Ernest Parker, Hawkestone Road in Rotherhithe, WWI. 1893-1919.
Ernest Parker was born in 1893 to Thomas and Sarah Parker (he was one of 8 children!). It is likely that he left school aged 11 in 1904 after the death of his father and worked as a clerk for a produce packer. Private Ernest Parker joined the British forces during the First World War, and embarked for Salonika in November 1916. He sent numerous letters back to his family on Hawkestone Road in Rotherhithe. His notes were always signed affectionately using his nickname “Ernie.” Unfortunately, just as the hostilities had ceased and his return home was within reach, he was admitted to the military hospital with pneumonia and did not recover from the ailment, dying there on the 4th of February 1919. Ernest “Ernie” Parker received British War and Victory Medals and he was buried at the British Military Cemetery at Mikra, Thessaloniki, Greece “with full military honours”.
At Christmas, Ernie sent his greetings back to his family, including this card that was addressed to his sister Ada, and an embroidered card for his Mum, Sarah Louise Parker.
Lest we forget
Cecil Leslie Morgan was born 22 April 1899 in Bermondsey. He left school in 1912 and was indentured as an apprentice Cooper on 5th May 1913. 12 April 1917 - Cecil joined up at Rotherhithe Town Hall to fight in WW1 and was declared medically A1. As Private Morgan 42609, he was posted to the 47th Training Reserve Battalion and ordered to report to Horse Guards Parade Whitehall on 26 May 1917. He qualified as a Lewis Gunner and as a Stretcher Bearer. Initially assigned to the 3rd Norfolk regiment, Cecil was transferred to the 2nd Battalion Essex Regt in January 1918. He and 14 of his comrades were captured at La Bassee Canal on the night of April 18, 1918 (just four days before his 19th birthday), by German Machine Gun Corps at 9.30 pm. He survived captivity and returned home, ill with dysentery in December 1918.
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