Posted: Tuesday, 23 August 2016 @ 11:14
We are in search of the descendants of an Apprentice painter who worked at what is now our head office in 1900. The building was formally St Matthews School in Rugby, dating back to 1845. Whilst Renovations took place in 2008 a fragment of wood was found which states.
“E.J Parker Apprentice Painter to Mr Harris enlisted to the 9th Lancers December 27th discharged on the 28th 1900”
We assume this was written by E.J Parker whilst he was working in the building. As a result of some further investigation we have found that E.J Parker was Edward Joseph Parker who was born and baptised in Rugby on the 20th March 1882.
In 1908 he married Nellie May Hancock and in 1909 they had twins, Nelly May and Edward Charles. Although according to the inscription he was discharged the day after he joined the 9th Lancers, he was determined to join the Military.
On 14th November 1914 the Rugby Advertiser reported that he had served for 3 years as a Lance Corporal with the Coldstream Guards. On the 3rd November 1914, whilst serving in France during WW1 he tragically died from his wounds, he was 32 years old. He was buried in Boulogne, Northern France.
In a letter home in October 1914, he wrote, “Things are a bit warm, shells bursting over and around us all day and we are burrowed in the ground like rabbits, I thought we should be home for Christmas, but I am doubtful about that now”
Poet, Rupert Brooke, another son of Rugby also wrote about the conflict “If I shall die, think only this of me. That there’s some corner of a foreign field that is forever England!”
This story is just one of many about young men who served and died in WW1. The link to this building is never the less poignant.
If you are able to help our search, or are in any way connected with the building please call 01788 575 090