Hardy Falconer Parsons
Hardy Falconer Parsons
|Born||13 June 1897|
|Died||21 August 1917 (aged 20)|
near Epehy, France
Villers-Faucon Communal Cemetery
|Unit||The Gloucestershire Regiment|
|Battles/wars||World War I †|
Hardy Falconer Parsons VC (13 June 1897 – 21 August 1917) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
He was born in Rishton, Lancashire, the son of the Reverend James Ash Parsons and Henrietta Parsons, of Leysian Mission, City Road, London. He was educated at King Edward VII School, Lytham St Annes, Kingswood School, Bath, and as a medical student at the University of Bristol, preparing for Medical Missionary Work.
His grandmother is listed as Mary Parsons (born 1833 in Sidmouth, Devon) and had a brother, Ewart Parsons (born 1899 in Highbury, Middlesex).
A commemorative stone was unveiled in his hometown of Rishton on 21 August 2017 at the town's War Memorial to mark 100 years since he died. As he was a Bristol University medical student, a blue plaque on his former residence was also unveiled in 2017. 
He was 20 years old, and a temporary second lieutenant in the 14th (Service) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment, British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 20/21 August 1917 near Epehy, France, during a night attack by the enemy on his bombing post, the bombers holding the post were forced back, but Second Lieutenant Parsons remained at his post. Single-handed and although severely burnt by liquid fire, he continued to hold up the enemy with bombs until severely wounded. Second Lieutenant Parsons died of his wounds.
An extract from The London Gazette, dated 17 October 1917, records the following:
For most conspicuous bravery during a night attack by a strong party of the enemy on a bombing post held by his command. The bombers holding the block were forced back, but Second Lieutenant Parsons remained at his post, and, single-handed, and although severely scorched and burnt by liquid fire, he continued to hold up the enemy with bombs until severely wounded. This very gallant act of self-sacrifice and devotion to duty undoubtedly delayed the enemy long enough to allow of the organisation of a bombing party, which succeeded in driving back the enemy before they could enter any portion of the trenches. The gallant officer succumbed to his wounds.
His Victoria Cross is displayed in the Officers' Mess of Bristol University Officer Training Corps at the Artillery Grounds, Whiteladies Road, Bristol. The mess is named the Falconer Parsons VC Mess in his honour.
- "Villers-Faucon Communal Cemetery". ormerod. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
- "Blue plaque for Bristol University WW1 flamethrower hero". BBC News. 8 November 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
- CWGC entry
- "No. 30338". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 October 1917. p. 10677.