Francis 1906

Image courtesy of Charnwood Genealogy

Image from 1916 Suffolk Chronicle and Mercury newspaper.

Born: 1890, Ipswich.

Died: 15th July 1916; age 26; KiA.

Evening Star – Friday, 11th August 1916 – Mrs. Parker, of 29, The Mount, Ipswich, has been notified of the death of her husband, Sergeant Francis James Parker, of the Suffolk Regiment, who was killed in action. He leaves a widow and one child to mourn their loss. Mrs. Parker has also received a letter from Captain Harold Pretty, in which he says that “during a year and a half’s soldiering together I had the greatest respect and admiration for Sergeant Parker for he always bore himself most gallantly.”

Residence: Ipswich.

Employed: as a Foot Plate worker for Great Eastern Railway, Ipswich. James had joined the company on the 24th October 1908, aged 18, first as an engine cleaner at Ipswich. Then in May 1911, as an acting Fireman based at Ipswich, and for a while at Felixstowe, Suffolk – he returned to work at Ipswich in February 1912.

Enlistment: James was a Territorial and rejoined his old Battalion within a month of the outbreak of the war at Ipswich.

Date of Entry Therein: 8th November 1914 – France.

James saw heavy fighting at Ypres, Neuve Chapelle & Loos.


Rank: Sergeant; Service Number: 2228

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 4th Battalion.


Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1914 Star + Military Medal.


Memorial Reference:

Pier & Face 1C & 2A.

Thiepval Memorial,






1891   3, Lower Orwell Street, Ipswich.


James was 9 months old and living with his parents & siblings.

William Parker, 59, a Quay Labourer, born Needham Market, Suffolk.

Elizabeth Watling Parker (nee Anderson), 35, born Ipswich.

Charles Parker, 17, an Errand Boy, born Ipswich.

Laura Parker, 15, a Boot Machinist, born Ipswich.

Thomas Parker, 13, an Errand Boy, born Ipswich.

Frederick Parker, 11, born Ipswich.

Mabel Louisa Parker, 8, born Ipswich.

Harriet Rebecca Parker, 6, born Ipswich.

Beatrice May Parker, 3, born Ipswich.


1901   Trafalgar Buildings, Shirehall Yard, Ipswich.


James was 11 years old and living with his widowed mother & siblings.

Elizabeth, 45, a Charwoman.

Charles, 27, a Blacksmith.

Laura, 25, a Boot Machinist.

Mabel, 19, a Stay Machinist.

Harriet, 15, a Box Maker.

May, 13.

Jessie Amelia Parker, 8, born Ipswich.

An interesting blog can be read on Charnwood Genealogy blog about how this fantastic picture postcard of Francis was found and the quest to discover Francis J. Parker.


1911   2, Henslow Road, Ipswich.


James was 21 years old, a Railway Engine Cleaner – Great Eastern Railway Company. He was living with his mother, siblings & brother in law.

Elizabeth, 55, a Charwoman – Domestic.

Charles, 36, a Blacksmith – Shoeing Smith.

Jessie, 18, a Stationery Machine Hand – Cardboard Boxes.

Harriet Clarke, 25.

Ezekiel Clarke, 28, His Majesty’s Navy Stoker – H.M.Navy.

James’s father, William Parker died 1898, Ipswich.


On the 2nd December 1911, Ipswich, James married, Edith Alice Sherman, born February 1891, Ipswich.

They had 2 children:

William Parker, born 1912, Ipswich.

Violet May Parker, born June 1914, Ipswich.


Soldiers’ Effects to Edith Parker – widow.

James is also remembered on the Great Eastern Railway war memorial at Liverpool Street Station, London.


 Extra information courtesy of Keith Barker – Great Eastern Railway Society

The Somme Offensive Day 15

The Battle of the Bazentin Ridge and the attack on High Wood.
The 4th Battalion the Suffolks 15th July 1916 regimental records:

While the 4th Battalion was moving through Becordel to the position between Fricourt and Mametz where they bivouacked during the night of July 14th-15th, the battle of the Bazentin Ridge was raging in all its fury. They were not destined, however, to remain long thus upon the fringe of the hostilities, and at dawn went out under the command of Major H.C.Copeman D.S.O to support the 1st Middlesex Regiment in an attack on Switch trench. After severe fighting, a line immediately in front of the Village of Bazentin-le-Petit was taken up and held for the remainder of the day. The casualties in the battalion exceeded two hundred.

This is the highest death rate of the war for Ipswich. 18 men.

Suffolk Regiment Battalion movements


Friends of The Suffolk Regiment

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