Sgt Graham Leslie PARISH RAFVR

Born: 29 August 1912 Died: 16 September 1942

Enlisted into the RAFVR in August 1940
Date and Place of GC Action: 16th September 1942, Kartoum Airfield, Sudan

"The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the posthumous award of the GEORGE CROSS to: -

1115314 Sergeant Graham Leslie Parish, Royal Air Force.

Sergeant Parish was the navigator of an aircraft during a delivery flight from the United Kingdom to the Middle East Command. Shortly after taking off from an airfield in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan one morning in September, 1942, the port engine failed and the pilot attempted to return and land on the airfield. Owing to the rough nature of the ground, full use could not be made of the brakes. The aircraft struck a building on the airfield and immediately burst into flames.

All of the crew with the exception of Sergeant Parish and a passenger, whose legs were both broken, succeeded in getting free of the blazing bomber. At the time of the crash Sergeant Parish was at the astro-hatch and the passenger was at the emergency door which is in the floor of the fuselage. This door was unusable as the undercarriage had collapsed and the fuselage was resting on the ground. The fire, which completely destroyed the bomber, was so intense that no assistance could be given to the navigator or the passenger. When the blaze subsided Sergeant Parish's body was found leaning against the rear gun turret and the passenger was beside him with his arm over the airman's shoulder. As the passenger could not walk, owing to his broken legs, it is clear that Sergeant Parish has carried him from the .emergency door to the rear turret, a distance of eight yards, in the hope that both could escape through the turret. Undoubtedly both were overcome and burned to death in the attempt. Sergeant Parish could have made his escape through the astro-hatch but his unselfish desire to assist the passenger. cost him his life. He displayed gallantry of the highest order."
(London Gazette - 2 April 1943)

The citation also appears on his entry in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sergeant (Obs.)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Age: 30
Date of Death: 16/09/1942
Service No: 1115314
Awards: G C
Additional information: Son of Stephen Owbridge and Ethel May Parish, of Broomhill, Sheffield. A.L.A.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: 11. C. 7.
Cemetery: KHARTOUM WAR CEMETERY - Citation.

George's last resting place - Khartoum War Cemetery, Sudan

George also appears on the Roll of Honour at his old school Firth Park Grammar School in Sheffield

The information that Graham was the son of Stephen Owbridge and Ethel May Parish is in many ways rather sad.

Grahamís father STEPHEN was a soldier, Private M/303166, who died serving with the 10/11th Mechanical Transport Coy, Army Service Corps, one week before the war ended on the 4th November. 1918. He was 36 years old and is buried in Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery. At that time the Parish family consisting of Graham, an older brother and a sister lived in St. Ronan's Road, Sheffield.

Initials: S O
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: Army Service Corps
Unit Text: 10/11th Mechanical Transport Coy.
Age: 36
Date of Death: 04/11/1918
Service No: M/303166
Additional information: Husband of Ethel Parish, of 17, St. Ronan's Rd., Sheffield.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: E. 121. Cemetery: ALEXANDRIA (HADRA) WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY.

This was their family home for the 1911 Census contains the following information

Name Stephen Ombridge Parish Relationship to Head of Household Head Condition Married Gender M Age 28 Estimated Year of Birth 1883 Occupation Pork and Provision Shop Manager Employed Y Working at Home N Place of Birth Worcestershire Bromsgrove Enumerator Information Address 17 St Ronans Road Sheffield Parish Ecclesall Town Sheffield Type of Building Private House Number of Rooms Seven Inhabited Y Reference RG14PN27780 RG78PN1591 RD509 SD5 ED2 SN178 Administrative County Yorkshire (West Riding) Registration District Ecclesall Bierlow Registration Sub District Ecclesall South Enumeration District 2.

It is a strange co-incidence that both father and son died for their country in separate wars and yet are buried on the same continent. Their graves are separated by nearly 1,100 miles.


1901 Census - Stephen O Parish Relation to Head of Family Son Age Last Birthday 18 Sex Male Profession or Occupation Grocers Assistant Condition as to Marriage Single Where Born Worcester Eboke Address 36 Springwood Rd Civil Parish Heeley Rural District Town or Village or Hamlet Sheffield County Borough Ecclesiastical Parish Christ Church Heeley Parliamentary Borough or Division Attercliffe County Borough, Municipal Borough or Urban District Sheffield Administrative County Yorkshire Ward of Municipal Borough or Urban District Nether Hallam

Marriages Sep 1908
MUNDY-KNIGHT Ethel May Ecclesall B. 9c 697 PARISH Stephen Owbridge Ecclesall B. 9c 697
Births Dec 1912 - Parish Grahame L Mundy-Knight Ecclesall B. Vol9c Page861

Births June 1915Parish Mabel J N Mundy-Knight Ecclesall B. Vol9c Page881

Graham Leslie PARISH, GC (Posthumously) - The London Gazette: 2nd April 1943

Marion Hebblethwaite is currently looking to UPDATE the book with this GC in it - please contact her on 01993 880223 or if you are related or know anything about them - thank you.

This page was last updated on 04/01/12 10:25

Return to Main Homepage