PARR, Montague

No. 18055, Private Montague PARR
Aged 31

2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Thursday, 2nd March 1916

Montague Parr was born in Snailwell (Newmarket Q3-1884 3B:534), baptised Snailwell on 10th May 1885, son of James and Sarah Ann PARR (née MASON).

1891 census...Aged 7, he was at Bland's Yard, Fordham with his father James PARR [49] farm labourer born Newmarket; his mother Sarah [38] born Exning; sister Rosannah [15] born Snailwell, brothers William Charles [13] farm labourer and Alfred G [10] born Snailwell, brothers Samuel [5] and James H [2] born Landwade

1901 census...Aged 16, a farm labourer, he was at Market Street, Fordham with his parents; brothers William, Alfred, Samuel (farm labourer) and sister Mary [6] born in Fordham.

In 1909 in Fordham, he married Ada Sabina SIMPKIN [22-2-1884].

1911 census...Aged 26 a cement labourer, he was at Carter Street, Fordham with his wife Ada [27] born Soham and son William Montague [1-5-1910-1964] born Fordham.
They had 3 more children, Margery Mildred [7-4-1912], Frederick James [19-7-1913-1989] and Cyril Ypres [18-4-1915-1977]. His widow's address was given as The Limes, Carter Street, Fordham.

He enlisted in Newmarket, originally in the 1st battalion.
Previously he had joined the Militia (#5555)at Bury St Edmunds on 2nd December 1901 when he was single, a labourer and giving his age as 17 years 8 months, employed by Mr Wilson in Fordham. He was only 5ft 1.5 inches (156.2 cm) tall, 103 lbs (46.9 kg) and chest 33" to 34" 983.8 to 86.4 cm), Church of England, blue eyed and brown hair. That period of service ended on 27th September 1908.

Thanks to Lt Col Murphy's "History of the Suffolk Regiment" we find that:_
The 2nd Battalion, Suffolks was in it's assembly area on the night of 1st March near Bedford House on the St.Eloi-Ypres road. They were to try and retake our trenches recently lost to the Germans
The attack started at 0445 'B', 'C' and 'D' companies on the south side of the Bluff. Immediately star shells were sent up by the Germans turning night into day. Our artillery then opened up on their 2nd line, our troops already being through the first line, having taken the enemy by surprise. 'A' company on the left was not so lucky, being caught by a counter barrage before they could leave King Street. By 0700 the lost trenches had been re captured. The ground was in a terrible state, churned up by the barrages and the battalion left the line sparsely occupied while they returned to the assembly trenches. An enemy barrage continued all day, but our artillery countered effectively. A successful operation result in the recapture of all the ground previously lost, but at the cost of 250 casualties out of the 500 employed. It was, incidentally, the first operation when they wore the newly issued steel helmets (the tin hats).

CWGC records 53 killed, and only 6 having an identified grave.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Montague Parr is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Ypres, panel 21

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details