23 December 2007

Victoria Cross: W. R. Parker


Lance Corporal, Royal Marine Light Infantry; Royal Naval Division

Born: 20 September 1881, Grantham, Lincolnshire

Citation: In recognition of his most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in the course of the Dardanelles operations.
On the night of 30th April/lst May, 1915, a message asking for ammunition, water, and medical stores was received from an isolated fire trench at Gaba Tepe.
A party of Non-commissioned Officers and men were detailed to carry water and ammunition, and, in response to a call for a volunteer from among the stretcher bearers, Parker at once came forward; he had during the previous three days displayed conspicuous bravery and energy under fire whilst in charge of the Battalion stretcher bearers.
Several men had already been killed in a previous attempt to bring assistance to the men holding the fire trench. To reach this trench it was necessary to traverse an area at least four hundred yards wide, which was completely exposed and swept by rifle fire. It was already daylight when the party emerged from shelter and at once one of the men was wounded; Parker organised a stretcher party and then going on alone succeeded in reaching the fire trench, all the water and ammunition carriers being either killed or wounded.
After his arrival he rendered assistance to the wounded in the trench, displaying extreme courage and remaining cool and collected in very trying circumstances. The trench had finally to be evacuated [on May 2], and Parker helped to remove and attend the wounded, although he himself was seriously wounded during this operation.

(London Gazette Issue 30147 dated 22 Jun 1917, published 22 Jun 1917.)

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