[Skip to content]

Person Details
07 Apr 1888
Old Basford Nottingham
William was the son of John and Elizabeth Parkes. His father was born in Brough, Nottinghamshire, and his mother in East Leake, Nottinghamshire, in about 1864. John and Elizabeth had at least seven children: John Thomas birth registered 1884 (J/F/M Basford), Sarah Elizabeth probably b. 1885 (A/M/J Basford), William b. 7 April 1888, Samuel b. 1890 (O/N/D Basford), Fred b. 1894 (J/A/S Basford), Olive b. 28 August 1897 (J/A/S Basford) and Harry b. 23 July 1899 (J/A/S Nottingham). All the children were born in Basford. In 1891 John (32), a railway drayman, and Elizabeth (28) were living at 1 Heighington Grove, Basford, with their first four children: John Thomas (7), Sarah (5), William (2) and Samuel (7 months). The eldest child, John Thomas, died at the age of 16 in 1900 (A/M/J Nottingham). By 1901 the family was living at 12 Wilton Terrace, Basford. John and Elizabeth's six surviving children were in the home on the night of the census: Sarah (15), William (12), Samuel (10), Fred (6), Olive (3) and Harry (1). Also in the household was a visitor, George Harper (37), a railway labourer. William's mother, Elizabeth, died in 1903 (J/F/M Nottingham) aged 39 and her eldest daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, died two years later in 1905 (J/F/M Nottingham) at the age of 19. William married Nellie Birkett in 1910 (O/N/D Nottingham). Nellie was born on 4 July 1885 (J/A/S Basford) the daughter of Richard and Jane Birkett. She had at least four siblings: Clara, Florence, Albert and Janet. In 1911 William (22), a lace bleacher, and Nellie (25) were living at 35 Silverdale Road, Bulwell, with their son William Ernest (b. 4 July 1910, J/A/S Nottingham) William was to be their only child. William's father, John, married Sarah Hagues in 1905 (A/M/J Newark). By 1911 he was working as a tramway motor man for the city council and living at 44 Wilton Street, Bulwell, with Sarah (53 b. Beckingham, Lincolnshire) his two children, Olive (13) and Harry (11) and his step-children, William Edward Hagues (23) a policeman, and Edith Mary Hagues (14). William's brothers, Sam, Fred and Harry, also served in the war. Fred joined the Royal Field Artillery on 25 January 1915 (84677 Driver, later Gunner). He served in France from 8 November 1915-30 January 1916 and later in the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, with a period in Salonika which seems to have been following the Armistice. He transferred to the Army Reserve on demobilisation on 5 June 1919; his address on discharge was 44 Wilton Street, his father's address. Fred probably died in 1968 (June Nottingham) aged 73. Harry joined the Royal Navy on 26 July 1917 (SS7896 Portsmouth) on a 12 year engagement (5 years RN, 7 years Royal Fleet Reserve). He was working as a bleaching labourer when he joined the RN. His first ship was HMS Dido in which he served from December 1917 to 28 February 1919. He transferred to the Royal Fleet Reserve on 26 July 1922. His service record gives his last service date as 4 October 1938 suggesting he re-engaged in the RFR after the initial 7 years. Harry died in 1969 (June Nottingham) aged 69. No military documents have yet been found for Samuel nor any civil records after 1901. William and Nellie were probably living at 66 Waterford Street, Old Basford, Nottingham, at the time of his death as this is Nellie's address on both the RN record and CWGC. Nellie did not remarry and died on 4 October 1977; her address was then 140 Bagnall Road, Cinderhill, Nottingham. Her son William Ernest probably married Ellen Gee in 1937 (O/N/D Nottingham) and died on 3 May 1987. He was then living at 23 Norwich Gardens, Bulwell, Nottingham. William's surviving sister, Olive, probably married Albert Parker in 1921 (J/F/M Nottingham) and died in 1972 (Dec Nottingham) aged 75.
In 1911 he was a lace bleacher
23 Apr 1917
1603239 - CWGC Website
Bristol Z/4598
Able Seaman
Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
RNVR, Drake Battalion Royal Naval Division. William was killed in action on 23rd April 1917 although his death was not confirmed until the end of the year. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.
“PARKES. – Reported missing April 23rd, now reported killed, A.B. William Parkes, R.N.D. They miss him most who loved him best, and Lord grant him eternal rest. – His sorrowing wife Nellie, and only son Willie. “PARKES. – Reported missing April 23rd, now reported killed, A.B. William Parkes, R.N.D. Peace, perfect peace. – Sorrowing mother [step-mother], father, sister-in-law Janet and friend Sue. Obituaries published in the Nottingham Evening Post dated 8th December 1917:- “PARKES. – Reported missing April 23rd, now reported killed, A.B. William Parkes, R.N.D., a noble life laid down. Deeply mourned by his only sister Olive, and brothers Sam, Fred, and Harry (also serving with the colours) Above notices are courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918 Probate: Parkes Nellie of 140 Bagnall Rd Cinderhill Notts died 4 October 1977 Administration Nottingham 2 November £1834. Probate: Parkes William Ernest of 23 Norwich Gdns Bulwell Nottingham died 3 May 1987 Probate Manchester 23 Jun.
Remembered on