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  • Christina Drummond

Able Seaman Thomas William Parry, the Royal Naval Service

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1917, Able Seaman Thomas William Parry died while in service at Plymouth with the Royal Naval Service.

His parents’ second son, he had joined the Mercantile Marine Service at the age of fifteen, and at the outbreak of the Great War he joined the Royal Naval Reserve. As well as taking part in the sinking of the German ship SMS Blucher during the Battle of Dogger Bank in January of 1915, he served on three different battleships and various lighters and cruisers in the Dardanelles. Able Seaman Parry was wounded nine times, and was on the last boat to leave St. Helles when Gallipoli was evacuated.

The nature of his illness is not clear, but he was hospitalized in Malta in late 1916, and after becoming seriously ill, he was sent to hospital in Plymouth, where he passed away with his mother and brother by his side. He is buried in the Penmaenmawr (Dwygyfylchi) Cemetery, which contains another dozen graves of those who lost their lives in the Great War. The North Wales Chronicle reported that “The funeral was of a military nature. A special firing party, under the command of Colonel Darbishire, volleyed the last tribute to a dead hero.”

Thomas, from Penmaenmawr, Caermarvonshire, was 20 years old.

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