Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
13 May 1915
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Pte Frank Parker, 5028, 18th (Queen Mary's Own) Hussars, was killed in action on May 13th, 1915. His widow and four children then lived at 16 Edward Street, Luton.
Pte Parker was known to have been seriously wounded in a tough battle in which the Hussars were engaged. At first he was believed to have reached hospital, but afterwards he was reported missing. From inquiries on the spot it seems probable that while lying on the field of battle, one of several grievously wounded men, a shell burst over them and buried them all. It is known that a number of men met their doom suddenly in this way, reported The Luton News, and he is believed to have been one of them.
In a letter to Mrs Parker, chum Pte 'Ginger' Summerfield wrote: "The regiment went into the trenches for a few days, and I am very sorry to tell you that Frank got wounded in the legs. I wasn't in the trenches myself as I am with the ammunition limber, taking ammunitions and rations up to them. They told me one night that poor old Frank had been hit in the leg, and several more had been wounded too. There was a big bombardment on, and Frank left the trench to get to the doctor in the reserve trench, but I haven't seen anyone since to tell me anything about him."
A few days later Pte Summerfield wrote: "He is on the wounded list here. I can't make it out why he hasn't written to you, and I am beginning to think he can't be in hospital. I have been in conversation with one or two others that were in the trench with him, and they give me a very poor account of him. They feel sure he got killed. I wish I could have seen you instead of letting you know this sad news by letter."
In another letter, Pte Summerfield wrote: "I might as well tell you what one or two told me about him, but I didn't like telling you in the last letter in case it was not true. This was that a shell came over and buried two or three of them, and they thought Frank was with them. This happened after he had been wounded in the legs, so it never gave him a chance to get away, as he was trying his best to do. I wish he had got through all right."
Pte Parker was in Section D reserve when war broke out. He served through the South African War, and after finishing his period in the reserve signed on to Section D. His term in this would have been almost completed, as it had a year to run at the time war broke out.
When his wife once said that she wished he had not signed on again, he said that if he had been free of military obligations he would have joined again so as to be able to go out and take a hand in the fighting.
Before rejoining the Colours, Pte Parker was working as an outdoor machinist for Mr Fred Wright. He went to the Front on October 8th, 1914, and had been there about eight months when he was killed in action on May 13th.
The previous December, Pte Parker had written a letter to his wife after his horse had its forelegs blown off by a shell that also killed a number of men. "This isn't war, it's murder," he wrote at the time.
On the Luton Roll of Honour (1922), Pte Parker's family address is given as 4 Butlin Road, Luton.