Parry, Walter

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay

Name / Enw: Parry, Walter

Regiment/Catrawd: Royal Welsh Fusiliers 2nd Bn

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 5711

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Thiepval Memorial

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Pier and Face 4 A.

Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: France

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory & British Medals 15 Star

Date of Death: 20th July 1916

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

Killed in Action:- 20th July 1916

PARRY, Walter

Walter Parry on the Thiepval Memorial.  Photo taken by Mavis Williams on the 12th April 2015,

PARRY, Walter

Walter’s name is underneath another soldier who ironically was also named H. Parry, it’s almost as if brother Harry was with him even there.

Walter has a brother Harry on the Connah’s Quay & Shotton Cenotaph. Harry has his own page on this website.  I think they were twins.  They were registered at Hawarden with only 1 digit difference in their reference numbers.

North Wales BMD’s – Birth Indexes

Parry Henry   1886     Hawarden          Flintshire (Mold)            North Wales      HAW/33/71

Parry Walter   1886     Hawarden          Flintshire (Mold)            North Wales      HAW/33/72

Walter and Harry were both on the 1891 census  living with their parents at Quay Road, Hawarden, Aston & Shotton, Cheshire.  Their father, Thomas Parry 50 was a Labourer who had been born in Kinnerton, Flintshire.  His wife Emma 32 hailed from Prestatyn, Flintshire.  Their children were  Elizabeth A. 14, Frederick 11, Thomas R. 13,   Harry & Walter were both 4   All the boys were scholars and all children had been born in Kinnerton, Flintshire.

The 1901 census shows the family at (The Gables), Chester Road, Hawarden (Flint), Shotton, Cheshire.  Father Thomas was 61 and still a Labourer.  On this census, Emma 45 is listed as having been born in  Hope. The children listed were Kate  22,  Frederick, 22 also a Builder’s Labourer,  Thomas R. 19, was a Sail Maker, Harry and Walter, were 14  and Walter was a Grocer’s Assistant. 

In 1911 the family was still at The Gables, Chester Road, Shotton, The form tells us that 6 children had been born and all had survived.  Thomas was 72 and still a Labourer.  Emma was 56.   The children present were Catherine 32 and single,  Thomas Richard 29  also single and in the Steel Trade.  Harry and  Walter were  23 and also working in the steel trade. 

UK soldiers who died in the Great War 1914 -19, accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms the regimental information above and adds that Walter had been  born in Ewloe, Flintshire and enlisted in Wrexham.

Walter’s medal card also accessible on ancestry, records his medal details and also tells us that his first theatre of war was France and that he entered it on 19th January 1915.

Walter Parry in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that his sole Legatee of his War Gratuity was his widow Ethel Katharine who was paid £8. 10s 0d on the 18th December 1919. There was a Dr. Bal. of £1. 3s 6d on the 23rd January 1917. (He had to repay the Regimental Paymaster probably.)   I believe that Walter married Ethel K. Ashcroft in Ormskirk, Lancashire, in the June quarter of 1914 (Ormskirk (Lancashire) Vol. 8b Page 1473).   Ethel’s second name Katherine was sometimes spelt with a “C”, if you are researching her.   She was born in Ormskirk circa 1887. ( I have census information on her family, if you get in touch, I will send it.)

When he was enlisting, Harry Pearson from Connah’s Quay, must have been in front of Walter in the line, as his Regimental Number was 5710 and he was in the 2nd Bn R.W.F.   Harry Pearson also died, but in 1918, please read his story on the website.

There is an index card for Walter in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Record Office in Hawarden.  (Flintshire WW1 Index Cards  F 29 Shotton :- Parry Walter). It confirms the regimental details above and adds that he served from the 25th August 1914. The card says he was  ‘Killed in Action 20th July 1916’.  The card was signed 17th January 1921 by E. Roberts.

A family grave in St Deniol’s churchyard, Hawarden contains the inscription (Monumental Inscriptions Volume 111 – Lovelock. Page 41) :-

Stone Cross (On front of Cross: “THY WILL BE DONE” ) on 3 stepped base and kerbs.   Lead Lettering. (East)” In Loving Memory of WINIFRED, the Dearly Beloved Wife of HARRY PARRY (of Shotton) who passed away Dec.1st 1912, aged 25 years, also of the above HARRY PARRY who Died for God, King & Country, Jan 26, 1922.   (South) Also CATHERINE PARRY, Died Sept 20th 1954.   (North) Also WALTER*, Twin Brother of HARRY PARRY, Killed in Action July 20, 1916, who lies somewhere in France.”

The memorial above is on the Imperial War Museum webpage- http://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/60288

*As he is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, he probably has no known grave.

Walter was named on 3 other memorials – the Hawarden War Memorial and possibly on the memorial screen at St Ethelwold’s Church and St. Ethelwold’s School Roll of Honour.  Somebody made an effort to ensure he was remembered.

Walter & Harry’s brother was also in the War, he had a Flintshire WW1 Index Card L194 (Shotton)   PARRY Fred. Toby’s Cottages, Nine Houses, Shotton,  Regtl. No. 15490   Period of Service 4 and 1/2 years  Sapper Royal Engineers. Card not signed nor dated.  His Medal card below tells us that he was in both the R.W.F. and the Royal Engineers.

Walter is Michael Doherty’s Great Uncle and Frederick was Michael’s Grandfather, many thanks to Michael and Celia Drew for their contribution to the Parry Family story.