PARKER, Joseph Edward – Gresford War Memorial

by Mavis Williams

I believe that Joseph Edward Parker was born in the December Quarter of 1878 in the Chorlton Registration District of Lancashire. (Lancashire Volume:               8c, Page: 659), the son of Charles Thomas and Margaret Parker (nee Welch) who, I believe married in the same district (Chorlton Vol.  8c Page 1141), in the June Quarter of 1876.

Joseph Edward appears for the first time on the 1881 census living with his family at 5, Tully Street, Broughton, Salford.   His father Charles Thomas Parker is missing, I did find him was in the custody of Her Majesty’s Prison in Manchester,:-

1881 census RG11; Piece: 3912; Folio: 127; Page: 9; Sch 9

Charles Thos. PARKER Prisoner Married 28 Watch & Clock Maker born Ashbourne, Derbyshire

Again in 1883 he was incarcerated, see below :-

3rd October 1883 City of Manchester Quarter Sessions

Charles Thomas PARKER – Larceny after previous conviction for felony  – Imprisonment – 12 calendar months with hard labour.   Term of Police Supervision – 3 years.

So it confirms that he had broken the law earlier than 1883, however the 1881 census shows that Margaret is left to care for herself and her children with the help of her sister Katherine Walsh(sic), 22 also born in Ashbourne, Lancs.    Margaret, 27, is listed as the wife of a Clock & Watch Maker and with her were the 3 children, Thomas H., 3, Joseph E., 2, born in Withington, Lancashire and Charles Joseph, 1 born in Walton, Liverpool.

1891 was also a bad year for the family and according to (Susan Sandner, many thanks to her), Joseph Edward’s mother Margaret died in Chorlton, Lancs. 11th February 1891.   This is confirmation that the family were in crisis as on the 1891 census, taken on the 5th April,  the children were all at Margaret’s parents home, living at 33, Moorefield Street, Withington, Manchester, Lancs.    Head of the household was Thomas Welsh, 64 a Painter born in County Mayo, Ireland.    His wife Mary, 64 was a Retired Nurse born in Stockport, Cheshire.   Their daughter Mary Elizabeth, single, 20 and a Domestic Servant had been born in Fallonfield, Lancashire.    Their 5 grandsons, almost orphans, were also in the household.   Thomas H., 13 and Joseph E. , 12, were both Errand Boys.  Charles J, 11, Frederick, 9 and Andrew, 4 were scholars, the latter two had been born in Higher Broughton, and Gorton, Lancashire, respectively.

There is a possible burial of Charles PARKER, Joseph Edward’s father in the Parish of Pemberton, Lancs..Parish Registers, St. John the Divine:-

Page 139 No 1106 Charles PARKER, Earl Street, Scots Lane, Pemberton 13th March 1899 age 47 years.

I  believe that Charles Thomas Parker’s mother – Margaret Parker(nee BULL) of Dig Street, died in the March Quarter of 1888 in the Asbourne District of Derbyshire  (Volume: 7b, Page: 420) and was buried in St. Oswald’s Church, Ashbourne on the 27th January 1888 age 66 years her death was Certified by Elizabeth BURTON.

Given his early life Joseph had worked hard to improve his situation as by the 1901 census it tells us that Joseph Edward was a “Manager Provisions,” age 20 and a Boarder living at 11, Leopold Ave., Withington, Manchester, Lancashire, one of 3 Boarders in the household of Alice Smith, 37 and a widow, her daughter Dorothy, age 1, and her sister Elizabeth Leach, 25.

Joseph Edward, 31 and a Bachelor, obviously moved near Wrexham as in 1910 at St. Giles Wrexham on the 9th November , he married Emily Phoenix, 27, a Spinster, age 27, abode, 38, Talbot Road.    He gave his details – Wine & Spirit Merchant, address, White House, Much Wenlock, so he had risen up in the world after such a sad childhood circumstances.    There were no witnesses from Joseph’s family, sadly.

Joseph Edward Parker in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that he died of wounds and his sole Legatee was his widow Emily who received his War Gratuity of £5 on the 7th October 1919.

Joseph Edward Parker in the UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 confirms his regimental details and tells us that he was born in Withington, Manchester and enlisted in Wrexham.

Joseph E Parker in the British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 tells us that he was awarded the Victory & British War Medals and the 15 Star and that his first Theatre of War was France and he entered therein on the 1st December 1915, and just under 2 months later he died of wounds on the 31st January 1916.

His name is also on the North Wales Memorial Arch (Panels) where he is J.E. PARKER.

Researched and compiled by Mavis Williams



From January 1915 to October 1917, British and Indian Casualty Clearing Stations were posted at St. Venant. In April 1918, during the Battles of the Lys, the Germans advanced half-way between Merville and St. Venant, but the latter town remained in British hands. On the West side of St. Venant Communal Cemetery is the Indian Plot (I), used from January to July 1915; behind that is a French Military Plot; and behind the French Plot is Plot II, used from August 1915 to December 1916. Two British graves are in a civilian plot. During the 1939-45 War, St. Venant was the centre of heavy fighting when delaying actions covered the withdrawal of the British Expeditionary Force to the coast. In fact British troops continued fighting at St. Venant after the evacuation of Dunkirk, and 90 or more were buried in a mass grave in a field at St. Venant. The 1939-45 burials are in Plots III and IV. There are 253 Commonwealth burials of the 1914-18 war, 10 of which are unidentified, and 177 of the 1939-1945 war, 40 of which are unidentified, in this site. The 1939-45 total includes the 90 originally buried in a mass grave and an officer who is commemorated by a special memorial inscribed “Believed to be”.

Pic by John Davies 19/04/2014

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