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Rupert Hardy Parker

Lieutenant Rupert Hardy Parker

Birth

Rupert Hardy Parker  was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire in c 1895.

His birth was registered in Grantham in the September quarter of 1895 indicating a birth between July and September of that year.

 

Family History

Rupert was the only son of Charles John Ernest Parker a Gentleman of Beaconfield House, Harrowby, Grantham and his wife Louisa Dempsey.

By the time of Rupert’s Death, the family home was Ludshott House, Grayshott, Hampshire.

Rupert was educated at Wellington College, Crowthorne, Berkshire and an undergraduate of Christ Church College, Oxford. The College has very little information about him. It is unlikely that he ever came up to the College but he had matriculated. This applies to so many young men who had been awarded places to come up in October 1914, but enlisted on leaving their schools, at the end of the summer term 1914.

Charles J. E. Parker married Louisa Dempsey on 18th July 1894. She was the daughter of Arthur Dempsey of The Grange, Noctorum, Birkenhead, Cheshire.

Charles J.E. Parker was born in Great Hale, Lincolnshire in 1864. Charles was a JP and late Captain of the 3rd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment. He was the son of Charles John Bullivant Parker, JP and Lt-Col of Royal South Lincolnshire Militia.

This makes Rupert the Gt-Grandson of Lt-Col William Parker of Hanthorpe House, Hanthorpe, Lincolnshire.  William was Deputy Lieutenant of Lincolnshire and appointed High Sheriff of Lincolnshire in 1864.

On the 1911 census Rupert Hardy Parker was listed as a student at the Wellington College, Berkshire.

 

Military History

We are unable to trace Rupert Parker through his WW1 service records or Pension records as these are not listed. It is highly likely that these are part of the burnt records.

Rupert was listed in the London Gazette, 20th October 1914, in a section showing Cadets and ex Cadets of the Officer Traiing Corps that had been posted into the Army. Rupert was posted as a Second lieutenant (Probation) to the 3rd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment.
During early March 1915 Rupert had been confirmed into the rank of Second Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion Lincolnshire regiment having completed his probation.

The 3rd Battalion was a training and reserve Battalion and it is fair to assume that once his training had been competed Rupert would have been transferred to another Battalion.

From the medal rolls we know that Lieutenant Rupert Parker, then of the 2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment, entered the French theatre of war on 20th February 1915

The following has been compiled from the history of the Lincolnshire regiment.

On the 16th August 1917 the 2nd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment were removed from the front line following heavy losses at the Battle of Langemarck. The three hundred remaining men were joined by their new commander, Lt-Col Irwin of the Essex Regiment, on the 22nd August.

September, October and half of November saw the battalion in trenches around Basseville and Warenton or in support or divisional reserve in the region.

On the 17th November the battalion relieved the Royal Canadian Regiment from the front line near Passchendaele. The enemy guns relentlessly shelled the sector throughout the day with gas shells. By nightfall the battalion had lost 4 men killed, 1 lieutenant and 13 other ranks wounded, 1 captain and 28 other ranks gassed.

The 18th told a similar story with two men killed, 2 officers and 22 other ranks wounded and 12 other ranks gassed. At about 8am about 100 enemy men left their trenches to attack but were repulsed by lewis gun fire.

The Lincolnshire were relieved on the 19th November but 3 more men were killed and 9 wounded before they could leave the trenches.

The battalion entrained at Wieltje for Red Rose Camp at Vlamertinghe after what was a very costly three day tour.

The Battalion returned to Machine Gun Camp St. Jean on the 29th November and then following day marched to California Camp at Wieltje where they took up the role of divisional support.

On the 1st December C Company paraded at 3:15pm and set out for the trenches near Passchendaele. The only way to the front line was by a duck board track across deep clinging mud. The enemy guns had found their mark on the track and only about 20 men reached the front line to take up the two posts on the left battalion front. An hour later the remaining three companies, detailed as assault troops started moving up. It shows the terrible nature of moving up in the fact that it took the first company 5 hours to reach the front of the duck board track. The first company was in position by 10pm and the last company by 12:20am.

The three companies started to attack at 1:55am (2nd December 1917) and immediately were spotted by the enemy who set up heavy machine gun fire. Before their own outpost line was reached every officer of the three companies became a casualty. The advance stopped about 30 yards from the enemy’s front trench and the battalion dug in. They were relieved from this position by the 8th Rifle Brigade and moved back to Camp St. Jean.

In this attack casualties were heavy. Captain A Cowe (Medical officer), Lieutenant Rupert H Parker and 16 other ranks killed. 2nd lieutenants Griffin (Later died of wounds), Eliot, Sowerby, Joyce, Green, Graves, Grant and Perkins along with 64 other ranks wounded. 25 other ranks were missing.

Lieutenant Rupert Hardy Parker was killed in this action during the Battle of Passchendale on 2ndDecember 1917

Lieutenant Rupert Hardy Parker, 2nd Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment, was eligible for the following medals:-

Victory Medal
The British Medal
The 1915 Star

The medal rolls card also has a line entry that would indicate that Rupert was possibly given the rank of Captain.

Newspaper Articles

London Gazette 20th October 1914
SPECIAL RESERVE OF OFFICERS
INFANTRY
The undermentioned cadets and ex-cadets of the Officers Training Corps to be Second Lieutenants (on Probation)
Dated 21st October 1914
Rupert hardy Parker, 3rd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment

Grantham Journal – Saturday 13th March 1915
Local Commissions
The following appointments have been notified during the week –
Special Reserve Officers: Infantry – Supplementary to regular units or Corps – Second Lieutenants (On Probation) confirmed in their rank:- 3rd Battalion The Lincolnshire Regiment: Geo. Leonard Marshall, Rupert Hardy Parker  

Grantham Journal – Saturday 22nd December 1917
Lincolnshire Regiment Casualties, Officers – Lieutenant R H Parker

Grantham Journal – Saturday 5th January 1918
Lincolnshire Regiment Casualties, Officers – Wounded and missing – Lieut. R H Parker

Lincolnshire Echo – Tuesday 25th June 1918
Lieutenant Rupert Hardy Parker, Lincolnshire Regiment (Reported wounded and missing on December 2, 1917, near Passchendaele, now officially presumed killed in action on that date), was the only son of Captain C. J. E. Parker of Ludshott House, Grayshott, Hants, and formerly of Grantham. Born in 1895, he was educated at St George’s, Broadstairs, and at Wellington College. He was a member of the College Corps and shot in the College VIII, at Bisley. He matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, in August, in August 1914, but relinquished his university career to take a commission in the Lincolnshire Regiment in October of the same year. he joined his regiment in France in February, 1915 and was twice wounded that year – at Neuve Chapelle and at Fromelles. He obtained a regular commission in June 1916, and was commanding a company when he fell. His commanding officer wrote of him: “I can only say how we all loved and now m iss your son. He was a most popular boy, and is indeed a loss to the battalion.” His company sergeant-major wrote: “He had no fear. . . . A braver officer and gentleman never led a company into action. He was loved by all in his company.”

Grantham Journal – 20th November 1920
Memorial Tablet Dedicated In The Parish Church – On Thursday afternoon an interesting ceremony took place at the Parish Church, when a handsome tablet to the memory of Lieutenant Rupert hardy Parker, 2nd Lincs Regiment, who was killed at Passchendaele, Flanders, on Dec 2nd 1917, was unveiled and dedicated by the Vicar, the Rev. cannon Hancock. The tablet, which has been provided by the deceased officers parents, has been placed on the south wall of the Lady Chapel. It is of alabaster, and beneath the figures of two angels, bearing a crown, is a small crucifix, and the inscription in gold, “Ye who read this, remember Rupert Hardy Parker, Lieut., 2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment, killed in action at Passchendaele, Flanders, 2nd December 1917, aged 22 years, only son of C. J. E. Parker, formerly of Grantham, and of Louise, his wife.” Beneath, cut out on a scroll of stone, are the words, “My heart is towards those that offered themselves willingly among people, that jeopardise their lives unto death in the high places of the field.” At the base of the tablet is the inscription in gold “Requirement in peace.” There was a fair attendance at the ceremony, including the boys of the choir, and the hymns were “Let saints on earth,” “Think, O Lord, in Mercy,” and “O Valiant Hearts.” The xxiii Psalm was chanted, and the lesson from Wisdom iii., 1-10v., was most impressively read by the Rev. Cannon Hancock, as were the dedicatory prayers. 

Memorial

Lieutenant Rupert Hardy Parker,2nd Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment, is remembered with honour on the Tyne Cot Memorial to the missing which is located 9 km north east of Ieper (Ypres), Belgium.
Panel Ref: 35 to 37 and 162 to 162A

R H Parker

R H Parker gate

Please see below for more pictures from Tyne Cot Memorial.

www.flickr.com
Rupert is also listed on the Roll of Honour for St Wulfram’s Church in Grantham and also a commemorative Plaque of remembrance was placed in the Church by his faily.

Click here for the guide to terms used.

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