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Family Notes March 2017
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Family Notes - March 2017

This is a sample of the information provided to members of the P*rr*tt Society in the most recent edition of Family Notes. Family Notes is a 56-page printed magazine that is distributed to society members every quarter.

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The Gallant Alfred Parratt

Hilary Blanford (member 960) recently found a newspaper article from the Surrey Advertiser dated 21st October 1916 – and titled ‘Corporal A. Parratt’s Gallantry’ – which reads as follows:

We recorded a fortnight ago the death from wounds of Corpl. A. Parratt, K.R.R., son of Mr. and Mrs. Parratt, South End, Ockham. Mr. and Mrs. Parratt have now received from major E. C. Musgrave, commanding the battalion to which their son belonged, a letter in which, after expressing his sympathy, he says: “He is a great loss to the battalion, as by his unfailing cheerfulness under all conditions, and his great bravery, he set a very good example to the other men. I have always considered him quite one of the best men in the battalion. For his gallant work at the time be got the wounds from which he died, I recommended him for the Distinguished Conduct Medal, the next highest reward a soldier can earn to the V. C. I am most pleased to say that this was awarded to him, and if you will apply to the Rifles’ Record Office, Winchester, it will be forwarded to you, and you should also apply to them for his pension. Enclose a card which is a further record of his gallantry, and I hope this and his decoration will help you to bear the grief of his loss”. The card states that the Major-General of the division had received a report of the gallant conduct of Corpl. Parratt on September 17th, during an attack near Morval, and wishes to congratulate him on his fine behaviour.

Further research from Hilary yielded a CWGC entry recording that he was a Lance Corporal in the 12th Battalion of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps (service number 1486) who died on 26th September 1916. Hilary also found his Distinguished Conduct Medal citation which reads as follows:

R/1486 L./Cpl. A. Parratt, K.R.R.C. (LG 14 Nov. 1916). For conspicuous gallantry in action. When the enemy delivered an attack, he, with two others, stuck to his post with great courage and determination. Later, he made repeated rushes over the open to bomb an enemy trench until he was severely wounded.

A further search of the British Newspaper Archive unearthed an announcement in the Surrey Advertiser on 9th October of “death from wounds” of Alfred Parratt on 26th September. This matches with an entry for ‘Alf Parratt’ in Ancestry’s ‘UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919’ collection, which is extracted from official War Office lists of casualties.

With this information it was possible to establish that he was the son of Jim Parratt and Sarah Annells who was born in Tilford, Surrey, in 1885. His father was an agricultural labourer and later a carter. Of four children born to the couple, two others survived infancy – Rose Ellen Parratt and Harriet Fanny Parratt.

Alfred’s parents were both born in Farnham and a search of our records reveals more than a dozen P*rr*tt Society members (past and present) with Parratt ancestry in this area. According to a number of Ancestry family trees Alfred’s father, Jim, was the son of David Parratt and Mary Bryant. To the best of my knowledge we have not had any members directly descended from this couple.

One website – www.theygavetheirtoday.com – has some inaccurate information referring to Alfred as ‘A V Parratt’ whose name appears on a memorial plaque at Guildford Station. In fact this refers to Albert Victor Parratt (born 1900, Guildford) the son of Thomas Parratt (another Farnham native) and Isabella Strudwick.

Alfred is buried in St. Sever Cemetery, Rouen.


Alfred’s name on the War Memorial in Ockham

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Edward Perrett: from Bristol to Enniskillen

Since early in my research I’ve known that my great-great-great grandfather Samuel Perrett (1809-1882) had two older brothers baptised in Bristol – Edward (1805) and Thomas (1807). Until recently I had little success in finding out what happened to them, but the recent addition of Chelsea Pensioner records to Ancestry provided me with a breakthrough.

In the ‘UK, Royal Hospital Chelsea Pensioner Admissions and Discharges, 1715-1925’ record set there was an entry for ‘Edwd Perrett’ aged 43 dated 28th December 1847, which gave a birth year of around 1804 and, more crucially, the birthplace transcribed as “St Phillips ?? Bristol”. He had been serving as a private in the 53rd Regiment of Foot.

I was able to find Edward in the ‘British Army, Worldwide Index 1841 Transcription’ on Find My Past which told me that he was based in Plymouth in 1841 and had the service number 118. Further research revealed that Edward had joined the Army at Bristol on 15th April 1823 and served until 1847. He spent 10.5 years overseas in Malta, Gibraltar and the Ionian Islands. His conduct was good and he was discharged on 3rd December 1847 … to Enniskillen.

The Shropshire Regimental Museum website states that “Having spent the period 1805-23 in India, the 53rd was posted to Ireland, Gibraltar, Malta, the Ionian Islands and the UK between 1826-44 before it was ordered back to the Indian sub-continent. On its tour of duty there between 1844-60 it saw almost continuous active service. “

Griffiths Valuation of 1864 has an Edward Perrett leasing a house at Randalshough, Devenish, County Fermanagh which is only a few miles north of Enniskillen. There is also a death of Edward ‘Perrott’ aged 60 registered the following year at Enniskillen which would seem to be the right person.

A search for P*rr*tts in Devenish reveals the baptisms of Mary Anne – daughter of Edward Perrott – on 26th November 1853 and Edward – son of Edward Perrott – on 19th October 1855. The mother of these children is named as Ann McCauley and there is another daughter of this couple, Sarah (born 1858), who married John Mosgrove in 1880 and emigrated to America. There is an Anne Perrott born in 1828 whose death is registered in Enniskillen in 1897, so perhaps Edward retired to Ireland and married a younger wife? There is more research to be done here, but it does seem that there is an Irish branch of my P*rr*tt family … and with Perrotts still living in the Enniskillen area today – and Mosgroves in America – I am reasonably confident that there are some new distant cousins to be found too!

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  A P*RR*TT PHOTO GALLERY  

This picture from 1930 shows Mr. Perrett, a Brixton butcher, with his sheep Billy, who went round with his master to deliver mutton and lamb to customers. Can any of our members tell us more about this Mr. Perrett (or Billy)?
Chris Perrett (935) recently came across some film reels featuring ‘Paul Parrott’ on eBay. The gentleman in question was in fact James Gibbons Parrott (1898-1939) who was the son of Charles and Blanche Thompson Parrott. Jimmie, as he was known, led an interesting life in Hollywood.

The accompanying photograph is captioned: “James “Paul” Parrott strangles George Rowe while Ethel Broadhurst questions the legality of such matters in SoftPedal, an entry in Parrott’s own starring series for the Hal Roach Studios”. A detailed biography of his life can be found at: http://charleychase.50webs.com/jparrottbio.htm

William Henry Porritt (1899-1955) was Cox of the Oxford crew for the Boat Race in 1920, 1921 and 1922. He was a student at Magdalen College having previously attended Wyggeston School in Leicester. He was the son of Walter Porritt, an organ builder, and his wife Sarah Jane (known as Jennie).

William married Leila Irene Robinson in 1930. At the time of his death in 1955 he was living at Hamilton House in Chilcompton, Somerset.

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Last modified: 25 November 2017