CWG: Stoker 1st Class Frederick Parker

Stoker 1st Class Frederick Parker

Frederick John Parker was born on 26th November 1889 in Wavertree, Liverpool. He was the oldest of four children to John and Ellen Parker, both of whom had been born in North Ireland, and had sought out a new life in the busy English port.

There is little concrete information about Frederick’s early life. What is clear is that he wound work as a painter when he left school, and enlisted in the Royal Navy on 22nd April 1908, as a Stoker. He joined the service for five years, and was places on reserve in 1913.

When war broke out, Stoker Parker was called into action again and, during his time back in the Royal Navy was based at HMS Pembroke, the shore-based establishment in Chatham, Kent.

The base was a bustling place during the war and, by the summer of 1917 temporary accommodation was set up in the barracks’ Drill Hall; this is where Frederick found himself billeted.

On the night of 3rd September 1917, Chatham suddenly found itself in the firing line as a wave of German aircraft bombed the town. The Drill Hall received a direct hit, and Stoker 1st Class Parker was amongst those to be instantly killed. He was 29 years old.

Ninety-eight servicemen perished during the Chatham Air Raid that night. They were buried in a mass funeral at the Woodlands Cemetery in nearby Gillingham. This, too, is where Frederick John Parker was laid to rest.


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