George William Parnham (1890–1951)


Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) 13410 10th @ 3rd Battalions

Photo courtesy Carol Beadle

Photo of George William Parnham

George William Parnham was born in January 1890 at Alfreton. His father was Benjamin Parnham, a plate-layer for the railway, and his mother was Ellen Rebecca (née Poundall). In the early 1900s the family took over the tenancy of Hill Top Farm, Crich. His father became a farmer and as a young child George helped. He kept a few pigeons in the barn and it was while trying to catch one of these that he fell from the barn roof and broke his leg. The family were staunch Methodists so George went to Bible class with his sister Edith, and also he belonged to the Boy’s Brigade. When he was fifteen his father died leaving his mother to run the farm and make ends meet. She took in washing. George would go and collect the washing in a pony and trap. Eventually the farm had to be given up and the family moved to a small house in Crich village, but six months later Ellen Rebecca died. George had missed a lot of schooling because he had to help on the farm, so he was not considered bright. A family story tells that when the school inspectors visited the school, he would be sent to fill up the ink wells so that he was not questioned. Upon becoming an orphan George went to lodge with the Ludlow family; he was then a miner at Tibshelf pit. When the War broke out he joined the army in 1914, leaving his few belongings with the Ludlow family. During fighting in September 1916 at Ypres he was shot, the bullet lodging itself in a main artery. George was shipped back to England and then taken by train to a hospital in Sheffield, but by this time gangrene had set into his leg and he had to have the limb removed just above his knee. George was discharged from the army in January 1917 as 100% disabled. On 17th April 1917 he married Florence Martha Love at Skegby Church. In 1951 he died aged sixty-one.
[With thanks to Carol Beadle for information and photographs.]

There was a player called G Parnham on a photograph of Crich Brigade Football Club dated1904–1905.

Photo courtesy Les Barber

Crich Brigade Football Club 1905

H. Barber; A. Leafe; L.Coleman
A.Sulley; D.P.Hawkes(Capt); H.Stocks
S.Berrisford; E.Mason; J.Leafe; G.Parnham; E.W.Hartle

George was in 10th battalion and 3rd when he came back to UK wounded. He is listed as going to France on 14/07/1915 which is the day the 10th battalion disembarked. The war diaries for the date he was wounded record: ‘15/09/1915 – Back to billets at Reninghelst by companies. First company arriving at 2.30 am and last at 5 am. 2 O.R accidently wounded, one of whom later died of wounds’   Obviously George William Parnham the O.R. (Other Rank) who survived.  At the time the battalion held trenches in Sanctuary Wood.  He lasted 2 months in Belgium.
[Steve Morse]

Medal Roll Index
He was awarded the Victory, British War and 15 Star Medals. He was also awarded a Silver War Badge 106497 and King's Certificate 205
He entered France 15 July 1915 and was discharged 1 September 1917.

Silver War Badge
13410 Pte George Parnham, 106497, enlisted 26/8/14, discharged 6/1/17 of wounds ; served overseas

Pension Record
Enlisted 26 August 1914 at Mansfield aged 24 years & 236 days; a coal miner banksman. He was 5ft 6½, weighing 122lb, blue eyes and brown hair. Tattoo of man and bird on his left forearm and scars on chest and back. He was discharged under Para 392 xvi having gunshot wound to his left thigh (on 15/09/15) resulting in leg being amputated. Very good character.
26/08/14 to 13/07/15 Home
14/07/15 to 08/10/15 BEF
09/10/15 to 06/01/17 Home.
Next of kin was his sister Edith Parnham (who married John Isaac Hartshorne)

Army Record
Born Alfreton, aged 24yr 236days; coal miner banksman
26/08/14 Attested
27/08/14 Posted 10th
07/09/14 Posted 10/14th
09/10/15 Posted 10th
06/01/17 Discharged

Home 26/08/14 to 13/07/15
Expd Force 14/07/15 to 08/10/15
Home 09/10/15 to 06/01/17
Sister – Edith Parnham, 40 West St, Carlton Hill, Notts
Address on discharge: Skegby Lane, Stanton Hill, Mansfield
Character very good
Disability gun shot wound to thigh; amputation

George Parnham outside Hill top Farm
George Parham in Sunday best clothes
George parnaham and friend
George Parnham and friend in uniform
Georhe Parnham and friens in uniform
  1. George outside Hill Top Farm

  2. George in Sunday best

  3. George, standing with unknown friend

  4. George standing with unknown friend

  5. George sitting, unknown friend standing

1939 Register: Cornhill Road, Carlton
George W Parnham b.2 January 1890; disabled soldier
Martha F Parnham b.9 November 1882
George Parnham b.8 March 1918; driller and miller operator, cycle works

George Parnham married Florence Martha Love on 17th April 1917 at Skegby Church

The following ballad by Martyn Offord was read at the November 2014 "Crich Front Lines" memorial event in the Glebe Field Centre in honour of George Parnham.

I’ll tell you the sad tale of George William Parnham
From up Hill Top Farm where his Dad did some farmin’
And if you feel my tale is in too flippant a tone
I’ll tell you in advance that at least he came home   
But every stroke of misfortune, every mischance
Conspired to blight poor George’s circumstance.
When young he kept pigeons, of bad luck this is proof
He broke his leg catching one when he fell from the roof
His family were Methodists, he went to Boys’ Brigade
Though don’t infer in his doomed life this any big part played
But sad to say his father died when George was just fifteen
So his mother took in washing and George was often seen
Collecting all the laundry in his pony and his trap
And helping mother on the farm but there was more mishap
For they couldn’t manage all the animals and tillage
So the farm they had to abandon and move into the village
But fortune never favoured them however hard they tried
For just six months later poor George’ smother died
Because he’d missed his schooling he was treated like a dunce
And the family have a tale they tell that a school inspector turned up once
And so he wouldn’t question George and depress their achievement data
They hid him filling ink wells and let him come out later
An orphan and a miner in the local Tibshelf pit
Lodging with the Ludlows until he saw fit
To enlist in Kitchener’s army, fame and fortune for to find
So he joined the Sherwood Foresters to leave bad luck behind
But he got shot at Ypres but praise to God Almighty
His comrades they rescued him and got him back to Blighty
But in hospital in Sheffield Fate yet again turned mean
For they had to cut his leg off when he contracted gangrene
Though disabled with a pension at last smiled on from above
For just a year later George married Florence Martha Love
So he found love and lived on for many years to come
And George William Parnham knew he’d been luckier than some


1891: Hilltop Farm, Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Benjamin Parnham Head 40 Farmer Lambley
Ellen Parnham wife 38   S. Wingfield
Edith Parnham daughter 4   Alfreton
George William Parnham son 11   Alfreton

RG12 piece 2747 folio 95 page 29

1901: Hilltop Farm, Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Benjamin Parnham Head 52 Farmer Lambley
Ellen Parnham wife 50   S. Wingfield
George William Parnham son 11   Alfreton

RG13 piece 3231 folio 97 page 31