Kenneth Parker was born in the December quarter of 1918, (Hawarden Vol. 11b Page 339) and I believe that he was the second son of Harold David & Mary Seddon Parker (nee Linaker) who , I believe , married in St. Paul’s Church, Southport, (Ormskirk Vol. 8b Page 1392 or North Sefton XC1/4/69).
Harold David Parker had been born in Hawarden to William & Mary Ann Parker, and they are seen on the 1881 census living at Penymynydd, Hope Bowen, Flintshire with William’s mother Ann Parker, 69 and a Cottager*who had been born in Stratton?, Oxford. William was 40 and a General Labourer born in Worthenbury, Flintshire. His wife Mary Ann,32, had been born in Workington, Cumberland. Their children, Helena A., age 7, Richard H., 4 and Minnie, 2 had been born in Wrexham, Denbighshire, while Maud M., age 3 months had been born in Penymynydd, Flintshire.
*Cottager/Smallholder or small farmer living in a ‘tied’ Cottage which came with the job.
Sadly by the 1891 census Mary Ann was missing from the family group and they were living at Drury Lane, Buckley, Flintshire. Mary Ann was buried at St. Mathew’s Church, Buckley on the 26th July 1890 age 42 years. By this time William, 50, now a widower, was a Colliery Clerk, Richard H. Parker, 14 was a Butcher’s Boy, Minnie, 13, Maud M., 10 and Harold D., age 4, made up the family group.
By 1901 the family had split up, Harold David was living with his father in lodgings at 35, Linaker Street, Southport, Lancashire In the house of James HOUGHTON. They had obviously moved for work. William, now 58 was a Gardener and Harold age 14 was a Grocer’s Errand Boy.
In 1911 William & Harold are still living in Southport, at 6, Clifford Road, Birkdale, in the household of John William LLOYD, his wife Minnie and 5 daughters. William 72 was a retired Gardener and Harold, 24 was a Signalman.
Harold met Mary Seddon Linaker and married her in 1911. She is seen on the 1911 census living with her large family at 68, Banastre, Southport, Lancashire (5 rooms). Her father William Linaker, 54 was a Cabdriver and had been born in Longton, Lancashire, her mother Alice, 51, tells us that they had been married for 31 years and 10 children had been born, but sadly one had died and she and all her family had been born in Southport,Lancashire. Mary’s siblings were Albert, 23 and single, a Yardman at a Coal Merchants, Mary was 22, single and a Dressmaker, Ann, 20 and single, Alfred, 17 and a Joiner’s Improver (Building Trade) and William age 15.
I do believe that Harold David and Mary Seddon Parker had children from 1912 when Harold (Jnr) was born, (Hawarden Vol. 11b Page 418), then Marian in 1914 (Hawarden Vol. 11b Page 405) she may have married Emlyn JONES or John H. WEIGH in 1933 – (Hawarden, Civil Marriage – Flintshire (Mold) HAW/12/31). Then Dorothy 1916 (Hawarden Vol. 11b Page 377), she may have married Cecil Williams 1937 –(Hawarden, St Deiniol,Flintshire (Mold) C106/04/E478).
Kenneth was born in 1918 and then Alice Vera born in 1921((Hawarden Vol. 11b Page 375), Doreen followed in 1924 (Hawarden Vol. 11b Page 334), she may have married Alan G D HISLOP -1945 (Hawarden, St Deiniol, Flintshire (Mold) C106/05/E233 (Possibly 23rd August 1945))
Sadly, I believe that Alice Vera may have died in the December quarter of 1924 in Chester Royal Infirmary and was buried in Hawarden on the 18th December 1924 age 3 years. So Harold & Mary Seddon had already suffered bereavement by the time they found out about Kenneth. Doreen had been born in the March Quarter of that year.
As there are no published 1921 censuses I do not know what happened to the family until the 1939 National Register taken on the 29th September 1939 show Kenneth’s parents, Harold David & Mary Seddon Parker, living at 46 Weymouth Road , Blackpool C.B., Lancashire.
It looks as though Harold David & Mary Seddon Parker were living with Mary’s sister or niece Kate* on the 1939 National Register (see marriage below the Register):-
* Married in the June quarter of 1924 were Norman BELL and Kate Seddon,( FyldeVol. 8e Page 1585)
Norman Bell 03 Aug 1899 Male Railway Carriage Charge Hand Married 224 1
Kate Bell 08 Jun 1902 Female Unpaid Domestic Duty Married 224 2
Sorry, this record is officially closed. Check if you can open a closed record.
Harold D Parker 07 Jan 1887 Male Railway Signalman Married 224 4(Railway Ambulance – PWC 153/09?)
Mary S Parker 10 Jul 1885 Female Unpaid Domestic Duty Married 224 5
I also believe that 2 of Harold and Mary Seddon’s daughters were on the 1939 National Register living at 21 The Nook, Hawarden R.D., Flintshire, Wales.
Doreen (Mary May) ,Parker (Hislop)19 Dec 1923 Female Packer Fire Chemicals Single 152 1
Dorothy Williams 19 Jul 1916 Female Unpaid Domestic Duties Married 152 2
The record for this person is officially closed.
So it might be that Kenneth was already in the Forces or at least near to, as I cannot find him on the 1939 National Register. I cannot find any Service records of him either, except the Casualty Card and Casualty Lists.
Acording to the Chester Chronicle of the 9th May 1942, Kenneth had attended the Queensferry Council School and afterwards was employed by the L. and N.E. Railway. I have no information of his early and teenage years other than the above, so if anyone knows any information to add to his story please get in touch with the website so Kenneth will be remembered.
This source also tell us that he had been in the Greece Campaign after going overseas in September 1940 and he was killed in the Middle East.
According to the newspaper article Kenneth had followed his father Harold onto the Railway, confirmed by the Return of Staff Employed on the 31st October 1939 at Connah’s Quay, shows Harold being employed at the Hawarden Bridge Dee March Junction as a Signalman. This gives Harold’s birth date of the 7th January 1887 and the date of the start of his employment as the 10th May 1909.
It appears that Kenneth was to be killed in an accident in Libya although I cannot find any information on what might have happened, if the family would like to find out they can apply for Kenneth’s Service Records to
These websites may help build a picture of what Kenneth went through in time in the Middle East.
4th Lancashire Artillery Volunteers
68th (4th West Lancs) Medium Regiment
On its formation in April 1939, this new regiment established its HQ at Green Lane, Liverpool, and commenced training. On mobilisation it moved to Tattenhall in Cheshire for advanced training with 59th (Staffordshire) Infantry Division, but transport was scarce, and the guns had to be towed by steam lorries belonging to a flour mill. However, the progress of the regiment was so good that it was soon required to spin off a second duplicate, 73rd Medium Regiment, which absorbed a cadre of six officers and 53 trained other ranks from the 68th in January 1940. The 68th also sent drafts of trained men to other regiments, including 18 to a heavy anti-aircraft regiment in the Orkneys.
In March 1940 the regiment left 59th Division and moved to Melksham in Wiltshire to join IV Corps. It fired its guns for the first time at a practice camp at Redesdale in May. On return to Melksham the regiment was ordered to join II Corps with the BEF in France, but this was overtaken by the Dunkirk evacuation, and the regiment spent its time operating a reception area for the returned troops. 68th Medium Rgt then took part in home defence training exercises until 3 September when it received orders for the Middle East. It embarked on the SS Oropesa at Liverpool with eight 6-inch howitzers and eight new 4.5-inch guns[b]and sailed on 8 October. The Oropesa* berthed at Port Tewfik at Suez on 16 November, and the regiment went into camp at Almaza, near Cairo. The regiment began to prepare for service in the Sudan.
As I was trying to find out what the 68th Medium Regiment was doing at the time, I looked at the forum below, who have been marvelous in my very many quests re WW2 and I am printing below a reply about another 68th Regt. man that might help, although it refers to the time after Kenneth’s death:-,
An extract from WW2 Talk:- http://ww2talk.com/index.php?threads/68th-medium-regiment.18088/ 68th Medium Regiment
10th MEDIUM REGT RA
Hello and welcome
The 67th + 68th Medium Regts RA were known as Lost Regts owing to them being captured at Toburk in June 1942, Rommels offensive started in May, so I would imagine your Gramp was wounded while engaged on repelling this, and was quite lucky not to be captured with the rest of the Regt in June.
The 68th Med were part of X111 Corps 8th Army, 3rd S.A. Inf Group.
N.A. (National Archives) ref cab106/717 might be useful, as I don’t think there are any Diaries because of capture.
Record Summary. Scope and content Western Desert: notes by Brigadier P. H. J. Tuck, Commanding 67th and 68th Medium Regiments, Royal Artillery, on the fall of Tobruk 1942 June, in answer to questions by the Historical Section.
History Information from the CWGC:-
The defence against Rommel’s drive across Cyrenaica towards Suez consisted of a number of irregularly spaced strong points or ‘boxes’ linked by deep minefields. Those nearest the Axis forces were held by infantry, while those further back served as reserve static positions and as bases from which the armour could operate. The chief ‘box’, known as Knightsbridge, was round a junction of tracks about 20 kilometres west of Tobruk and 16 kilometres south of Acroma, commanding all the tracks by which supplies came up to the front. The Eighth Army’s advance fuelling stations and airfields were at Acroma, El Adem, El Duda, Sidi Rezegh and Gambut, while by February 1941, Gazala aerodrome, taken from the Italians early in the campaign, housed two Commonwealth squadrons. Knightsbridge was thus a key position, and the pivot on which the armour manoeuvred during the heavy fighting which commenced in late May 1942. Fierce actions were fought at all these places, and a battlefield cemetery was created at each for the burial of the dead. The graves of many of those who gave their lives during the campaign in Libya were later gathered into Knightsbridge War Cemetery from the battlefield burial grounds and from scattered desert sites.
Kenneth’s Casualty Card confirms his place of birth and residence as Hawarden, Flintshire. His place of death as Egypt, and cause of death as “Injuries Accident.”
The Casualty List 814 (Page 5 ) Western Desert tells us that 2 men were killed on the same day, but the description of their deaths is different i.e. 946925 (367) BARNWELL*, W/S/Bdr. G.R. 68 Med. Regt. Date of Casualty – 10th April 1942 was described as having been “Accidently Killed, “ whilst 926943 (365) PARKER, Gnr. K. 698, Med. Regt. Date of Casualty – 10th April 1942 was described as having “Died Result of Accident.”
*According to the Commonwealth War Grave, Bombardier Gordon Robert Barnwell was age 23 and the son of John Arthur and Margaret Mabel Barnwell; husband of Jennie Barnwell. His Casualty Card states that he was “Killed in accident, not to blame, fault with Unit.” (See below)
According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Graves Concentration Report Form, Kenneth was first buried at SA War Cemetery (Map Reference 3658.4350 Ain el Gazala 1/50,000 and the particulars were in all cases obtained from the crosses.) on the day he died the 10th April 1942, (R4 Grave 3), then reburied on the 15th May 1944 in the Acroma Military Cemetery (Knightsbridge War Cemetery).
Kenneth’s mother, Mary Seddon Parker died in 1950 and was buried in Hawarden on the 19th August 1950 age 62 years.
Kenneth’s father Harold David Parker died on the 31st August 1965 age 67 years at 240, Chester Road, Flint, and was buried at Hawarden on the 4th September 1954
Harold David Parker in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995a shows:-PARKER, Harold David of 240 Chester Road, Oakenholt, Flintshire died 31st August 1954. Administration Manchester 4th November to Harold PARKER, Head Railway Shunter.
Kenneth was very much loved as the family added his name to the Hawarden WW2 War Memorial.
MAY THE WINDS OF HEAVEN BLOW GENTLY O’ER THIS SWEET AND HALLOWED SPOT