18682 PTE. J. G. PARKINSON. K.O.R.L.R.
John George Parkinson was born in the 4th quarter of 1892 in Bamber Bridge and baptised at St Mary’s. (According to a family member, he was always known by his two Christian names – John George). His father was James Parkinson (b. 1868 in Bamber Bridge), a weaver by trade; his mother was Bridget Connor (b. 1869 in Walton Le Dale). James and Bridget were married in 1891 and John George was born the following year. They had 5 other children: Ellen (b. 1895), James (b. 1896), Mary (b. 1898), Thomas (b. 1900) and William (b. 1902). Bridget died in 1906. In 1911, James was bringing up the young family on his own and they lived at 16 Club Street, Bamber Bridge. John George was also a weaver in the mill.
John George Parkinson joined up in late 1914 or early 1915 and was posted to 6Bn King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment), which along with 6 East Lancs and 6 Loyal North Lancs, formed part of 38th Brigade in 13th (Western) Division. John George was posted first to Gallipoli, where he arrived on 2 Sep 1915. Although still a very dangerous place, the major assaults had finished with the failure to take Hill 6o in August. 13th Division was one of the last to leave Gallipoli, in January 1916, and from there they went first to Egypt then by the end of March they had joined the Tigris Corps at Sheikh Sa’ad in the attempt to relieve besieged forces at Kut-al-Amara. The attempt to relieve Kut was a failure; the city surrendered on 28 April, after 24,000 men had been killed, wounded or taken prisoner in trying to bring it aid. The loss of Kut has been described as "the most abject capitulation in Britain’s military history." The army commanders were replaced, the army reorganised and re-trained and a new campaign was launched, eventually leading to the capture of Baghdad on 11 March 1917.
“From April to September there was much sickness in the Tigris Corps, causing extremely heavy casualties; as early as 28 April General Maud records in his diary that in his Division there were from 20-30 cases of cholera daily and from 5-8 deaths (the Official History of the campaign records more than 800 cases of cholera in April and May). As a result of the above, and for the seven or eight months after the fall of Kut, the British and Turkish forces on the Tigris settled down into a condition of comparative inactivity which endured until the end of 1916”. (Col. H. C. Wylly, The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1914-18, p. 244).
John George died of septicaemia in Bombay on 15 September 1916. Many sick soldiers were evacuated from Mesopotamia to India for hospital treatment; some returned some did not. John George was 23 years old.
Service No: 18682
Date of Death: 15/09/1916
Regiment/Service: King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment), 6th Bn.
Panel Reference: Face B.
Memorial: KIRKEE 1914-1918 MEMORIAL (Poona, near Mumbai, India)
John’s brother William signed up when he turned 18, towards the end of the War, and was posted to the Labour Corps. He did not see active service overseas though and was medically discharged in 1919.