Parkinson, Horace James Ankers. Died 1st Jul 1917

Horace James Ankers PARKINSON’s birth was registered in Q1 1892 in Rugby. He was the son of Samuel Parkinson, b.c.1866 at Forge Mills, Warwickshire, and Amy née Flavell Parkinson b.c.1858 in Rugby. Their children were all born in Rugby.

Horace was baptised at St Matthew’s, Rugby on 31 January 1892, when his father was recorded as a ‘bank clerk’. In 1901 the family were living at 15 Arnold Street, Rugby.   Horace attended the ‘Lower School’, Rugby (Lawrence Sheriff School).

By 1911, his father, Samuel Parkinson, had become a ‘Bank Accountant’ and the family had moved to 281 Clifton Road, Rugby – an eight room house. Horace and his elder brother, Samuel, had both started working and were now ‘Bank Clerks’. After Horace left school he worked for the Parrs Bank,[1] Leicester, and for some time at the Lutterworth Branch. His sister, Amy, was not listed with an occupation.

It is assumed that his father was at Lloyds Bank, as when the congregation of Holy Trinity Church became interested in a scheme for providing hospitality for a number of Belgian refugees, it was decided to open an account with Lloyds Bank, and to ask Mr Parkinson to act as Treasurer.[2]

Horace joined up as a Private in June 1916 in the 10th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment, as indicated by a later report.

H J A Parkinson, youngest son of Mr and Mrs Parkinson, of Clifton Road, Rugby, who joined the 10th Leicester Regiment in June last, has been granted a commission as Second-Lieutenant in the 3/4th Leicesters.[3] He holds a first-class certificate as a hand-grenade specialist, and he is now with his regiment in England. The elder son is now in the Motor Red Cross Ambulance in France.[4]

By April 1915, the 10th (Reserve) Battalion had converted into a Reserve battalion and became the 1st Reserve Brigade. It became the 5th Training Reserve Battalion of 1st Reserve Brigade on 1 September 1916. After training, Horace was commissioned into the 1/4th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment. This Battalion had been formed in Leicester and had landed at Le Havre as part of the Lincoln and Leicester Brigade in the North Midland Division on 3 March 1915, and on 12 May 1915, the Battalion became part of the 138th Brigade, 46th (North Midland) Division. The Battalion saw action in the German liquid fire attack at Hooge and the action at the Hohenzollern Redoubt in October 1915. The Battalion embarked for Egypt at Marseilles on 21 January 1916, but was disembarked the next day when the move was cancelled and the Battalion was then again engaged in actions on the Western Front.

After being commissioned in early 1916, Horace’s Medal Card shows that he went to France on 9 May 1916, where he would have joined his Battalion.

Horace would most likely have been involved with the 4th Battalion in the attack at Gommecourt in July 1916 as part of the Somme offensive, and then in 1917, with the operations on the Ancre, the occupation of the Gommecourt defences, the attack on Rettemoy Graben on 12 March 1917 and the actions during the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line and finally with the attack on Lievin in June 1917.[5]

The War Diary of the 1/4th Battalion provides information on the Battalion’s positions and actions in early June, when they had four days of practice for an attack, on 1 & 2 June by Battalion and then on 3 & 4 June in Brigade strength:[6]

5th – Rest day for the Brigade. Plans for the attack changed. The operation is to be a raid on a large scale.

6th – Went up to the trenches, the companies billeted in cellars in Lievin.[7] Quiet night except for our own guns. …

7th – Day spent issuing bombs etc and making final preparations for the raid. Very hot day.

8th – Heavy artillery bombardment of enemy positions commencing at 5am and continuing until zero hour (8.30pm) + 3 minutes. … The assembly was complete at 7.45pm, and at 8pm the enemy barraged the position of assembly though fortunately little harm resulted. … They found a large number of enemy in Fosse 3 where there were 11 buildings with many dugouts.   These were dealt with with bombs and mobile charges. Heavy casualties were inflicted upon the enemy and two officers & 12 OR taken prisoner. … The whole operation was a great success. … The withdrawal commenced at 1am on 9th June and all companies were back in cellars by 3am. … 2/Lieut E C Doudney, 2/Lieut J Douglas, 2/Lt D T Soper, 2/Lt H J A Parkinson were wounded and there were 70 OR killed & wounded.

9th – Battalion in support in Lievin …

For an operation that was ‘a great success’ there were significant losses.   The news of Horace’s wounding was reported on 23 June 1917.

Mr & Mrs Parkinson, of Old Bank House, Southam, and formerly of Rugby, have been informed that their son, Second-Lieut Horace J A Parkinson, of the 4th Leicestershire Regiment, was seriously wounded in France on the 8th inst. He was educated at the Lower School, Rugby, and before joining the Army was in Parrs Bank, Leicester, and formerly at the Lutterworth Branch. He is making satisfactory progress.[8]

A later report in the Rugby Advertiser mentioned,

… in May, 1916 – he went out to France, where he took part in a lot of fighting. He received the wounds which ultimately resulted in his death while leading his men to attack a position at Lens about a month ago [c. June 1917]. He was 26 years of age, and being 6ft 5ins high and proportionately built, he was a fine looking officer.[9]

He was evacuated back to England and to the First Eastern General Hospital, Cambridge, where he died of his wounds. His home address was still given as 281 Clifton Road, Rugby, although at some date before mid 1917, his parents had moved to live in Southam at the Old Bank House.

A notice of his death was posted in the Rugby Advertiser.

PARKINSON. – On 1st inst., at the Military Hospital, Cambridge, of wounds received in action in France, Second-Lieut. Horace J A Parkinson, the dearly beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. S. Parkinson, of the Old Bank House, Southam.[10]

He was buried in the Clifton Road Cemetery (plot J258) and a detailed report was provided by the Rugby Advertiser, which provided further information on Horace’s life.

An Old Laurentian Dies From Wounds.

The death took place on Sunday Morning last, in the Military Hospital, Cambridge, of Second-Lieut H J A Parkinson, son of Mr & Mrs S Parkinson, of the Old Bank House, Southam and formerly of Rugby. … The funeral took place in Rugby on Wednesday, and was of a semi-military character. The cortege started from Clinton House, the residence of Mr W M Webb, an old friend of the family, … there were also present in Holy Trinity Church, where the first part of the service took place. … Eight sergeants of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment from Bugbroke acted as bearers, and the firing party was provided by the same regiment. … As the procession entered the church Mr W E Ellen (organist) played appropriate music, … The service at the graveside was witnessed by a large crowd of sympathisers.[11]

Some two weeks later the Parkinson family thanked their sympathisers and it was also reported that they had received a telegram from the King and Queen.

Mr and Mrs. Parkinson and family, of the Old Bank House, Southam, desire to give their sincere thanks to all those who hare so kindly sympathised with them in their great sorrow in the death their son, Second-Lieut. Horace J. A. Parkinson.[12]

Mr. and Mrs. Parkinson, of the Old Bank House, Southam, have received the following telegram from Buckingham Palace:- ‘The King and Queen deeply regret the loss you and the Army have sustained by the death of your son in the service of his country. Their Majesties truly sympathise with you in your sorrow.’[13]

Probate was granted on 23 August 1917 at the London Registry to his father ‘Samuel Parkinson, Bank Manager’, and his mother ‘Amy Parkinson (wife of the said Samuel Parkinson)’. Horace’s effects were valued at £423-16-9d.

In September 1917, the Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects recorded payments of £5-5-1d and £4-2-2d. On the 17 September 1917, a payment – probably a gratuity – was made of £58-10-0d.

His Medal Card showed that he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Horace Parkinson is commemorated on a pillar of the Rugby Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby and on the Old Laurentians Memorial.



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This article on Horace James Ankers PARKINSON was researched and written for the Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the RFHG, June 2017.

[1]       Parr’s Bank Ltd (1788-1918), was established in Warrington, and was a past constituent of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

[2]       Information from Rugby Remembers [ ] – abstracted from Rugby Advertiser, 14 November 1914.

[3]       This is probably a misprint for the 1/4th Battalion.

[4]       Information from Rugby Remembers [ ] – abstracted from Rugby Advertiser, 19 February 1916.

[5]       Information in part from:

[6]       UK, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, Leicestershire Regiment, 46th Division, Piece 2690/1: 1/4 Battalion Leicestershire Regiment (1915 Feb – 1919 Jun).

[7]       Lievin is about 5 miles west of Lens, and about 25 miles south-west of Lille.

[8]       Rugby Advertiser, 23 June 1917.

[9]       Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 7 July 1917.

[10]     Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 7 July 1917.

[11]     Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 7 July 1917.

[12]     Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 28 July 1917.

[13]     Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 28 July 1917.

19th Feb 1916. Should Motor Buses be Encouraged in War Time?




Mr EVERS, in moving that the paragraph in the report dealing with motor buses be referred back to the Committee, said he would like to raise the whole question of these buses plying in Rugby. He did not consider that they should encourage them, either by allowing them to stand in the town or by allowing them to open up fresh routes, for this reason : That although they were a convenience to many people, at the same time they were not a necessity. At such times as this they ought not to encourage fresh enterprises of this sort, which were not a necessity, partly on account of the damage to the roads, but, more than that, because they ought to economise, and to encourage everybody else to economise, in the consumption of petrol, one of the commodities which had to be imported, and which they had to pay for. They could not do this by their exports, and so they had to do it either by sending gold abroad or selling their securities. He was sorry that the Highways Committee had given them permission to open up fresh enterprises to and from the station.

The CHAIRMAN : They have only given them permission subject to confirmation by the Council.

Mr WISE seconded, and said his views were the same as those of Mr Evers.

Mr RINGROSE opposed this motion, on the grounds that the new enterprise would benefit the town in a great many ways. If any member of that Council had duties to perform in the country instead of walking a few yards to work, he would take a different view of the matter.

Mr EVERS : That is rather a rude thing to say. I must ask you to withdraw it.

The CHAIRMAN asked Mr Ringrose not to be personal.

Mr RINGROSE added that he had to go out into the country, and he found the buses very handy. He hoped they would continue to run, not only for himself, but for the benefit of the people living in the villages around who had to come to work at Rugby in all weathers. It was better for the workmen to be able to come in a nice comfortable bus.

Mr WISE : We are talking of the new route.

The Clerk : The mover raised the general question, and the Chairman and Mr Walker agreed.

Mr RINGROSE said he was in favour of giving every facility for the omnibuses to run. The Company would have to pay for petrol, and if, eventually, it was found necessary to put a road tax on, they would have to pay it the same as anyone else did. He considered that to try to stop these things running in the town was very shortsighted.

Mr NEWMAN said the Highway Committee had carefully considered the question, and he thought the general opinion was that they could stop them.-The Clerk said he would like the matter referred back so that he could consider this question more deeply. At the present time he thought they had no power whatever. If the Company liked to apply for a license, the Council had to grant it.

Mr NEWMAN said he would rather have seen a local company plying for hire instead of an outside one. As regarded petrol, it was a serious point to get over, but he thought there were a number of steam motors about.

Mr EVERS : These aren’t steam ones.

Mr NEWMAN said at the Committee meeting he tried to get a stipulation passed that the Company should give something towards the roads, but it was ruled out.

Mr YATES supported the reference back, mainly on the grounds enunciated by Mr Evers, that buses might be desirable in normal times, but not to-day. He would like to meet the convenience of people going to and from work, but he would go further than Mr Evers, and ask the Highway Committee to see if they had not got power to prohibit private motor cars using the roads to take people out for pleasure. This would save a good deal of petrol. Then, too, if they had power to prevent motor-cars dashing along at high speed at nights it would be a good thing. It would save petrol, too, if they were kept in the garage all the time. Although they might not have power to prevent the buses running, they had the power to prevent them having all the privileges they might have, were they a desirable thing.

Mt WALKER said he saw all the buses going along, and he had come to the conclusion that they were a great service to the working-class population. He would not give his vote against anything to hinder them.

Mr BARNSDALE also spoke in favour of the buses, and said they brought people into the town who otherwise would not come.

Mr ROBBINS, while disagreeing with Mr Evers on some things, agreed with him with regard to the consumption of petrol, and said it was an astonishing thing to him how any such firm could start nowadays. It must cost them double money to do it. He pointed out, however, that the chief people who used the bus were those who could not afford motor-cars, or could not get about very well. He thought the buses would be a great boon to the men working at Coventry. He had been approached by working men, who told him that there were 40 and sometimes 100 men going to Coventry every day ; these men had to get up at 3.30 to catch a train just after 4 o’clock, but now, by starting at 5 o’clock, they could get to work by 6 o’clock. He would therefore support the granting of facilities to the Company.

Mr LINNELL said the Committee., would be very pleased to reconsider the matter, especially as he would then be able to look the law up. He pointed out that the Committee looked upon the request as a reasonable one, and accordingly they granted it. The request complied: with the regulations. By simply taking out a license, the buses could run in the town as mush as they liked, and they could not stop them. In his opinion, if they took out a license, they were privileged to stand at any of the registered stands, the same as anyone else.

Mr STEVENSON said he was in favour of referring the matter back.

After complaining of these heavy motor vehicles, and similar ones belonging to the Government, using the roads without paying any compensation, Mr LOVEROCK expressed the hope that after the war there would be a tax put upon them…..


THE following is an extract from a Minute of the London Yearly Meeting of the Society of Friends held specially from Jan. 28 to 30 last:—

“ We feel that Friends will have a duty in watching the action of the Tribunals, in assisting young men with regard to the statement of their conscientious objections before these Tribunals, including if necessary the Appeal Tribunals, and in giving what support and advice may be needed. We decide also to make known our readiness to assist conscientious objectors other than Friends so far as is in our power.”

Any interested are invited to enter into communication with HERBERT W. EDMUNDSON, “ Oakbank,” Bilton, near Rugby.


H L Satchell, son of Mr J G Satchell, Dunchurch Road, who was promoted to lieutenant last October, has been Brigade Physical Training and Bayonet Fighting Officer of the 8th Reserve (Infantry Brigade for the last four months.

H J A Parkinson, youngest son of Sir and Mrs Parkinson, of Clifton Road, Rugby, who joined the 10th Leicester Regiment in June last, has been granted a commission as Second-Lieutenant in the 3/4th Leicesters. He holds a first-class certificate as a hand-grenade specialist, and he is now with his regiment in England. The elder son is now in the Motor Red Cross Ambulance in France.

The funeral of Pte Frederick Baxter, 10th R.W.R, of New Street, New Bilton, whose death from wounds received in action we recorded last week, took place at Rugby Cemetery on Friday afternoon last. A contingent from the Super-numerary Company, R.W.R, acted as bearers, and the wreaths included one from Old Comrades in the 10th Warwicks, and another from Friends in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

The whole of the sons of Mr James Martin, Liberal agent for East Wolverhampton, and for some years Liberal agent at Rugby, are either serving with the colours or have attested. Three of them are in infantry regiments, one is a mechanic in the Royal Flying Corps, the fifth is in training, and the other two are under Lord Derby’s scheme.


Drummer W Newman, of the Rugby Infantry Co, younger son of Mr C Newman, of Benn Street, Rugby, has been home on leave this week, after spending eleven months at the front. Until he reached Rugby he had not slept in a bed for seven months, but he is wonderfully well and in high spirits. His visit to Rugby comes to an end to-day (Saturday), when, as he puts it, he is going back “ to see it out.”


All single men of military age who have not been granted exemption from service are almost immediately to be called to the colours. The date upon which the first of the men to be affected by the order will be asked to present themselves is March 18.

The men concerned are those between the ages of 31 and 40 who have attested and are in Groups 14 to 23, and those of the same ago who under the Military Service Act will on March 5 be deemed to have enlisted.

There have been rumours that the War Office intended to place all the unmarried men under training as speedily as possible, but the decision to call up 10 groups and classes under one Proclamation was not generally anticipated, as up to the present the groups have been summoned four at a time.


On the occasion of the recent air raid the transmission of official telephonic messages of urgent importance was seriously interfered with at several, places by what the Postmaster-General calls the inconsiderate and unnecessary use of the telephone by private subscribers to call up the police and other public officials. The Postmaster-General earnestly appeals to the public to use the telephone as little as possible on such occasions, and on no account to call up the police or other public officials on unimportant or merely personal matters. If this warning is not regarded it may become necessary to curtail the facilities afforded to private persons on occasions of public emergency.