Henry S PARKER MM
Rank: Private
Number: 88463
Unit: 1/7th Battalion King’s (Liverpool) Regiment
Date of Death: 29 September 1918
Age: 29
Cemetery: Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France

Henry was the son of Dr Swindlehurst Parker and Annie Parker. He had been born in Stockport and lived all his life in the town until he enlisted into the army. He was married, but his wife's name is not known. After the War, she had remarried and is only recorded in official records as S E Hope of 52 York Street, Edgeley.

Towards the end of 1917, Henry undertook an act of bravery for which he was awarded the Military Medal. This award was officially published in the London Gazette on 29 March 1918, but there are no citations published for this medal. It was, almost certainly, between 20 and 30 November when the Battalion was in action at the Battle of Cambrai.

A major attack on German positions on the La Bassee Canal was scheduled for 30 September. In preparation, a number of small attacks needed to be carried out to remove German outposts. Four platoons of the King's were ordered to carry out one of these assaults, on a position on the La Bassee Road. Another platoon was to attack some houses on the eastern edge of the village of Voilanes.

At 4.45am, the men advanced. The Battalion's War Diary records "No. 16 platoon, supported by No. 15, found the house at S.30.c.95.60 strongly held. Four prisoners were taken and two of the enemy killed, but after a hard fight these platoons were unable to capture the positions and withdrew having had nine casualties, including an officer. No. 14 platoon reached their objective and found no enemy. No. 13 platoon reached the dugouts in S.30.a.70.70 which they found strongly held. They were unable to capture same and withdrew having four casualties."

Meanwhile, No. 3 platoon, attacking Voilanes, had captured two machine guns and four prisoners and established themselves in the captured position.

By now, the enemy artillery barrage had increased and there was a German infantry counter-attack at 5.30am on the area being held by No 7 & 8 platoons. There were many casualties and few men of the King's managed to get away.

The platoon in Voilanes saw the Germans attacking towards the dugouts held by No. 13 platoon and brought the captured machine guns to bear, breaking up the attack.

At 3pm, four platoons from "A" and "D" Companies counter-attacked and succeeded in regaining all the lost ground. The Battalion was then able to hold on to all its positions until it was relieved form the front line at 3am on the 30th.

   
           
   
     
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