WILLIAM PARKER Gunner Royal Marine Artillery 8th Bn d. 14th May 1921 aged 24 RMA/14560
In March 2016, the church received an enquiry from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (C.W.G.C.), asking for confirmation and verification of the burial of William Parker in the churchyard. This we were happy to provide and therefore his name has been added to their roll of casualties. His grave number is NP 40. Prior to this, his name was remembered at the Brookwood Memorial.
THE BROOKWOOD 1914-1918 MEMORIAL is a memorial to the missing and commemorates casualties with no known grave. The majority of the casualties commemorated by this memorial are servicemen and women from the land forces of the United Kingdom, who subsequently died in the care of their families. They were not commemorated by the Commission at the time but, through the efforts of relatives and research groups, including the “In From The Cold” Project, these casualties have since been found. There are still many cases to be resolved and the memorial therefore allows for further names to be added.
Unusually and because of the varied circumstances surrounding many of these casualties, investigative work continues and this may lead to the identification of their burial locations. Whenever a casualty’s grave is located and verified, commemoration will move to the burial site and thus some of the entries on the memorial will no longer be required. As a result and when memorial panels are replaced, these entries will be removed.
In addition, the Brookwood 1914-18 Memorial commemorates some land and air forces casualties who were lost at sea. These casualties would normally be commemorated on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton, but the memorial panels there are now full and so their commemoration has been added to this memorial.
[by courtesy of www.cwgc.org]
William Parker was born on 17 January 1897. In the 1911 census, William Parker (aged 13) was living with his parents, William and Alice, and siblings Mary (17), Alice (14) and Richard (6), at 185 Worsley Road, Winton. William was a student at school and his father was a cashier on a steam ship. They had been at the same address ten years earlier, in the 1901 census.
A timeline of his service record shows:
1915 Mar 8. Enlisted
1915 Sep 13. To Gunner 2nd Class
1915 Sep 14. To Gunner
1916 Jan 28 To HMS Malaya
1920 Mar 12. Back to Base
1920 Jun 2. Post to 8 RM for service in Ireland
1921 May 14 died. 2 Royal marine artillery gunners abducted, shot dead and dumped in a local quarry.
His father was William Parker of Mulquack Terrace, 285 Worsley Rd, Swinton, Manchester
In May 1921, five men of the Royal Marines were killed by 'Irish rebels' in Ireland. It may surprise some to learn that all five of these men are entitled to be commemorated by the CWGC. Any man who died in military service from 4/8/1914 until 31/8/1921 qualifies for commemoration, as the final closure date for WW1 casualties was not until 31 August 1921 (the date the war was officially deemed to be ended by the signing of the peace treaties after the Armistice of 11 November 1918).
THE MIDLETON MURDERS
On May 14, at 8pm, two marines named Bernard Francis and William Parker were shot dead in the same neighbourhood while walking between Ballymaccura and East ferry.
[Northern Whig, Antrim- 26 May 1921: in Midleton, County Cork]
MURDER OF MEN FROM EASTNEY
Two gunners in the Royal Marines Artillery stationed at East Ferry, near Midleton, Cork, were shot dead on Saturday night near Ballymakerry. This is believed to be their first attack against members of the RMA.
The deceased men are 14710 Gunner Bernard Francis (B. Coy.) and 14560 Gunner William Parker (H. Coy.). They belonged to a battalion which was sent from Portsmouth to Ireland in June last for protective purposes.
[Portsmouth Evening News: 16 May 1921]
His name was inscribed on a memorial tablet in St. Michael and All Angels, Deal, Kent (a former church, once the garrison church to the Royal Marines Barracks), together with the names of 13 others who died on service in Northern Ireland between 1920 and 1922.
Researched and written by Paul R Speakman