Rank: Sapper 925817
Regiment or Ship: 2nd Bn Canadian Railway Troops
Service Number(s): 925817
Date of Birth: 18.06.1894
Place of Birth: Bexhill, Sussex
Date of Death: 20.12.1918
Place of Death: FranceAddress: Acacia House, 36 Windsor Road, Bexhill
Photos and newspaper articles
Parents: John Whitsey Parbery, b. 1871 in Hulme, Manchester, d. 1967, and Agnes Parbery (nee Bourner) b. 1870 in Tenterden, Kent, d. 1954.
Cyril Parbery, b. 1896 in Bexhill, d. 1970 in Bexhill. W0241 PARBERY Cyril
Elizabeth Alice Parbery, b. 1899 in Cape Colony, Capetown (British).
Violet May Parbery, b. 1903 in Kingsthorpe, Northamptonshire.
In 1896 John’s family lived at Stockleigh in Windsor Road but, on 25th May 1897, they travelled to Cape Town aboard the ‘Nineveh’. Their third child, Elizabeth Alice, was born there, and by 1901 they were living at 46 High Street, Kingsthorpe, Northamptonshire. In 1911, however, they had moved back to Windsor Road, Bexhill, this time to No. 36. In 1896 John was a photographer but subsequently gave his occupation as house painter and paperhanger.
John emigrated to Canada in 1913 – leaving Liverpool on 29th March and arriving in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 7th April. By 10th October 1915 he was in Quebec and in 1916 was living in Regina, Saskatchewan.
First World War Experience
The only things we know about John’s activities during the war years can be got from the local newspaper – the Bexhill Observer.
On the 24th October 1914 an article appeared headed “Bexhill Canadians Home Again” and it listed “Private Jack Parbery, whose parents have resided in the town for a long while”.
The following obituary appeared in the same newspaper dated 18th January 1919 and completes the story of John’s war service.
“Mr. and Mrs. John Parbery of 36 Windsor-road have received the sad news of the death of their eldest son, Sapper John Henry Parbery, of the Canadian Railway Troops. He succumbed to bronchial pneumonia following influenza at a casualty clearing station in France.
Sapper Parbery came over originally with the first Canadian Contingent in 1914. Owing to rheumatic fever he was discharged in 1915 and went back to Canada, but in 1916 he courageously rejoined, and in consequence of his former illness was transferred to the Railway Troops.
His parents, in addition to the official message, received a letter from the Sister-in-Charge, explaining that their son was very ill. Not hearing again immediately, they hoped the illness had taken a turn for the better but a second letter from the Sister, written in very sympathetic terms, acquainted them with the fatal termination of the illness.
A pathetic incident is that Private C. Parbery, Royal Sussex Regiment, brother of the deceased, in coming home on leave, is believed to have passed the clearing station where his brother lay ill without being aware of it. Private C. Parbery was wounded some time ago. His brother had escaped without a wound, and his death a few days before Christmas and when in expectation of seeing his home, is doubly distressing.”