Wednesday, 2 August 2017

A last word on one Chorlton family and the Great War

The gravestone of the family, 2014
I think this will be the last story for a while on James Arthur Parkes who was the oldest Manchester man to die in the Great War.

He was 63 and had served his country since at least 1878 first in the 26th Regiment of Foot and ended his career in the Durham Light Infantry.

His time with the Colours had taken him to Scotland and County Durham before returning to Manchester.

And as the story unfolded it became clear he hadn’t died on a battlefront but exactly what he was doing back in uniform at 63 evaded me until Lawrence dug in a different direction and came up with this.

356 Manchester Regiment outside the Town Hall, 1915
“By coincidence I was checking who from Chorltonville was a casualty in the Great War. James Arthur Parkes lived at 9 Meadow Bank. 

A former soldier he enlisted again in August 1915 worked at the recruitment centres at Houldsworth Hall, Deansgate and at the Town Hall. 

He was made a Captain in the Durham Light Infantry back in 1897 and was given that title again on rejoining. He died at home.”

Now I have no doubt that more will come out especially about his two sons who died serving with the Manchester Regiment, and the family who continued to live in Chorltonville into the 1960s.

Picture; the grave stone of Mr Parkes and his family in Southern Cemetery, July 2014, from the collection of David Harrop and 356, Manchester Regiment Lord Kitchener, Thomas E Scholey, May 21 1915, m08695, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council,

Additional research by Lawrence Beadle

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