Robert Roxby Parkinson

First Name: 
Robert
Middle Name: 
Roxby
Last Name: 
Parkinson
Date of Birth: 
Saturday, May 19, 1894
Mother's Name: 
Elizabeth Ann Parkinson (nee Roxby)
Father's Name: 
Hnery William Parkinson
Date Enlisted: 
Tuesday, August 25, 1914
Rank at Enlistment: 
Private
Unit: 
1st Light Horse Regiment
Company: 
A Troop, B Squadron
Service: 
Cavalry
Awards: 
British War Medal
Victory Medal
1914/15 Star
Date of Death: 
Saturday, December 5, 1981
Place of Death: 
Sydney
Details: 

Robert (Bob) Roxley Parkinson (Service no 349) was born in Albion Park, N.S.W. Bob's father, Henry William Parkinson, was a tinsmith in Albion Park. The family home was attached to the shop which was on the corner of Tongarra Road and Russell Street. Henry made many of the town’s water tanks, and milk cans for farmers in the area.

Bob grew up in Albion Park with his siblings Francis and Ruth. His eldest brother Henry died when he was just four years old. Bob went to Albion Park Public School just across the road from the family home and shop.

In 1910 he joined the NSW Government Railway at Albion Park, and when war broke out in 1914, he enlisted in the AIF. He was assigned to the 1st Australian Light Horse ‘A’ Troop, ‘B’ Squadron.

While serving at Gallipoli in 1915 he was severely wounded in the arm after being shot and was subsequently discharged.

Bob Parkinson was the first local soldier to return from overseas for discharge after stopping a Turkish bullet at Gallipoli, and what a welcome he got! He stepped from the evening train to find the station yard crammed with horse drawn vehicles and two motor cars in one of which he headed a procession to the Agricultural Hall where tables loaded with edible ammunition awaited the attack. Afterwards a long series of speeches by the mayor, stationmaster, headmaster, postmaster, bank manager and storekeeper, plus thanks from Bob and his father must have left the warrior wishing that he was back in the front line. (Weston, Bert, Albion Park Saga, The Tongarra Heritage Society Inc)

Bob married Muriel Bellvine Couch in 1918 and they had two boys, Arthur Henry and John Robert. He worked as a railway porter at many locations including Unanderra Railway Station for about 10 years until 1935 before joining the Port Kembla Steelworks as part of the railway traffic staff, where he worked until his retirement in 1959.

Bob, Muriel and their two boys lived at ‘The Lodge’; a small sandstone cottage which sat between the Princes Highway and the rail line at Kembla Grange. In 2001, at the age of 83, Bob and Muriel's eldest son Arthur recalled his happy childhood growing up there and travelling to Unanderra Public School in a horse and cart driven by their neighbour, Jack Tate, who worked at the milk depot near the school.

Bob was Honorary Secretary of the Dapto RSL Sub-Branch 1940-1945 and an advocate for the formation of the Dapto RSL Bowling Club founded in 1950.

Sources: 
Arthur Parkinson (son)
NAA: B2455, PARKINSON ROBERT ROXLEY

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