Parker spent his early years in London and moved to Stapleford to
begin work at the Stanton Ironworks as a coremaker. At the outbreak
of the first World War (1914), Walter Parker enlisted into the Royal
Marines Light Infantry Division and was awarded the Victoria Cross
for his bravery and gallentry while under enemy fire at Gaba Tepe,
Gallipoli, Turkey on the 1st May 1915. The story is as follows:
the night of 30th April 1915, Lieutenant Empson, RMLI who was
in command of an Isolated fire trench at Gaba Tepe sent a message
asking for ammunition, water and medical stores; in the trench
there were also 40 men and a number of wounded.
message was received by Captain Syson, RMLI Officer Commanding
`C' Company, Portsmouth Battalion, who detailed a party of Non-Commissioned
Officers and men to carry water and ammunition and called for
a volunteer among the stretcher bearers. Lance Corporal Parker
of the same battalion at once volunteered to go.
were no communication trenches, and in attempting to emerge from
the nearest trench one of the party was wounded. Lance Corporal
Parker thereupon organised a stretcher party to take this man
back and then started off for the trench which Lieutenant Empson
It was now daylight. The intervening space was at least 400 yards
and was completely exposed and swept by Turkish rifle fire; several
Australians had already been killed while endeavouring to convey
ammunition to Lieutenant Empson.
Parker alone succeeded in reaching the trench: all the remaining
Non-Commissioned Officers and men in his party were either killed
or wounded. After his arrival he rendered assistance to the wounded,
displaying extreme courage and remaining cool and collected in
very trying circumstances.
the early morning of the following day the trench had to be evacuated
and Parker helped to remove and attend to the wounded, although
during this operation he was seriously wounded.
Parker had during the three previous days displayed consistent
bravery and energy whilst in charge of the battalion stretcher
bearers during a very trying time, as in nearly every case the
wounded had to be evacuated over exposed ground and under fire.
Owing to the fact that the Commanding Officer, Adjutant, Sergeant
Major and the Company Commander were all wounded at this juncture
the recommendations for gallantry etc. for the Portsmouth battalion
were much delayed. The Brigadier General Commanding the Royal
Navy Division at the time, however, considers this man should
be awarded the Victoria Cross. London Gazette _ 22nd June
Severely wounded during the operation Parker was eventually invalided
from the service in june 1916. Beside his VC he was awarded the
1914/15 Star, the British War and Victory Medals and a war gratuity
of œ10. The men of the Division presented him with an inscribed
marble and gilt clock.He never fully recovered from his injuries
and died, aged 55, at Stapleford, on 28th November 1936 and was
buried in Stapleford cemetery. A Memorial Service, in his honour,
is held annually at St Helens Church Stapleford on the Sunday
nearest 30th April by the local RMA.
information about Walter Parker can be found here >