695094 L.CPL. W. PARKINSON. R.F.A.
William Parkinson was born in the final quarter of 1893 in Bamber Bridge. His father was John Parkinson (b. 1858 in Lostock Hall), an overlooker in a weaving shed. His mother was Margaret Lock (b. 1859 in Preston). John and Margret were married in 1882 and they had 10 children, though 3 died young. The survivors were: Elizabeth Ellen (b. 1883), Joseph (b. 1885), John (b. 1888), Thomas (b. 1890), James (b. 1892), then William, and finally Margaret (b. 1898). In 1911, the family was living at 28 School Lane and William was working in the mill across the road as a weaver.
William must have joined up early in the War. He enlisted with the Royal Field Artillery, was assigned service number 161 and was posted to 53rd Divisional Artillery. His service number was later changed to 695094 and at some stage he was appointed Lance Bombardier. He joined the 53rd Divisional Ammunition Column and landed in Egypt on 4 June 1915. The infantry units of 53rd (Welsh) Division then proceeded to Gallipoli, landing at Suvla Bay on 9 July 1915, but the artillery remained in Egypt. The infantry units suffered terrible losses in the landing at Suvla Bay and in the appalling winter conditions. The surviving men left Gallipoli in December and by January 1916, the infantry and artillery units were back together at Wardan, near Cairo. 58th Division then fought through the Palestine campaign of 1917 and 1918, including the Battles of Gaza (March, April and October 1917), and the capture and defence of Jerusalem (December 1917). In March 1918, they fought at the Battle of Tell’Asur. During the summer of 1918, the Division was ‘Indianised’, in other words, the British infantry units were replaced by Indian units and the British infantrymen were sent to France, though the artillery remained in Palestine. After the Battle of Nablus (September 1918), the Division was withdrawn back to Tell’Asur and by 27 October it returned to Alexandria, and it was here that they received news of the armistice with Turkey on 31 October. Demobilised troops began to return to England on 22 December 1918, but this was too late for William Parkinson, who had died in Alexandria of influenza and pneumonia on 20 November. He was 25 years old.
Rank: Lance Bombardier
Service Number: 695094
Date of Death: 20/11/1918
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery, 53rd Div. Ammunition Col.
Cemetery/memorial reference: C. 129.
Cemetery: ALEXANDRIA (HADRA) WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY
Additional Information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. John Parkinson, of 25 Station Road, Bamber Bridge, Preston.