Walter Parker (ANZAC)
11 August 1894|
Sydney, New South Wales
|Died||22 January 2000
Sydney, New South Wales
Australian Imperial Force (AIF)
– 20th Battalion, 4th Reinforcements
|Years of service||1915–1919|
|Battles/wars||World War I
– Battle of Gallipoli
– Battle of Pozières
British War Medal
80th Anniversary Armistice Remembrance Medal
Legion d'Honneur (France)
Walter Parker (11 August 1894 – 22 January 2000) was an Australian centenarian, one of the last three living veterans of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in World War I.
Parker's pre-war plans for a career in Sydney as a commercial art printer was set aside when he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) at age 20. He arrived at the Battle of Gallipoli in November 1915 with the 20th Battalion, 4th Reinforcements. He was tasked with carrying ammunition and water through the trenches to the front. After his evacuation from Turkey, he fought in France. He was shot in the arm at Pozières; and then he was invalided to England.
After returning to Australia, Parker married and had two children, a son and a daughter. His son was killed in World War II. He was survived by three grandchildren and two great-granddaughters.
In 2000, Parker was recognized as one of the "Australian Legends". His name and photograph were part of an annual series of commemorative postage stamps issued by Australia Post since 1997. The stamps honour living Australians "who have made lifetime contributions to the development of Australia's national identity and character". Parker did not live to fully enjoy this accolade, as he died the day after the stamp was officially issued.
Parker's 45-cent Legend stamp displays the soldier's portrait as a young man, photographed just prior to his departure for Gallipoli. Formal photographs of the other two ANZAC centenarians complete this stamp set. In addition, a fourth stamp features the 1914-15 star medal which was presented to all those who fought in campaigns during those war years. These stamps, designed by Cathleen Cram of the Australia Post Design Studio, commemorate the story of events and people shaping contemporary Australia. The Parker stamp honours him as an individual and as a representative of all the soldiers at Gallipoli whose actions affected Australia's evolving self-image.
Medals and honours
- 1914-15 Star
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal (UK)
- 80th Anniversary Armistice Remembrance Medal, 1999 (Australia).
- Centenary Medal (Australia)
- Australia Post Australian Legends Award, 2000.
- Legion d'Honneur, 1998 (France).
- Alec Campbell, last living Anzac
- Roy Longmore, next to last living Anzac
- Veterans of the First World War who died in 2000
- "Australia Day: Australian Legends," Stamp Bulletin (Australia Post), p. 3.
- Australia Post: "Racing Legends are first past the post," 2007.
- Goldstein, Richard. "Roy Longmore Dies; Australian 'Legend,' 107," New York Times. 2 July], 2001.
- Australia Post: "Previous Australia Post Australian Legends," 2005.
- "156 years collecting Australian graphic art," Priority (Australia Post), 2000.
- Australia Post: "Stamp Bulletin Online No. 254: Australian Legends - The Last Anzacs," 21 January 2000.