PARR, Thomas Kelly

No. 3/9788, Private, Thomas Kelly PARR
Aged 31

11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Saturday, 28th April 1917

Thomas Kelly Parr was born in Chippenham (Newmarket Q3-1885 3B:531),baptised in Chippenham on 8th November 1885, son of George John and Margaret PARR (née KELLY).

1891 census...Aged 6, he was at Mann's Yard, Fordham with his father George PARR [47] farm labourer born Chippenham; his mother Margaret [38] born West Port Mahoney, Ireland; brothers John [16] farm labourer, born Dublin, Ireland, Isaac [14] farm labourer born Chippenham and Charlie [7] born Chippenham and sister Sophie [12] born Chippenham.

1901 census...Aged 16, a farm labourer, he was at Fyson's Yard, Fordham with his widower father and brothers John (carter for corn merchant), Isaac and Charles, both farm labourers.
His mother had died in February 1901.

1911 census...Aged 23, a farm labourer, he was at Church Street with his father and widowed sister Sophia ELLINGTON and her sons Willie [6] and Sidney ELLINGTON [5], both born in Fordham.

He enlisted in Newmarket, originally in the 9th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
From "History of the Suffolk Regiment" by Lt Col CCR Murphy we learn that;
April 28th 1917, at 4:27 am the 11th Suffolks forming the left battalion of the 101st Brigade, attacked the chemical works north of Roeux and immediately south of the railway . It was soon held up, and then driven back by intense machine gun fire from a trench which appeared to have been missed by our barrage, but a few men actually got through and into a quarry to the east of the works, coming back in the evening with 2 or 3 prisoners.
At 9:45 am the enemy counter attacked from the direction of Roeux, capturing Mount Pleasant Wood and part of Ceylon communications trench. Major Tuck then went up into the line again and found the battalion front intact, Ceylon trench once more in our hands and the enemy in the process of being driven out of Mount Pleasant wood. At 10 that night the battalion was withdrawn from the front to the support line trenches for two hours to enable our artillery to bombard the chemical works, which were attacked - but again unsuccessfully - by a fresh unit afterwards.

The 11th Suffolks suffered 107 killed, 82 having no identified grave. Among them were James Smith from Stetchworth and Ernest Taylor from Newmarket

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Thomas Parr is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Faubourg d'Amiens Cemetery, bay 4

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