Maurice James Parsons

Private 5692, No 6 Company, 1/6th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry (formerly 28712, Yorkshire Regiment), killed in action, 5th November 1916, aged 38

Born at Wetwang in 1878, Maurice was the fourth son of William James Parsons, the village schoolmaster, and his wife Naomi. Initially an apprentice chemist Maurice decided to follow his father into teaching and had his first post with his father at Wetwang. In the mid 1900’s he was appointed the Assistant Schoolmaster at Crowle Council Boys School. A post he held until early 1914 when he left to take up the position of schoolmaster at a school in Skelton-in-Cleveland, North Yorkshire.

In July 1911 Maurice married Caroline Ann Cooper and the couple had one daughter, Mary Naomi, born in January 1916. Whilst in Crowle the couple may have lived in Cross Street.

Maurice attested for the army on 13th May 1916, at Saltburn,. He originally enlisted in the Yorkshire Regiment but on arrival in France was transferred to the Durham Light Infantry. Most likely a reinforcement for the losses on the Somme.

Maurice can only have been in France a matter of weeks when on 5th November 1916 his unit attempted to capture the Butte de Warlencourt, in terrible weather and suffering heavy casualties in the failure.

Posted missing at the time, the official notice of Maurice’s death was given in July 1917. In a sympathetic letter to his wife, Mr T Bryan, the Crowle schoolmaster wrote,-“I shall always remember Mr Parsons as a man ready and willing to do his very upmost in the most quiet and unassuming manner.”

In 1921 Mrs Parsons’ was informed that the body of her husband had been located and Maurice was re-interred at Warlencourt British Cemetery.