Service No. 582 – 11th Battalion Enlisted- 19/08/1914 Discharged- 17/02/1919 Died- 3/07/1979 Aged- 91 Years Buried Bunbury Lawn Cemetery B- 234
“Stan” Parker was born at Albert Park, Victoria on 23 September 1890, and unfortunately, his father died when Stan was only 6 weeks of age.
His Mother re-married , and as Stan did not enjoy a harmonious relationship with his step-father, he moved to Western Australia , and started work in a biscuit factory in Fremantle at 12 years of age.
In 1905 he travelled to the South West of W.A and boarded with the Chapman Family who had a farm in the Preston Valley/Ferguson area. He spent most of his working life, prior to the First World War, in timber mills at Mornington, Wellington, Kirrup and Lowden as a timber cutter on the number one bench, prior to acting as the Railways guard on the Lowden to Bunbury timber trains.
Stan was a very competitive Tennis and Cricket player in his youth, and voluntarily enlisted in the Army, immediately War was declared. Shortly after enlistment on 19 August 1914, he completed formal training at Blackboy Hill and embarked on the ship “Ascanius” on 2 November, 1914.
He was amongst the first ANZAC soldiers to set foot on the sandy beaches of Gallipoli on the 25 April 1915. After advancing approximately 1000 Metres, he was shot by the Turks and fell to the ground, to be examined later by the Red Cross (during an agreed cessation of hostilities), who pinned a red tag on his chest-“Bullet in lower left rib-no exit”. After collection from the beach by the Field Ambulance Officers, Stan was issued the last rites by the Roman Catholic priest.
Later that evening , a Medic discovered that Stan still had a pulse and he was transferred to a hospital ship en route to Heliopolis Hospital, near Cairo, Egypt. The doctors at the time decided it was too risky to remove the Nickel .303 calibre bullet, as it was lodged extremely close to his spinal cord. This diagnosis was confirmed many years later, when an X-ray detected the bullet’s resting location, and modern day surgeons with the latest medical technology also confirmed that removal of the bullet was a far too risky procedure ( Stan was to carry this lodged bullet with him until his death ). After 3 weeks in Heliopolis Hospital, he was passed fit and was re-united with his fellow ANZACS in the resumption of fighting at Gallipoli.
Stan stated that prior to the landing at Gallipoli, the Army’s instruction was to “advance on the enemy’. However, with the Turks firing on them from all sides, and the Sea at their backs, their only option was to go forward.
After the ANZAC troops evacuation from the Gallipoli Peninsula in December 1915, Stan was transferred to the Western Front in France to experience further action with his 11th Battalion mates.
Shortly after his return to Australia in 1919, Stan proposed to, and married his dear wife Katie ( who he had previously acquainted at Lowden ). They produced 3 children, 2 girls and 1 boy, and Stan resumed working at the Mornington Mill until it closed down. He then used to walk many miles over rough, undulating terrain to be part of the work force at the Harvey Weir Project.
Life was extremely difficult during the Depression years, and in 1932, Stan re-located with his family to Bunbury, where he was to purchase vacant land and build a home at 51 Spencer Street. Stan was a well-known identity in and around Bunbury, as he rode his bicycle everywhere until well into old age.
Stan worked for the Bunbury Town Council from 1934 until 1959 in a wide range of roles, and retired from the workforce at the age of 74 Years. This 25 Years period of service at the Council was broken by Stan’s insistence to enlist in the Australian Army to assist with the Second World War effort. After initially being advised by Doctor Joel that he would not pass a medical check, Stan completed Enlistment on 10 October, 1940. He was deployed to the Port Hedland Garrison, where he joined the Team being capably led by Captain Raymond Arthur Clarke ( Military Cross Award Winner from World War One ), who was one of Stan’s original 11th Battalion mates from Gallipoli. Stan completed his second World War duties ( Service No. W 30627 ), when he was one of the Army personnel who accompanied the Italian Prisoners of War on their voyage back to Italy. He was discharged from the Army on 16 January 1947.
Stan proudly marched in the annual Bunbury ANZAC day parade, wearing his medals on his chest, with his final march being in 1979, only 3 months prior to his passing. He had been previously honoured with Life Membership of the Gallipoli Legion of ANZACS.
“ LEST WE FORGET ”
Stan was very proud of his wife’s involvement in various voluntary organizations on the home front, whilst he was involved in both World War conflicts, and details of his children’s contributions follow:-
Daughter Lillian Maxine- a lovely, caring 92 Year old lady living in Bunbury- was a member of the Voluntary Aid Division ( Nursing ) and the Voluntary Air Corps ( plane spotting ) during the Second World War,
Daughter Norma Lolene ( married name Coram ) –served with RAAF- Service No.103730, Aircraft Woman, Enlisted- 3/02/1943, Discharged- 2/10/1945. “Norma” passed away on 15/11/2005 aged 83 Years.
Son George Stanley, known as “Stan”- served with the RAAF- Service No. 85564- Aircraftman 1, Enlisted- 8/12/1944, Discharged – 15/10/1945. He then enlisted and served with the Royal Australian Navy from 1946-1958. Stan, aged 85 Years on 25 November, 2011, has retired from his 27 year role with the Department of Defence, and lives with his wife Claire in the Eastern States.