Photograph courtesy of Michael Parson
Born: 1895, Barham, Suffolk.
Died: 3rd July 1916; age 21; KiA.
Enlistment Location: Ipswich.
Date of Entry Therein: 30th May 1915 – France.
Rank: Private; Service Number: 12379
Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 7th Battalion.
Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1915 Star.
1901 1, Crane Hill, Ipswich.
Leonard was 5 years old and living with his parents & siblings.
Edwin Parson, 41, a Flour & Potato Merchant – own account, born Great Waldringfield, Suffolk.
Harriet Minto Parson (nee Smith), 40, born Lonham, Rutland.
Barry Strutt Parson, 18, born Wraysbury, Buckinghamshire.
Lilian Mary Parson, 13, born Victoria Park, London.
Edith Melissa Parson, 13, born Hackney, London.
Stanley Edwin Parson, 9, born Barham, Suffolk.
Kathleen Minto Parson, 7, born Barham.
Frith Parson, 3, born Bildeston, Suffolk.
Florence Elizabeth Parson, 2, born Bildeston.
1911 239, Ranelagh Road, Ipswich.
Leonard was 15 years old, a Garden Boy – Private Service. He was livng with his parents & siblings.
Edwin, 52, a Potato Dealer – employer.
Stanley, 19, a Draper’s Porter.
Kathleen, 17, Assisting in House Duties.
Frith, 14, Assisting in Father’s Business.
Olive Mabel Parson, 10, born Ipswich.
Edwin’s business included delivery of potatoes, apples, carrots, parsnips and onions.
Soldiers’ Effects to Harriet M. Parson – mother.
Leonard is also remembered on the St. Nicholas Congregational Church war memorial, once sited at St. Nicholas Street, Ipswich.
The 7th Battalion Suffolk Regiment lost many Ipswich men during day 3 of the offensive. On July 1st , at 7.30am the Battle of the Somme started.
That day was a terrible and tragic day, out of the 1000’s of British and Commonwealth men who went ‘over the top’ to attack the German positions 19,340 were killed and 38,500 were wounded.
“On 2 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the 7th Battalion was moved up to the British front line trenches. On 3rd July, as part of the 35th Brigade, along with the 5th Royal Berkshires, the 7th Suffolk’s Battalion took part in a two Brigade frontal attached on Ovillers, zero hour was set for 03.15am. The first four waves reached the enemies’ third line of defence where after meeting very stiff resistance, the attack stalled. Due to the darkness the succeeding waves lost touch and were unable to assist. Casualties numbered 470 including all company commanders killed.” The remnants of the Battalion remained in the trenches until 8 July.
Extract from the history of the Suffolk regiment 1914-27. by Lt-C0l.C.C.R .Murphy.