Archibald Lewis Parsons

First Name: 
Archibald
Middle Name: 
Lewis
Last Name: 
Parsons
Father's Name: 
Lewis Parsons
Rank at Enlistment: 
Gunner
Unit: 
5th Field Artillery Brigade
Company: 
6-13 Reinforcements
Service: 
Artillery
Awards: 
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Date of Death: 
Wednesday, August 22, 1917
Place of Death: 
Hill 60 (Zillebeke), Belgium
Cause of Death: 
Killed in action
Details: 

Archibald Lewis Parsons was born in Wollongong. His father, Lewis Parsons lived in Fairy Meadow and his mother and his sister, Lily May Parsons lived in Miller St, North Sydney. Archibald was working as a local fireman when he enlisted in Casula, NSW on 31 December 1915 at the age of 27. Records on the Australian National Archives state that he was a widow; he married Rhoda Mary Smith (nee) in 1915 but she passed away on December 8, 1915 just weeks prior to his enlistment.

He embarked on 29 July, 1916 from Sydney on HMAT Orsova on ship A67. He was a Gunner for the 5th Artillery Brigade.

A.L Parsons was killed in action on 22 August 1917 at Hill 60 (Zillebeke). Many witnesses state that he was killed by a shell and death was instant. He was buried the next day where his Sergeant-Major, placed a cross on his grave.

He is buried at Voormezeele Enclosures No 1 and No 2, Belgium- Plot 1, Row J, Grave 13. His name is located at panel 13 at the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial.

His sister Lily, as his next of kin received a letter from the A.I.F listing all of the possesions which were to be returned. Many of these items have been preserved.

The medals were delivered to his sister in 1922 and included: 1 British War Medal, 1 Victory Medal and a memorial plaque also known as ‘Dead Man’s Penny.’

The Dead Man’s Penny is a commemorative medallion which was presented to the next-of-kin which were accompanied by a letter from King George V, stating:

“I join with my grateful people in sending your this memorial of a brave life given for others in the Great War.”

 

Sources: 
AWM, Embarkation Rolls – Archibald Lewis Parsons, Australian War Memorial Canberra, 2013, http://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1784229/, viewed 14 October 2013.
NAA: B2455, PARSONS ARCHIBALD LEWIS

Images

Inscription reads: He died for freedom and honour.
Image depicts medal that says 'Australian Military Forces' with a map of Australia in the middle.

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