August 20th 1915

Basil Parker 2

 Captain Basil Parker (Hampshire Regiment)

We have received the following account of events surrounding the death of Basil Parker at Krithia:

“Exactly at 4 p.m. Captain Parker, who was in command, called out, ‘Time’s up, my lads,’ and those in the first trench immediately leapt out, those in the second at once taking their places and leaping out a minute later, and those in the third line doing the same. All were well up in a good deal less than 5 minutes, and with a cheer they rushed forward.

It was a glorious charge and everyone showed splendid courage. The Turks were startled, and took a minute or two – not much more – to get their machine guns (of which they had one for about every 5 yards, and which during the bombardment they had hidden in the trenches) into position, so that our men got some way across the open space. Apparently, however, none reached the Turkish trench. All were mown down.

Of the second line, a few got across. Of the third line which had fewer men, more than half got through, and those who were left of the battalion held the trench until they were relieved by the Royal Scots and Royal Fusiliers. A private said positively that the Turks were driven from their front trench which remained in our hands, as perhaps did some others.

The open ground was so heavily swept by gun fire that it was impossible to bring in the wounded or the dead, even at night. Some may have crawled in, but the severely wounded must have died. As none could be recovered and identified, they were posted as missing.

In the evening of the 6th only 250 out of 900 of the Hants answered to their names.”

The 2nd Hants SurvivorsWhat was left of the 2nd Hants  being congratulated by the G.O.C. Division.

August 17th 1915

Basil Parker

Captain Basil Parker (Hampshire Regiment)

From Gallipoli comes the news (published in the Times yesterday) of the death of the 9th of our Old Boys to die in this War.

Basil left the OPS in 1889 and I remember him as a rather shy, diffident dayboy, who “found himself” later on. After attending Bedford Grammar School, on the outbreak of the Boer War, he joined the Imperial Yeomanry, Paget’s Horse, 52nd Company. Basil transferred to the Hampshires in 1901, receiving a commission.

Earlier this year the 2nd Hants. were sent out to Gallipoli, where he was wounded in May.  He made a swift recovery and returned to his unit.

In order to assist the opening up of a third bridgehead at Suvla Bay, north of the Anzac position, there were diversionary attacks both on the Anzac and Cape Helles fronts and Basil Parker was involved in the Charge of the 2nd Hants at Krithia on August 6th 1915.

“He was hit by a bullet in the left side; the bullet coming out near the left breast was deflected by his cigarette case and again entered the body and came out at his right side. He died four minutes afterwards with his head resting on the leg of a lieutenant. He was brought back to the dressing station and buried at 7.10 a.m. on the following morning about 50 yards behind the firing line.”

Basil leaves his wife Kathleen and a son, Gerald Stewart Parker, born last year in Indore, Central India.