4316, 1st Bn. Coldstream Guards. Died 03 November 1914, aged 32
Edward Joseph Parker was born in Dunchurch and baptised there on 20th March 1882. His parents were Thomas, a labourer from Wappenbury and Elizabeth (nee Barnett) who married in Dunchurch in 1873. Edward Joseph was the fourth of six children and by 1901 was a painter’s apprentice and living with his parents in Dunchurch.
In 1908, while living in Clifton Road, he married Nellie May Hancock. Nellie was born in Bicester, Oxfordshire and probably in service in Yelvertoft at the time. In 1909 they had twins, Nelly May and Edward Charles and by 1911 the family was living in Corbett Street, Rugby. Edward Joseph was a shunter on the L&NW railway.
Although his service record does not survive, an article in the Rugby Advertiser of 14th November 1914 provides the information that he had served three years with the Coldstream Guards, probably in South Africa and was then in the reserves. This explains why he was called up at the start of the war and arrived in France on 30th August 1914. He died of wounds on 3rd November 1914 and was buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery.
“RUGBY GUARDSMAN’S DEATH FROM WOUNDS.
General sympathy will be felt with Mrs E J Parker, of 19 Corbett Street, Rugby, who has received information that her husband, Lance-Corpl Parker, of the Coldstream Guards, has died from a gunshot wound in the back in a hospital in France. The first news that her husband had been wounded was conveyed to Mrs Parker early last week in the following letter from Sister Cameron, of the Hospital:- ” Your husband has been very badly wounded, and I am very much afraid he will not recover. He wished to send a message to you just to say that he had been wounded, and was anxious to get well for your sake and the baby’s, and to send his love.” The official news did not arrive until November 4th, and shortly after this the following letter was received from the Rev Hedley R Burrows, chaplain of the Forces :- ” You will have heard by this time that your husband has been taken to his rest. He died here of his wounds at 1.45 p.m on November 3rd. I was with him just about an hour before the end, and gave him the Blessing. He gave me your address, and sent his love to you and the children. The doctors and nurses worked with great skill and devotion to save his life. I hope you will be comforted in your great loss, and sustained by the sense of power that Christ will bring to all those who suffer in the faithful discharge of their duty. No act of duty done is ever forgotten or thrown away.” Lance-Corpl Parker, who was 32 years of age and a native of Dunchurch, was well known in the town. He had been in the employ of the L & N- W Railway for ten years, and when called up was head shunter. He had served three years with the colours and nine in the reserve, and had signed on for further service. He leaves a widow and two young children, with whom much sympathy is expressed. In one of his letters from the front he said: ” Things are a bit warm, shells bursting over and around us all day, and we are burrowed in the ground like rabbits. I have just been touched with a bit on the lip and foot, but nothing to hurt – got a thick lip, that’s all.” On October 15th he wrote : ” We are still in the trenches and in the same place ; but, of course, we must not say where. I expect when we move it will be a move with a vengeance, and I hope that I shall go through it all right. Still, ‘what is to be will be.’ I thought we should be home for Christmas, but I am doubtful about it now. I am afraid there is some very heavy work to be done yet. It will take a lot more men, and I think that there will be little trouble to get them according to the papers.”
(Rugby Advertiser, 14 November, 1914.)
As well as the Rugby Memorial Gates, Edward Joseph Parker is also listed on the Dunchurch Memorial. Entries in the Rugby Advertiser In Memoriam also remember him.
PARKER.—In loving memory of Edward Joseph Parker, who died at Boulogne Hospital, from wounds received in action, November 3rd, 1914. Gone, but not forgotten by his loving parents.
(Rugby Advertiser, 6 November, 1915.)
PARKER.—In loving memory of EDWARD JOSEPH, the beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. T. Parker, of Dunchurch, who died of wounds received in action on November 3, 1914.—At rest.—Not forgotten by Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters.
(Rugby Advertiser, 2 November, 1918.)
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM