Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of the Bridgnorth area who died during the two World Wars.
Alfred Henry Parsons was born in Bridgnorth and was baptised at St Mary Magdalene, Bridgnorth on 3rd May, 1882. He was the son of Henry Parsons, Rector of St Mary’s and his wife Alice Grace.
He was educated at St Michael’s College, Shrewsbury School and Keble College, Oxford. He obtained a University commission in the Royal Irish Rifles but later transferred to the Rajputs and then the Gurkas. He was gazetted Captain in June 1912.
Captain Parsons served in the 9th Gurkhas, whose battle honours include La Bassee, Festubert, Armentieres, Givenchy, Neuve Chapelle, Aubers, Loos, France and Flanders, Tigris, Kut-al-Amara, Mesopotamia. Parsons received the 1915 star, which suggests that he might have taken part in all but the first four of these actions. His death in Mesopotamia on 8th March, 1816 coincides with the Battle of Dujaila Redoubt – part of the unsuccessful effort to lift the Siege of Kut.
Captain Parsons married Gladys, probably at Bridgnorth in 1911. His death was reported in the Bridgnorth Journal on 25 March and in an article on 1 April.
CAPTAIN A. H. PARSONS KILLED. [Bridgnorth Journal, 25th March, 1916] It is with regret that we record the death of Captain Alfred Henry Parsons, 2/9th (attached to the 1/9th) Gurkha Rifles, who fell fighting for his country in Mesopotamia on the 8th inst. He was a native of Bridgnorth, being the only son of the Rev. H. Parsons, for many years rector of the parish of St. Mary Magdalene, in this town, at which church Capt. Parsons was married on the 27th July, 1911, to Miss Gladys Mabel Maddison. To pay their last tribute of respect to the deceased officer, the bellringers at St. Mary’s, many of whom knew him from his boyhood, on Wednesday evening last rand a muffled peal in remembrance of him. Captain Parsons, who was 33 years of age, leaves a widow and two children, and his father and mother to mourn his loss.
THE LATE CAPTAIN PARSONS [Bridgnorth Journal 1st April, 1916] We recorded with regret in our last issue the death of Captain Alfred Henry Parsons, in his 34th year, whilst fighting in Mesopotamia. The Biographical Notes in Wednesday’s “Morning Post” contained the following reference to the gallant officer:- Captain Alfred Henry Parsons, 2/9th Ghurkas, attached 1st (killed in action on March 8 in Mesopotamia), was the only son of the Rev. Henry Parsons, formerly rector of St. Mary Magdalene, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, now hon. Assistant priest at Folkestone Parish Church. Educated at St Michael’s College, Shrewsbury School, and Keble College, Oxford, he obtained a University commission in the Royal Irish Rifles, subsequently transferring to the Rajputs, and later to the 2/9th Ghurkas, being gazetted captain in June, 1912. In August, 1915, he went to France, and took part in fighting at Festubert and Givenchy Wood. He was wounded in the fighting in Mesopotamia in January, but recovered and rejoined his unit.
This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg. For news of updates follow @BridgnorthHeros on Twitter.