John Thomas Parker

John Thomas Parker was born on 2nd August 1887 at Whitchurch in Shropshire, the son of Jane Parker who was born at Grindley Brook on the Shropshire/Cheshire border.

The 1891 census recorded Jane Parker living with her children at 2, Bluegates in Whitchurch. She was working as a charwoman. An older child called Sarah who was about 18 years old by then, had already left home, but Thomas (4), James (14), Annie (9) and Elizabeth (9months) were being cared for by their mother. James was working as a grocer’s errand boy. Thomas and Annie were at school.

Ten years later Thomas was the only one still at home with Jane. They were living on Steele Lane in Tilstock in Shropshire and Thomas was working as an errand boy for the post office.

On 21st October 1909 John Thomas Parker married Violet May Higgins at the registry office at 71, High Street in Runcorn. He gave his occupation as agricultural labourer and they were both living at Dutton Lodge Cottages, Dutton, where his brother James lived with his family. Violet May Higgins was born in 1889 in Whixall in Shropshire. She had a son Frederick from a previous relationship.

The 1911 census showed Thomas working as a farm labourer in Baddiley near Nantwich and Violet visiting her uncle and aunt in the same village. In July 1910 their son Leslie was born in Crowton, Cheshire. Her son Fred had attended Dutton Council School, Crowton School and Aston School before 1911 whilst living at Dutton, Pickerings and Sutton Weaver respectively. Another son called Stanley was born in 1912 whilst they were living in the Runcorn area.

Thomas’ mother was still alive in 1911 in Whitchurch, but it is not known when she died.

The electoral rolls for 1918 and Spring 1919 showed that John Thomas Parker and Violet May Parker were living in Preston on the Hill, but it is not known at which address. He was absent due to military service. Thomas was a Private in the 3rd Cheshire Regiment, which was a Special Reserve battalion. They were stationed at Bidston and carried out guard and security duties at Mersey Docks installations. His service number was 66628. He received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal for his service in the Great War.

Four of their children were born during the war years of 1914-1919: Albert, Phyllis, Harold and Arthur. Sadly, Phyllis died aged one in 1917.

At some time during the late 1920s the family moved to Ellesmere Port and lived on Westminster Grove and then by 1939 were at 22, Stoke Road. Thomas was by then working as an iron foundry labourer at Burnells Iron and Steel Company in Ellesmere Port. There were seven children living at home, including May (born 1921), Lily (born 1923) and Catherine (born 1932). A son called Kenneth was born in 1930. Thomas enjoyed socialising at Stanney Lane Social Club.

Thomas collapsed at work and died on 15th January 1942. His funeral took place at St Thomas’ Church in Ellesmere Port, followed by interment at Overpool Cemetery on the 20th January. He was survived by his wife Violet May and by six sons and three daughters. He was 53 years old according to the burial register. Violet May re-married in late 1953, to John Thurston. She died in late 1955 and was buried with John Thomas Parker at Overpool.