Frank Parkinson (1894-1918)

This page is part of a project by David Verguson to research the lives of those who appear on war memorials and rolls of honour in the Lindley area.


Frank was the son of Joe William Parkinson, a woolen spinner and his wife Martha Ann (nee Garside) who married early in 1883. By the time Frank was born in late 1894 the Parkinson's already had three children, Mary Jane, Friend and Edgar. Another, Albert, had died late in 1891. Another daughter, Phyllis, was born in 1905. It was a large family to support on a spinner's wages even as the oldest started work. Another child has also died young, probably around 1900.

At this time, the family were living in a three-roomed house on Bull Green Road, Longwood, one of the many houses in the area owned by mill-owner Joseph Hoyle, of Prospect Mill.[1]

By 1911 the family had one more room at Longwood Gate, living in another house owned by Joseph Hoyle. Mary Jane had married Ernest Hoyle and had a son but along with her brothers Edgar and Frank and sister Phyllis, still lived at home. Friend had married and moved out in 1907. Even so, with four adults, two grown sons and two children aged six and seven, the four rooms must have been very cramped.

Nevertheless, all those old enough were in work: Joe and Edgar were spinners; Frank and his brother-in-law, Ernest, were finishers. Mary Jane, despite being married and with a child was also working, as a weaver, no doubt because her mother could look after her son. The household must have felt quite prosperous. Frank became a member of Longwood Liberal Club, probably as soon as he was old enough.

Frank joined the 5th Battalion Duke of Wellington's on 27 January 1916 at Huddersfield, no doubt after registering under the Derby Scheme before it ended in mid-December 1916, and then being called up.

After initial training Frank would have been sent France by the middle of the year probably to join the 9th (Service) Battalion after first receiving further training at Etaples. In the summer of 1916 the 17th (Northern) Division, of which the 9th were a part, were engaged in the Battle of the Somme.

Frank was sent back home with trench fever in 1917 and it was during his time at home that he married Mary Ann Boyson. It has been difficult to trace Mary Ann for certain; there was definitely no one of that name in Huddersfield in 1911. A Mary Ann Boyson from a labourer's family in Northamptonshire was working as a servant in central London in 1911. It is possible that she came to Huddersfield to work in munitions during the war, though it seems more likely that that Frank was hospitalized in London and Mary was working as a nurse. They were married, in Huddersfield, in the late summer of 1917 and may have set up home in Taylor Hill.

Frank returned to the Front and was killed in action during the last days of the war on 13 October 1918 near Le Cateau, when the German army was retreating and is buried near where he fell at the Incy Communal Cemetery.

Locally, Frank is remembered at the Salendine Nook Baptist Chapel.

Frank's brother, Edgar, married Charlotte Garside, of Holywell Green — probably a cousin — in early 1916. Three years later they had a son they named Frank.[2]

Mary Ann married Thomas William Montgomery in Belfast in the third quarter of 1920.

Frank's father Joe died in early 1927 at the age of 65. His mother Martha died in June 1937.

Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922

The following extract is from Huddersfield's Roll of Honour: 1914-1922 (2014) by J. Margaret Stansfield:

PARKINSON, FRANK. Lance Corporal. No 242407. 9th Battalion Duke of Wellington's Regiment. Born Thornhill, Longwood, Huddersfield. Son of Mr and Mrs Joe W. Parkinson, 8 Orchard Street, Longwood. Educated Goitfield Board School. Employed as a cloth finisher by Mr Sam Hirst, cloth finisher, Milnsbridge. Married in 1917. Attended Salendine Nook Chapel and was a member of the Longwood Liberal Club. Lived 43 Taylor Hill Road, Huddersfield. Enlisted 27.1.1916. Invalided home with trench fever in 1917. Killed in action at Inchy, near Le Cateau, on 13.10.1918, aged 24 years. Buried INCHY COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION. Grave location:- Row B, Grave 14.
ROH:- Salendine Nook Baptist Chapel.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission



Notes and References

  1. Just across the road lived the Holland and Morton families who also lost sons in the Great War.
  2. Sadly, a boy of the same name died in Huddersfield in 1926.