Topic: Walter Edward Parker
Walter Edward Parker (Service no. 4/209 and 2/2695) was a First World War soldier with links to Heathcote
Walter Edward Parker was born in Ashburton on the 15th of April 1891, to parents George Edward Parker and Alice Maria Parker (nee Hutchinson). His brother Albert George Parker was born on the 8th of May 1895, also in Ashburton.
Walter was 5’ 10’’ tall, with brown eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion. He was of the Church of England and was unmarried. He was 24 years old when he first enlisted. Previous to his first service he was employed as a clerk for New Zealand Railways. His address at the time was 77 (Port) Hills Road, Heathcote.
Walter’s first enlistment was on the 12th of August 1914 and he was part of the Samoan Advancement Party and the Railway Engineers as a Sapper (Service number 4/209). He left Wellington on the vessel Moeraki and travelled to Apia, Western Samoa. He served there for 221 days. He contracted dengue fever and was hospitalised on the 4th of March 1915. He requested a discharge from service on the 22nd of March 1915 due to anaemia from his illness, and this was granted by the Medical Board. He then travelled back to Christchurch.
Walter re-enlisted on the 20th of October 1915 (Service number 2/2695), and he was part of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force and the New Zealand Field Artillery (9th Reinforcements). His given address was the YMCA, Christchurch. He was posted as a Gunner at Trentham, until he embarked for Egypt on the 8th of January 1916, on the vessel Maunganui. He arrived in Suez on the 14th of February 1916, and then embarked for France on the 7th of April 1916.
Walter was killed in action on the 22nd of July 1916 in the Battle of the Somme, and buried at the Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery in Armentieres, France.
He is remembered on the Heathcote War Memorial.
His mother passed away on the 4th of April 1921 and his father on the 5th of May 1942. They are buried together at Bromley Cemetery. His brother Albert died on the 20th of March 1942 and is buried at the Lyttelton Catholic and Public Cemetery.
- Online Cenotaph record for Walter Parker. Auckland War Memorial Museum.
- Military personnel file for Walter Parker. Archives New Zealand (Archway)
- GUNNER WALTER PARKER, Heathcote, killed in action. Star, Issue 11773, 10 August 1916
- The Sports Roll of Honour. Free Lance, Volume XVI, Issue 841, 18 August 1916