Walter Richard Parker
|Walter Richard Parker|
|Born||20 September 1881
Grantham, Lincolnshire, England
|Died||28 November 1936 (aged 55)
Stapleford, Nottinghamshire, England
|Buried at||Stapleford Cemetery|
|Years of service||1914 - 1916|
|Unit||Royal Marine Light Infantry|
|Battles/wars||World War I - Battle of Gallipoli|
Walter Richard Parker VC (20 September 1881 – 27 November 1936) 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.
Parker was 33 years old, and a lance-corporal in the Royal Marine Light Infantry, Royal Marines, Royal Naval Division during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On the night of 30 April/1 May 1915 at Gaba Tepe, Gallipoli, Turkey, Lance-Corporal Parker, a volunteer stretcher-bearer, went out with a party of NCOs and men to take ammunition, water and medical stores to an isolated trench containing about 40 men and several wounded. There were no communication trenches leading to the trench, and several men had already been killed in an attempt to reach it.
After crossing an area of about 400 yards swept by machine-gun and rifle fire, Lance-Corporal Parker was alone, the rest of the party having been killed or wounded. On his arrival he gave assistance to the wounded and when the trench was finally evacuated early the next morning, he helped to remove and attend the casualties, although he himself was seriously wounded.
Parker never fully recovered from his wounds, and was invalided out of the service in June 1916. The award appeared in the London Gazette on 22 June 1917; the lengthy delay before the award being explained by the Commanding Officer, Adjutant, Sergeant Major and the Company Commander all being wounded at the time of the action for which Parker was awarded the medal. The account of the award also noted that Parker had consistently displayed bravery and energy in the three previous days during a particularly difficult time as commander the battalion's stretcher bearers, when almost every wounded man had to be evacuated over open ground and under fire.
He died, aged 55, at Stapleford near Nottingham and is buried in the local cemetery. A memorial service to him is held annually at Stapleford by the local Royal Marines Association on the Sunday nearest 30 April. There is a paved area in Stapleford town centre named in his honour.
- "No. 30147". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 June 1917. p. 6253.
- "L/Cpl Walter Richard Parker Royal Marines Light Infantry". Royal Marines Regimental Website. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 18 February 2007.
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- VCs of the First World War - Gallipoli (Stephen Snelling, 1995)