Thomas Evlyn (Tom) Parkin

lincolnshire regimental badgePrivate, 9/15153, 7th (Service) Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, killed in action, 18th February, 1916, aged 23.

Born at Keadby in June 1892, Tom was the second son of Edmund and Sarah Elizabeth Parkin (nee Vaux). Both his parents were from Crowle and when Tom was born the family lived at Trent Side, where his father was a farm labourer. By 1901 the family had moved to Sand Hall Cottage, Godnow Bridge, Crowle, where his father was a yardman at Sand Hall Farm.

In 1911, Tom was working as a horseman on the farm of William Bentley in Micklebring, Rotherham. The following year he returned to the Isle as in December 1912 he married a local girl, Annie Elizabeth Chafer, at Epworth. Their son Thomas was born in March 1915, when the family lived at Wroot Grange (or Epworth Turbary).

Tom enlisted in the Lincolnshire Regiment at Epworth in January 1915. His number indicates he may originally have joined the 9th (Reserve) Battalion, however by the time he landed in France on 11th August, 1915, he was assigned to the 7th (Service) Battalion, in 51st Brigade in 17th (Northern) Division.

The 7th Lincolnshires saw out the summer and autumn of 1915 in the Ypres area. Moving to a new sector of the Menin Road in mid-November the men found that here, alongside the regular sniper fire, artillery shelling and trench mortar bombs, they had another problem to combat. The trenches here were knee deep in water and many of the men went down with ‘Trench Foot’.

Taken out of the line in early 1916, they returned to the front on 7th February, taking over positions south east of Ypres, close to St Eloi and the Ypres-Comines Canal, where there was a steep mound known as The Bluff. Actually a spoil heap from digging the canal it was of strategic importance to both sides and lost to a major German assault on 14th February after three days of intense, often hand-to-hand, fighting.

In support when the Germans attacked on 14th February, during the night of 15th-16th February the 7th Lincolnshires participated in a counter-attack to attempt to recapture The Bluff. The attack being halted short of the hill itself, the attackers held their position throughout 16th February until relieved the following day. During which time they suffered 26 men killed, 78 wounded and 3 missing.

One of the casualties was Private Tom Parkin. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres.

Tom is remembered on both Wroot War Memorial and the Memorial in St Andrew’s Church, Epworth.