According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database, William Parry was the son of Alfred and Zephorah Parry, of Connah’s Quay, Flintshire; husband of Laura Parry, of Connah’s Quay.
However, I believe that I have found the marriage of his parents on the Parish Registers at Connah’s Quay in 1897, but on the 1901 and the 1911 censuses, Dora states she was born in Leeswood, and her name was given as Dora, and not Zephorah, so I am wondering if she changed her name unofficially to Dora.
However on the 1911 census at Wepre Farm, Connah’s Quay Head of the household was Alfred Parry, 38, Farmer (Employer), born in Connah’s Quay and his wife Dora, 36, born in Leeswood, both bilingual. They tell us that they had been married for 14 years and 3 children had been born to them, sadly 1 had died. They were Alfred, 13* and Dora, age 3, both born in Connah’s Quay. Also in the household was John Bloyd Jones, brother, single, age 25 and a Horseman, born in Manchester and bilingual. On censuses, the relationship is always to the head of the household, but in this case I think the relationship was to Dora. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.
*Alfred Parry Haulage Contractor on the 1939 Register – William and Dora’s brother.
Dora (Zephorah), a native of Newmarket, on her obituary/funeral in 1931, gives a lot of clues to the family, but in the time old ways of long ago, she is referred to as Mrs Alfred Parry, whereas I was hoping that this would settle it all for good, as on a death certificate of the same year there is a Zephorah Parry who died in the area, possibly at a Chester hospital:-
Cheshire Death indexes for the years: 1931
Surname Forename(s) Age or Date of Birth Sub-District Registers At Reference
PARRY Zephorah 54 Chester City Cheshire West CHC/15/91
Sadly Alfred Parry, senior died 18 months later and his funeral is in a newspaper cutting, below. So before William left Hawarden Grammar School and went off to College he had lost both parents.
As William was born in 1915, he is not shown on any census and the first glance we see of William is on the Hawarden Grammar School Admissions Register:-
Hawarden Grammar School Admissions Register E/GS/1/10
1139/1780 PARRY, William, Date of birth – 10th May 1915. The Island, Connah’s Quay. Father – Farmer, Date of Entry – 12th September 1927 , C. Quay Cl., Schl £6, Date of Leaving – 27th July 1933 – Bangor Normal.
It seems that William left Hawarden Grammar and went to the Bangor Normal College, but when he left I don’t know. William is next seen on the 1939 National Register, which was taken on the 29th September 1939, where he is seen living at 3, High Street, Connah’s Quay with his brother Alfred, Haulage Contractor, date of birth 18th February 1898, his wife Alice J. , date of birth 13th March 1897 and their son Stanley, date of birth 15th February 1924. Also with him is his sister Dora, date of birth 7th August 1907. On this William is described as a “School Teacher,” date of birth as 10th August 1915 and he is single. There is a Marie Williams, born in 1917, who may be connected to Alice Jane Williams, Alfred’s wife, who he married in St.Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay in 1920.
As an addendum :- John Arthur McManus, he also sadly died and who is also on the WW2 War Memorial, was living with a Williams family at 3, Cestrian Street, Connah’s Quay, – head of the Williams family was Jane Williams, a Widow, and presumably, her daughter Laura Williams, born 29th June 1918 (the Register doesn’t give relationships) and a John Williams born 29th May 1933, at school. – Laura went on to marry William Parry. (Please click on the link to read his story.)
William married Laura in 1941, although Alfred Parry (Snr.) is not noted on the marriage certificate to have been deceased.
St. Mark’s Church – Marriages – Page 42 No 83 15th December 1941 William PARRY, 26, Bachelor, Sergeant R.A.F., The Island, Connah’s Quay, Alfred PARRY, Farmer & Laura WILLIAMS, 22, Spinster, 3, Cestrian Street, Connah’s Quay, John WILLIAMS (dec), Ship’s Carpenter. (after Banns)
Witnesses:- Gaynor ROBERTS & Jane PRINCE.
So William Parry and John Arthur McManus were probably friends or at least knew each other before they enlisted or were conscripted.
William is next seen on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and I have the RAF Operation Record Book for the month of April, 1945, but William was not mentioned, even from the beginning of the month, the only thing that was entered for the 16th April was the condition of the weather, no flights were recorded:-
Weather – Fair at first, deteriorating rapidly.
Operations – One A/U patrol
Non-Ops Flying – Five Training flights.
He is not mentioned in the National Archives R.A.F. Operational Reports either for 1939 – 1945. https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D8451604 Nor https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D8451605
However he is on this website, thanks so much to them for the information.
16th April 2012
Laurent Rizzotti – It appears that Liberator GR.VI EW303 with William and Crew were on a non operational Test Flight with 6 crew and 2 passengers – the accident due to engine failure. This aircraft had been involved in an air collision over the North Atlantic on 9 March 1945. Both aircraft managed to land despite the damage but EW303 was lost in this test flight after repairs had been completed.
Martin Gleeson said: Hallo Laurent,In the book on 53 Squadron ‘UNITED IN EFFORT’ by Jock Manson he states the two passengers were WAAFs. They were LACW Winifred Hutchison and LACW M. MacLean. Both were found by a rescue boat but Hutchison was dead. She was 24 and from Gateshead in England. Her service number was 462814. MacLean was badly injured but survived.
The book gives the formers name as Hutchinson, but the CWGC uses Hutchison. – Martin Gleeson.
Laurent Rizzotti s replied: – For this aircraft I have six known casualties of 53 Sqn, listed on http://www.rafb24.com/index.php/2012-01-18-19-57-49/raf-squadrons/3-53squadron (with this aircraft and date of loss):
Flg Off Henry Lewis (pilot)
Flg Off David James McL Robertson (navigator)
Flt Lt Theodore “Blanchard” Atkinson RCAF (wireless operator/air gunner). Born 30 January 1920 in Clark’s Harbour, Shelburne County
Flg Off Herbert Brown (wireless operator/air gunner)
Flt Sgt Gilbert Llewellyn George (wireless operator/air gunner)
Wt Off William Parry (wireless operator/air gunner)
16th April 2012 13:18
Crashed 4 miles SSW of Helmsdale, Sutherland. Three engines failed and the Liberator nose dived into the sea.
At 6.30 in the evening of the 16th of April, 1945, a Liberator aeroplane crashed in the sea four miles south-south-west of Helmsdale harbour. The weather was fine, the sea calm. Fishermen, who had just unloaded the day’s catch, at once put out in the auxiliary rescue-boat Hazel, followed by three other boats. A total of seventeen men manned the four boats. When the first boats reached the scene the aeroplane had already broken in two, and each part was burning furiously. Two of the boats each picked up a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, but one died. – Rewards : to the crew of the auxiliary rescue-boat, £4 15s. and 5s. for fuel used ; to the crews of the other boats, £7 10s., and 5s. to each boat for fuel used. (See Helmsdale, Services by Auxiliary Rescue-boats, page 65.)
(Source: RNLI Records of Service 1939-46)
On the evening of the 16th of April, 1945, the auxiliary rescue-boat put out to the help of a Liberator aeroplane which had crashed in the sea at 6.30. Three other boats also put out. All four were manned by fishermen who had just unloaded their day’s catch. The aeroplane was found broken in two and each part burning furiously. The auxiliary rescue-boat and one of the other boats each picked up an injured woman belonging to the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, but the one on board the rescue-boat died. – Rewards, £4 15s. and 5s. for fuel consumed. (See Helmsdale, Services by Shore-boats, page 57.)
Many thanks to Ross – much appreciated.
Also William’s brother, Alfred Parry Junior’s contribution to WW1 needs to be noted as he was in the Forces from 1916 when he was age 18 to 1920 and he served in many places abroad, I have his Army Documents if anyone wants to see them. Luckily he survived and came back home.
According to the 1939 National Register Laura remarried in 1954,I found that she married in St Cynfarch Church, Hope, on the 21st August 1954 to Edward Hughes, a School Master from Abermorddu.
William is also remembered on the Hawarden Grammar School Roll of Honour, please click on the link