy Maxted had served.
He left a widow, Lilian (née Turner), whom he had married in April 1915 at Inverkeithing, and a young son, Arthur, born in January 1916.
Percy Maxted’s next older brother, Richard Henry, also served in submarines (including HMS C6, J6 and J7) reaching the rate of Leading Seaman. His next younger brother Arthur Fredrick was a Stoker 1st Class who served in the light cruiser HMS YARMOUTH including at the Battle of Jutland. All his brothers survived WW1.
Percy Maxted is buried at Dover (Charlton) Cemetery.