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William Parkinson was born on 24 February 1895 in Bamber Bridge and baptised at St Saviour’s on 10 March. His father was Joseph Parkinson (b. 1862 in Bamber Bridge), a cotton weaver. His mother was Letitia Harling (b. 1866 in Ashton, Preston). Joe and Letitia were married in 1887 and they had 8 children though only 4 survived infancy. The survivors were all boys: Robert (b. 1888), Alfred (b. 1891), then William and finally Hermon (b. 1899). In 1911, the family was living at 10 Carr Street, Bamber Bridge. Joe and Letitia were weavers; all the boys, including 12-year old Hermon, were spinners. By the time William enlisted on 1 September 1914 he had moved to work as an engine cleaner in the locomotive sheds in Lostock Hall. He was still living with his father but now at 31 Carr Street.

William enlisted in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. He was 5’ 5¼” tall, weighed 148lbs and had a 39” chest. He was assigned service number 12482 and posted to 6th (Service) Battalion. 6Bn came under orders of 38th Brigade in 13th (Western) Division. William was promoted to Lance Corporal on 10 May 1915 and on 15 June 1915 he sailed with 6Bn aboard SS Braemar Castle from Avonmouth bound for Gallipoli. The Battalion landed at Anzac Cove on 4 August 1915.

On 9 August 1915, just five days after he landed, William was one of the many missing presumed killed in the desperate fighting at Chunuk Bair. His body was never recovered and so his name was recorded on the Helles Memorial. There is a comprehensive account of 6Bn at Chunuk Bair here.


Lance Corporal William Parkinson, Helles Memorial Panel

Rank: Private
Service No: 12482
Date of Death: 09/08/1915
Age: 20
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 6th Bn.

Additional Information

William’s brothers all served during the War. Robert enlisted on 17 April 1915 and was posted to the Army Service Corps (Motor Transport). However, he was discharged a fortnight later, suffering from a left inguinal hernia, for which he refused an operation. By now, he was married (he married Mary Elizabeth Jackson in 1912 and they had a daughter, Edna), living at 167 Station Road and working for the Urban District Council as a horseman.

Alfred Harling Parkinson served with the Royal Field Artillery but not with 286 Brigade. His initial service number was 2958 and this was later changed to 696766. My guess is that he served with 276 Brigade, in support of 55th (West Lancashire) Division. He survived the War, and may have been discharged early, as he married Isabella Clarkson in the last quarter of 1918. He died in 1963.

Hermon didn’t turn 18 until February 1917. Nevertheless he enlisted and served in various regiments: Cheshire Regiment (64439), King’s (Liverpool Regiment) (41179), Labour Corps (62969) and finally Royal Engineers (WR/285867). He married Eliza Clarkson in 1920 and died in 1955.

Bill Brierley

Before taking early retirement in 2007 and returning to his native Lancashire in 2009, Bill Brierley was head of the School of Languages and Area Studies at the University of Portsmouth.Bill has researched his own family history and has developed a further interest in World War 1 especially as it impacted on the villages of Lostock Hall and Bamber Bridge, where his family originates from.Bill has also displayed his work at Lostock Hall library and contributed to other displays at Leyland Library and South Ribble Museum.
Bill Brierley

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