Jack Parton was born at Wordsley and was the elder son of Henry and Emma Parton. The family moved to Stourbridge and lived at 4 Norton Terrace, Stourbridge. He attended Old Swinford Hospital from the age of 8 and was apprenticed to a stone mason when he left. In 1914 he worked for Major Green at Beech Tree House. Before the war he had been a Territorial soldier in the Worcesters and in August 1914, virtually to a man, they volunteered to serve abroad. They formed the 1/7th Battalion in the 48th (South Midland) Division and crossed to France in March 1915. For most of the next two years they were in the Somme sector of the Western Front. Until June 1916 this was quiet, but on the 1st July the Worcesters were engaged in the first day of the attack of the four month battle of the Somme. After the Somme battle was over the troops had to endure a very unpleasant winter when the Germans withdrew to the newly fortified Hindenburg Line. The Worcesters followed up, moving cautiously forward to enter the battered town of Peronne which was completely empty of German troops. They did not meet resistance until they neared Epehy when orders were then give to attack this village on the night of the 1st April. Along with the rest of their Brigade the battalion advanced in the dark at 2 a.m. without artillery support in order to keep an element of surprise. They reached their assault positions just outside the village at first light. The German defenders were overwhelmed at the point of the bayonet. Many surrendered but a few still resisted in Malassise Farm. Sergeant Jack Parton was in D Company which captured the farm. Nine Worcesters were killed and among them was Jack Parton. It was two years to the day after his arrival in France. Capt. G. Wallace, who was awarded a bar to his Military Cross as a result of the attack, wrote to Mrs Parton, 'He was killed gallantly leading his men to the attack, which, thanks largely to the bravery of your son and of others like him, was a complete success. I am not writing empty words when I say that his loss to myself, to his comrades, and to his company is one which we shall never be able to replace.' He was 25 years of age and is buried at Epehy Wood Farm Cemetery (III A 8) and is commemorated on the Stourbridge, Oldswinford church, Lye and Wollescote and Old Swinford Hospital Memorials.
Lye / Wollescote Cemetery, Stourbridge West Midlands, United Kingdom
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