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Allan Parke, Captain, Lancashire Fusiliers

​Allan Parke came up to Cambridge in 1911 after attending the Leys School in Cambridge. 

​Born: Chorley, Lancs, 11 March 1893

Killed in action: 27 September 1918

He was awarded a Military Special B.A. on the 16 July 1915, though he was not in attendance.  (Jesus College Cambridge Society Annual Report 1916, p. 33).

The obituary for him in the 1919 Annual Report claims that he was a member of the College’s Rugby XV and “a leading figure in the C.U.A.D.C.”. (Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club). Founded in 1855 the Club is one of the oldest student societies in Cambridge and has a long list of well-know and distinguished alumni, including a Jesuan of the modern era, Sir David Hare.

Allan does not appear to have been a regular in the Rugby XV as he is not mentioned in “Rugby Notes” in The Chanticlere until his final year. He turned out for the annual match against Trinity, as a forward and was described as “Useful in the scrum. Dribbles well.”  The match was described as a “scrambling mud fight” and was drawn after a period of three victories.  According to the reporter “some lively spirits cheered us on the return journey”. (p. 33)

His war record as related in the Annual Report is more detailed than most. He joined up in August 1914, via the College’s OTC and was gazetted as a 2nd Lieutenant with the 9th Lancashire Fusiliers. He served with the Fusiliers at Gallipoli where he was severely injured at the landing at Suvla Bay in August 1915.  After being invalided home for some months he returned to his regiment and went to France in 1916, where he “went through much heavy fighting” and was the wounded and invalided home again.  He went back to the Front in 1917 and was awarded the Military Cross but was wounded yet again.  After another period of convalescence, he returned to the front and was then “killed instantaneously while leading his company over the top” on 27 September 1918.  (Annual Report 1919, p. 28)

​You can email us on ww1-project@jesus.cam.ac.uk, go to our First World War homepage, or find us on Lives of the First World War.

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