The exceptional, extremely rare and historically important Great War Royal Naval Division Anson Battalion 25th April 1915 first day of the Gallipoli landings on ‘V’ Beach River Clyde Victoria Cross action joint citation Conspicuous Gallantry Medal group awarded to Leading Seaman James Parkinson, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, and serving with the Royal Naval Division’s Anson Battalion, who was one of three men to win the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal during the landings from the transport River Clyde, when he together with two others, Chief Petty
The exceptional, extremely rare and historically important Great War Royal Naval Division Anson Battalion 25th April 1915 first day of the Gallipoli landings on ‘V’ Beach River Clyde Victoria Cross action joint citation Conspicuous Gallantry Medal group awarded to Leading Seaman James Parkinson, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, and serving with the Royal Naval Division’s Anson Battalion, who was one of three men to win the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal during the landings from the transport River Clyde, when he together with two others, Chief Petty Officer William Henry Perring and Leading Seaman James Malia, accompanied Sub-Lieutenant Arthur Tisdall in his Victoria Cross winning exploits. The joint citation for all four men’s awards, as published in the London Gazette on 31st March 1916, reads ‘Sub-Lieutenant Tisdall, hearing wounded men on the beach calling for assistance, jumped into the water and, pushing a boat in front of him, went to their rescue. He was, however, obliged to obtain help, and took with him on two trips Leading Seaman Malia and on other trips Chief Petty Officer Perring and Leading Seamen Curtiss and Parkinson. In all Sub-Lieutenant Tisdall made four or five trips between the ship and the shore, and was thus responsible for rescuing several wounded men under heavy and accurate fire.’ Parkinson was for his part 45 years old at the time of his award, having lied about his age in order to enlist, and was then wounded in action in the head on Cape Helles on 14th May 1915. After treatment in Egypt, he rejoined the Anson Battalion at Gallipoli on 28th June 1915, but just under a month later came down with sciatica, and other ailments, and was evacuated. Back in England by September 1915, he saw home service from then only, being presented with the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal by the Camp Commandant at Blandford in April 1916. He later worked as a driver of one of the Lancaster Corporation’s Tram Cars, and assisted in running a sweep stake.
Group of 4: Conspicuous Gallantry Medal, GVR Adm. bust; (KP.982. J. PARKINSON. LG. SEAN. R.N.V.R. R.N.DIVN: ANSON BN.); 1914-1915 Star; (K.P.-982 J. PARKINSON. C.G.M. A.B., R.N.V.R.); British War Medal and Victory Medal; (K.P.982 J. PARKINSON. A.B. R.N.V.R.), mounted swing style as worn, all on original ribbons, the first with the rare first type ribbon.
Condition: Good Very Fine.
Together with the following original documentation:
Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Royal Naval Division Service Certificate, issued to Parkinson, this together with forwarding envelope.
Ministry of Pensions Notification of Final Award, dated 9th September 1922.
A superb photograph of the recipient in Royal Naval Division khaki uniform, shown wearing the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal, and presumably taken on the day he was invested with the medal, the reverse inscribed: ‘Gt Uncle Jim’.
Princess Mary Christmas Tin 1914, the one which belonged to Parkinson. According to a family source, Parkinson later used it to keep his nails in.
Also a copied image supplied by the family, this taken of Jim Parkinson in 1933 some two years before his death.
James Parkinson was born on 27th February 1870, though he later stated 27th February 1880 on his enlistment, as he would have otherwise been too old, and came from a large family who lived around the Lune Estuary four miles south of Lancaster in the parishes of Glasson, Ellel and Turnham. By the outbreak of the Great War he was living in Sheffield, Yorkshire, and working as a mason, and according to family sources, he had left home at about the age of 21. Having allegedly jilted a girl calls Mary Harriet. His departure was so sudden that he left behind his tin luggage box. When shaken it rattled and, as they thought there might be money in it, it was opened and all they found were stones - so Mary Harriet got nothing. Thereafter for the next 25 years ‘nothing was heard again of Our Jim’. Then in the summer of 1915 a neighbour knocked on the door of my grandparents house in Dorrington Road, Lancaster, and said ‘there’s a soldier / sailor asking for Rushton’s in the street’ - and so Uncle Jim came to stay for the night and stayed for the next 21 years.’ This mush have been after his return from Gallipoli in September 1915.
As a result of the outbreak of the Great War, Parkinson had first enlisted as a Private (No.5552) into the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers on 9th September 1914, but, having presumably been found to be overage, was then discharged and the next day enrolled into the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve on 10th September 1914 at Crystal Palace, being then borne on the books of Victory VI and posted as an Ordinary Seaman (No.K.P.982) to the 2nd Reserve Battalion, Royal Naval Division.
Posted to Victory IV for service with the Anson Battalion from 3rd November 1914, he was rated as an Acting Leading Seaman on 23rd February 1915. Parkinson then found himself involved in and distinguishing himself in an epic moment in British military history, the landing from the River Clyde on ‘V’ Beach at Gallipoli on 25th April 1915.
The reason behind the Gallipoli campaign in 1915 conducted by the British and the French, using British, French and Australian warships and British, French, Australian, New Zealand and Indian troops, was to take the Gallipoli Peninsular, penetrate the Dardanelles waterway and capture Constantinople, thereby knocking the Ottoman Turkish Empire out of the First World War.
The Gallipoli Peninsular forms the northern shore of the Dardanelles, the narrow waterway leading from the north east corner of the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmora, the city of Constantinople, then the capital of Ottoman Turkey, and then to the Black Sea. The Gallipoli landings occurred on 25th April 1915. While the ANZAC Corps attacked north of Gaba Tepe with the aim of cutting across the Gallipoli Peninsular half way up its length, the two British divisions would attack at Cape Helles. Cape Helles is the main promontory in the centre of the two mile wide southern end of the Gallipoli Peninsular.
It was decided to make a further landing at what was expected to be a deserted beach further north and level with Krithia, ‘Y’ beach. The French division would carry out a diversionary attack on the Asiatic shore. The main force for the initial British landings was the 29th Division formed almost entirely of regular British infantry battalions brought back from colonial postings following the declaration of war on 3rd August 1914. Two Royal Naval Division battalions were attached to the 29th Division for the initial landings; Plymouth Battalion RMLI and Anson Battalion.
Five beaches around Cape Helles were to be attacked: X Beach situated on the north west coast of the Cape Helles promontory: W Beach on the western section of the southern coast between Tekke Burnu and Cape Helles: V Beach at the eastern end of the cove lying between Cape Helles and Sedd el Bahr: Camber Beach lying round the south-eastern promontory of Sedd el Bahr and S Beach at De Totts Battery at the eastern end of the sweep of Morto Bay. General Sir Ian Hamilton’s plan for Cape Helles followed the form of the ANZAC landing: a covering force landing first, followed by the main body once circumstances permitted the disembarkation of more troops. The size of the covering force was governed by the naval resources available to put it ashore and the amount of space on-shore in which the troops could operate.
The force landing on X, W, V and Camber beaches was the 86th Fusilier Brigade commanded by Brigadier General Hare comprising 2nd Royal Fusiliers (to land on X Beach), 1st Lancashire Fusiliers (to land on W Beach), 1st Royal Munster Fusiliers (to land on V Beach from the River Clyde) and 1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers (to land on V Beach) with an additional two companies from 2nd Hampshires (to land on V Beach from the River Clyde) and four platoons from the Anson Battalion split between the various units. 2nd South Wales Borderers was to land on S Beach. Signallers, engineers and medical personnel were attached to the detachments.
1st King’s Own Scottish Borderers and the Plymouth Battalion Royal Marine Light Infantry with one company of 2nd South Wales Borders was to land on Y Beach. The covering force (X, W, V, Camber and S Beaches) was to approach the Gallipoli coast in naval warships and then transfer to tows for the final passage to land. The warships carrying the covering force to its disembarkation point were HMS Implacable (X and part of W Beaches), HMS Euryalus (W Beach), Fleet Sweeper No 1 and the River Clyde (V and Camber Beaches) and HMS Cornwallis (S Beach). Supporting units with two companies of 2nd Royal Fusiliers were to come up in other craft.
The expectation was that once ashore the various units would link up and form a complete brigade line. As at Anzac it was the intention of the army command to make the landing at night. In the case of Cape Helles the naval commanders refused, siting the strong currents and the difficulty of manoeuvring ships in such a confined space, and the landing was fixed for daylight. The operation would begin with a naval bombardment of the shore defences at 5am: HMS Albion on V Beach, HMS Swiftsure and Euryalus on W Beach and HMS Implacable on X Beach. At 5.30am the bombardment would end and the troops set off for the beaches in tows, each comprising a steamboat pulling a string of four ship’s boats. The ship’s boats would be cast adrift and rowed the final section to shore. These boats were wooden and provided no protection for the troops aboard even against rifle fire. The three companies of 2nd South Wales Borderers were to transfer from HMS Cornwallis to three trawlers and enter Morto Bay ready to land on S Beach as the tows set off for the other beaches. It was planned that the covering force would be ashore by 7am, the landing of the main force would begin by 8.30am and the whole of the 29th Division infantry with much of its artillery be ashore by midday. W Beach was to be reserved for the landing of guns, horses, transports and stores due to its ease of access to the hinterland and its reduced vulnerability to gunfire from the Turkish positions on the Asiatic shore.
As the landing proceeded a substantial naval force was to bombard identified Turkish infantry and gun positions further inland. This naval force was commanded by Rear Admiral Nicholson and comprised the ships conducting the initial bombardment with the addition of HMS Queen Elizabeth (once it returned from the Anzac landing), Vengeance, Lord Nelson, Prince George, Albion, Swiftsure, Dublin, Goliath, all battleships, and the cruisers Sapphire, Amethyst, Talbot and Minerva. Once the groups at the beaches had linked up the 86th Brigade was to establish a line across the isthmus from X Beach to Sedd el Bahr to cover the landing of the main force. On landing Major General Hunter-Weston, the commander of 29th Division, would take command of all the troops ashore and press on to take the final objective for the day, the Achi Baba Ridge and the ground running down to the Dardanelles coast line.
As at Anzac the objectives set for the first day of the landing demonstrate the extent to which the British commanders underestimated the difficulties of the ground, the strength of the defences and the competence of the German trained Turkish infantry and artillery. The lack of trained air observers for the British aircraft meant that there was no proper assessment from the air of the nature of the countryside which proved to be more broken and difficult than was reported. Achi Baba was not taken by the British and French troops at any time in the eight month Gallipoli campaign. The British over-estimated the strength of the Turkish forces at Cape Helles. It was believed that the whole of the Turkish 9th Division was positioned in the area. In fact only two battalions and one company of engineers were south of Achi Baba. Actually on the beaches there were two companies covering W and V Beaches. At S Beach there was one platoon. At X Beach there were twelve Turkish infantrymen. Only W and V Beaches were protected by barbed wire and machine guns.
The ships carrying the covering force left the island of Tenedos at 10pm on 24th April 1915, timed to arrive off Cape Helles an hour before daylight. At 3.30am the warships were in place off each beach and at 4 am the troops transferred from the ships to the tows. The first wave was in eighteen tows, each comprising a steam launch pulling four wooden boats. Brigadier General Hare determined to land at the earliest opportunity travelled in the first wave for W Beach. To the south HMS Cornwallis was heading for Morto Bay with the troops for S Beach in four trawlers. A mile behind were the transports carrying the troops of the covering force second trip, including the River Clyde. Further south were the eleven transports carrying the remainder of the 29th Division. The 29th Division commander General Hunter-Weston was on board the British frigate HMS Euryalus, to ensure the best of communications with Rear-Admiral Wemyss.
At 5am the warships began the bombardment of the beach areas. While bringing a substantial number of guns to bear the naval gunfire had significant limitations. Naval guns have a flat trajectory, not appropriate for engaging land targets where a lobbing trajectory is needed to put the shell into the position under fire. The warships were equipped with the standard ship to ship ammunition which was armour piercing. High explosive shells were needed to destroy field fortifications. A direct hit with armour piercing shot was required to destroy a field gun. Half an hour later the troops were to land on each of the four beaches simultaneously. The flotilla of four trawlers heading for S Beach encountered unexpectedly strong currents and were delayed.
As mentioned Parkinson would go on to distinguish himself during the landing from the River Clyde on V Beach on 25th April 1915.
V Beach occupied the eastern half of the bay that lies between Cape Helles, the headland to the south of Hill 138, and the old fort and hamlet of Sedd el Bahr at the eastern end of the bay. In the western half of the bay precipitous cliffs come down to the waterline restricting access from the sea. Overlooking the western end of the beach was the old Fort No 1 on the cliff. The ground behind V Beach slopes inland. The beach itself is 300 yards long and10 yards wide backed by a bank about 5 feet high. In spite of the ambitious plans of the higher command the troops of the covering force were to get no further than the 5 foot bank and were thankful that it was there to provide them with cover.
Fort No. 1 at the western end of V Beach and the fort and buildings of Sedd el Bahr had been bombarded by the British and French warships during the March 1915 naval attack on the Dardanelles and again on the morning of the landings. The bombardments had left the buildings severely battered and without any of the guns originally emplaced there but, if anything, the damage to the walls made them a stronger field fortification for infantry overlooking the landing beach.
The Turkish army had reinforced these fortifications with trenches and a barbed wire entanglement along the top of the beach from Sedd el Bahr to Fort No.1. There was a further wire entanglement halfway up the slope behind the beach and a third along the western side of Sedd el Bahr village.
Machine guns were positioned in the forts at each end of the beach and others in the more central trenches. On the left end of the ridge there were two Pom Pom quick firing guns. So strong were the Turkish defences at V Beach that the official historian states that the senior British officers, who were aware of the work the Turks were carrying out, must have assumed that they would be destroyed by the naval bombardment on 25th April 1915 before the landings.
HMS Albion fired on the shore defences for half an hour doing considerable damage to the buildings. The Turkish trenches were not damaged. Again the limitations on naval ammunition will have been a factor as will the flat trajectory of the naval guns eliminating the ‘howitzer’ effect essential effectively to shell field fortifications. It was expected that the Sedd el Bahr position would be eliminated by the half company landing on the far side of the point and attacking the position in the rear.
As at all the beaches the naval bombardment ceased once the landing boats neared the shore leaving a period of around ten minutes for the Turkish troops to re-occupy their positions, abandoned to take cover from the shell-fire. The five tows for V Beach and the one for Camber around the point set off from the ships just before 6am with 1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers and the platoon of the Anson Battalion. The plan was that the River Clyde would be grounded near the shore shortly after the rowed barges reached the beach.
As at several other locations in the Gallipoli landings the tows encountered an unexpected current and were delayed, falling behind the more powerful River Clyde. As the River Clyde was required to ground after the tows had landed she was forced to change course to give the tows time to catch up. There was at this stage no fire from the shore. The growing expectation was that the Turks had decided not to oppose the landing and had gone.
The River Clyde ran ashore at the point planned. Lieutenant Colonel Williams on the River Clyde recorded in the log he was jotting down as the operation progressed: “6.22am Ran smoothly ashore without a tremor. No opposition. We shall land unopposed.” Three minutes later Colonel Williams wrote: “6.25am. Tows within a few yards of shore. Hell burst loose on them. One boat drifting to north, all killed. Others almost equally helpless. Our hopper gone away.”
The Official History states: “Up to the last moment it seemed that the Turkish defences had been abandoned; but just as the River Clyde grounded, and when the boats were only a few yards from the shore, Hell was suddenly let loose. A tornado of fire swept over the incoming boats, lashing the calm waters of the bay as with a thousand whips. Devastating casualties were suffered in the first few seconds. Some of the boats drifted helplessly away with every man in them killed. Many more of the Dublins were killed as they waded ashore. Others, badly wounded, stumbling in the water, were drowned. Those who succeeded in crossing the strip of sand, managed to gain a precarious shelter under the bank on the further side.”
It was intended that the boats that had landed the covering party on V Beach would return to the transports and convey the main body to the shore. The boats were almost entirely destroyed and their naval crews killed. The two platoons landed at Camber around the point from the main V Beach landing, but all the officers were killed and the troops pinned down, the few men who got into the village being captured by the Turks.
During the planning for the landings on Gallipoli in April 1915 Commander Unwin, captain of the destroyer HMS Hussar, put forward a plan for landing a significant number of soldiers with cover provided right up to the beach. A collier would be filled with around 2,000 troops and run ashore immediately after the first wave of troops landed.
Unwin’s plan was adopted and Unwin was given command of the selected collier, the River Clyde. Unwin spent the short period left in adapting the River Clyde for her role. Holes were cut in the collier’s sides and gangways attached so that the troops could remain in cover until the last moment and then emerge from the ship and run down the gangways to a platform under the bows. Unwin arranged a system of lighters which would be towed to the shore and then swung round to the front of the collier to provide a bridge to the shore. A battery of machine guns was placed in the bow of the collier, protected by sandbag walls, to provide covering fire for the landing troops.
On 25th April 1915 the River Clyde carried 1st Royal Munster Fusiliers, 2nd Hampshire Regiment (less two companies), one company of Royal Dublin Fusiliers and other sub-units of signallers and engineers. Several senior staff officers were on the collier including Lieutenant Colonel Williams.
When the River Clyde grounded one of the craft intended for the bridge became stuck in the wrong place. Unwin, accompanied by Able Seaman Williams, plunged into the sea and hauled the lighters into place between the collier and the shore providing the bridge needed for the heavily encumbered infantrymen to disembark. All the while the machine guns in the bows of the River Clyde provided a heavy covering fire for the landing.
The Munster Fusiliers poured down the two gangplanks to cross the lighters to the shore. Virtually all of the first companies were shot down by the murderous Turkish fire from the shore. Able Seaman Williams was killed by a shell burst fired by a Turkish gun on the Asiatic coast and, Unwin being unable to hold the lighter in position on his own, it drifted out of place. The Munsters continued trying to reach the shore struggling through the intervening water. Many were shot and others dragged down by their heavy equipment and drowned. As they scrambled ashore the surviving Munsters and Dubliners gathered at the five foot bank. Some soldiers went on and attempted to cut their way through the wire entanglement but were shot. Lieutenant Colonel Williams on the River Clyde noted that the Turkish rifle fire was “extraordinarily well handled ….. very heavy and accurate.”
The decision was taken that no further troops, in particular the two companies of 2nd Hampshires, would attempt to land from the River Clyde until after dark. By 9am the survivors of the 1sr Royal Dublin Fusiliers and 1st Royal Munster Fusiliers lay in cover under the bank at the top of the beach unable to move in the face of the heavy rifle and machine gun fire from the defending Turkish troops, albeit only one company.
Of the Royal Navy personnel on the River Clyde Commander Unwin, Sub-Lieutenant Tisdall of Anson Battalion, Midshipmen Malleson and Drewry, Able Seamen Williams and Samson were awarded the Victoria Cross for their conduct in maintaining the landing facilities of the collier under the heaviest of rifle and machine gun fire at close range, while around them hundreds of soldiers were being hit, and assisting the wounded. This amounted an incredible 6 awards of the Victoria Cross to the Royal Navy, a feat unprecedented in naval history.
Amazingly whilst there were 6 awards of the Victoria Cross, there were only 3 awards of the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal, namely the awards to Chief Petty Officer William Henry Perring, Leading Seaman James Malia, and Leading Seaman James Parkinson, all of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.
All three of these men, all of the Anson Battalion, won the award for there actions in accompanying Sub-Lieutenant Arthur Tisdall in his Victoria Cross winning exploits, and their citation is a joint one with the one for Tisdall’s Victoria Cross, giving an idea of the magnitude of their actions.
The joint citation reads as follows: ‘During the landing from the S.S. "River Clyde" at V Beach in the Gallipoli Peninsula on the 25th April, 1915, Sub-Lieutenant Tisdall, hearing wounded men on the beach calling for assistance, jumped into the water and, pushing a boat in front of him, went to their rescue. He was, however, obliged to obtain help, and took with him on two trips Leading Seaman Malia and on other trips Chief Petty Officer Perring and Leading Seamen Curtiss and Parkinson. In all Sub-Lieutenant Tisdall made four or five trips between the ship and the shore, and was thus responsible for rescuing several wounded men under heavy and accurate fire. Owing to the fact that Sub-Lieutenant Tisdall and the platoon under his orders were on detached service at the time, and that this Officer was killed in action on the 6th May, it has only now been possible to obtain complete information as to the individuals who took part in this gallant act. Of these, Leading Seaman Fred Curtiss, O.N. Dev. 1899. has been missing since the 4th June, 1915.’
Tisdall was posthumous awarded the Victoria Cross in the London Gazette for 31st March 1916, whilst Chief Petty Officer William Henry Perring, Leading Seaman James Malia, and Leading Seaman James Parkinson were also awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal in the London Gazette for 31st March 1916. Of the other man. Leading Seaman Fred Curtiss, he had been killed in action on 4th June 1915, and appears to have been posthumous Mentioned in Despatches.
For his part, having earned his award when aged 45, he survived the first day at Gallipoli, Parkinson went on to serve with the Anson Battalion at Cape Helles till wounded in action by shrapnel and or a gunshot wound to the head on 14th May 1915. Evacuated to hospital in Egypt, he was admitted to the Military Hospital in the Citadel at Cairo on 27th May 1915, being then accredited with a gunshot wound to the head. However, he swiftly receovered, and was discharged from hospital and embarked at Alexandria to rejoin the Anson Battalion at Gallipoli on 19th June 1915. Whilst aboard ship in Alexandria harbour, he received a punishment which resulted in him being reverted to Able Seaman and deprived of 14 days pay.
Parkinson rejoined the Anson Battalion at Gallipoli on 28th June 1915, but just under a month later on 27th July 1915 he was admitted to hospital suffering from sciatica. He was initially treated ashore at Gallipoli. However this then resulted in Parkinson being evacuated from Gallipoli and on 1st August 1915 he was admitted to hospital at Alexandria, before being moved to the hospital at Cairo on 5th August 1915, where he was diagnosed as suffering from rheumatism and myalgia. Due to the myalgia, he was moved to the hospital at Abbasieh in Cairo on 11th August 1915, and was then invalided to England aboard the hospital ship “Demosthenes” on 24th August 1915.
On his arrival at Portsmouth, Parkinson was admitted to Haslar Military Hospital on 9th September 1915, where he was treated for his rheumatism. Discharged from hospital and returned to duty on 28th September 1915, he had in the meantime been awarded a Hurt Certificate back on 22nd September 1915. Parkinson was then sent to the 3rd Reserve Battalion at Blandford, and it was whilst here in camp that news came through of his award of the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal on 6th April 1916, the award being duly presented to him by the Blandford Camp Commandant on 23rd April 1916. In this period, Parkinson was posted to the 2nd Reserve Battalion at Blandford, and was briefly lent to the 2nd Hawke Battalion, before being then posted to the 4th Reserve Battalion at Blanford on 15th June 1916. Parkinson ultimately ended up with the 3rd Reserve Battalion from 31st July to 21st September 1916, when he was discharged from service owing to his injuries. At the time, his next-of-kin was given as his brother, Thomas Parkinson, a Game Keeper, living ate Ashton Hall in Lancaster.
Parkinson had a small pension from his naval service and his wounds, but according to his family ‘a relative Uncle Moab got him a job as a driver of one of the Lancaster Corporation’s Tram Cars. He also helped with my grandfather’s business as an Insurance Agent and Coal Merchant and they ran a sweep stake which was a forerunner of football pools. Until they went over to motor lorries Uncle Jim helped Adam the stable man with the horses. When my Uncle, James Edward Rushton, was born Uncle Jim led the bicycle contingent which took the glad news out to relatives in the surrounding countryside. Need less to say they all came back drunk.’
‘He was clearly a convivial man and was known to all as ‘Uncle Jim’, even to his tram car passengers and also to fellow patrons of the Greaves Hotel where he went every night ‘until he retired from the trams when he never drank again’ but that would only be a year or so before he died.’ The family mystery was of what had happened between the day he had left Condor Green circa 1890, and then turning up in Lancaster in 1915. ‘They tried him drunk and they tried him sober but he gave nowt away.’ Sometimes letters came from South Wales which he ‘just thew in the fire’. Once a postcard photo arrived of two little boys which also went in the fire. My mother told me that Nana steamed open one or two letters but did not say what was in them. How and why he got to Sheffield, where he joined up, I do not know. His joining the navy may have harked back to his coming from the shores of Morecambe Bay where an Uncle built ships at Glasson Dock.
Parkinson’s brother died in 1920, and he then continued to live with his brothers widow, and despite her being only 33, the fact that he would have been 50 as a result there was never any hint of scandal. So he continued to occupy the back bedroom ‘all to himself’, until he died’ on 12th April 1937.
Parkinson’s death ‘occurred at tea time when the char-woman came in and asked ‘did that fellow get the job Mr Parkinson?’ to which Uncle Jim replied with his last breath ‘No-did he hell’. His last word was hell!’ There was not enough money to bury him. so his sister-in-law provided the space she had reserved for next to her husband and paid then funeral expenses, but could never afford a headstone and Parkinson is buried in an unmarked grave in Scotforth Cemetery, Lancaster.