James Parker was recorded on the census of 1881, living with his family at No 2 Court, Milford Street, Mold. Head of the household was (another) James Parker. He was 42 and described as a ‘Blind Fiddler’. This census says he had been born in Mold. His wife was Ellen was 30 and was a ‘Fish Hawker’. Their listed children were Patrick 7, James 5, Mary 3 and William 6 months.
In 1891 the census tells us that the family was still in Milford street – number 4 Court. James Parker was then 50 and described as a ‘Former Quarry Man’. He was listed as blind. This census says he had been born in Kilarney, Ireland. Ellen his wife was 41 and still a ‘Fish Hawker’. Their family had grown and the listed children were Patrick 17, a Coal Miner, James was 14 and was an Agricultural Labourer, Mary was 12, William 10, Ellen 8, Gerrard 6, Nicholas 4 and Amy Nora was 1.
At some point after that census, James Parker became a soldier.
There is a short record on www.ancestry.co.uk that says that on the 8th December 1899, James Parker who was in the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers ( Regimental number 2762) aged 23, was charged with desertion. Frustratingly, there is no more information about this.
The 1901 census records James Parker as a soldier. The 1st and 3rd Battalions of The Royal Welsh Fusiliers were in Egg Buckland in Devon. This is close to the port of Plymouth. James Parker of Mold was listed as a 24 year old single man. (The RWF were at that time heavily involved in the Boer War).
UK Soldiers who died in the Great War 1914-19 – accessible on Ancestry includes an entry for James Parker. It confirms all the regimental details at the top of this page and adds that he enlisted in Conwy. This source says he was killed in action on the 20th October 1914
His medal card, also on Ancestry, lists his three medals including the rarer 1914 Star. The card says he entered his first Theatre of the war on he 6th October 1914. It says that ‘death was accepted on the 20th October’ – just 2 weeks later.
The Register of soldiers’ Effects in which the army calculated what moneys were owed to deceased soldiers includes an entry for James. This source tells us that his death was presumed on the 30th October 1914 – so a discrepancy. Other sources say the 20th. Each of his siblings received £3..11sh .. 0d. Patrick received an additional £2 ..6sh ..8d and sarah and Gerrard each received an additional 6/8d
Many thanks to Darryl Porrino who gave us a huge amount of help with this story.