William Parkes lived in Halesowen but his family came from 92 Station Road, Gorsty Hill, Blackheath. He volunteered for the South Staffords and joined the 7th (Service) Battalion. After service in Gallipoli they were sent to the Western Front and fought in the later stages of the Battle of the Somme. They remained at Gommecourt during the winter of 1916-17 and were then involved in preparations for the Third Battle of Ypres. They were in the most exposed part of the Ypres salient near St. Jean and suffered continuous shelling before the attack began. Probably as a result Private William Parkes was killed in action on the 19th July. He was 21 years of age and is buried in La Brique No. 2 Cemetery (I W 3) close to Ypres and commemorated on the Blackheath and Halesowen Memorials.
ST JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH,High St,Halesowen,Dudley,West Midlands,B63 3BB,England, B63 3BB
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