Ernest Edward PARKYN

PARKYN, Ernest Edward

Service Number: SX7506
Enlisted: 2 July 1940, Wayville, SA
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
Born: Beetaloo, South Australia, 12 April 1916
Home Town: Murray Bridge, Murray Bridge, South Australia
Schooling: Murray Bridge School, South Australia
Occupation: Wood Carter
Died: Killed in Action, Egypt, 26 October 1942, aged 26 years
Cemetery: El Alamein War Cemetery
Plot XXII Row F. Grave 11,
Memorials: Adelaide WW2 Wall of Remembrance, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Bowhill War Memorial, Murray Bridge Pictorial Honour Roll KIA WW2 & Vietnam
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World War 2 Service

2 Jul 1940: Involvement Private, SX7506, 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
2 Jul 1940: Enlisted Wayville, SA
2 Jul 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SX7506, 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
25 Oct 1942: Involvement Private, SX7506, 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion, El Alamein

‘A token true and tender dear Ern, we still remember’

William Richard and Edith Emily Parkyn had eight children, five boys and three girls, George, Richard, Martha, William, Dolly, Clarry, Ernest and Rosie. Ernest Edward was the youngest son, born at Beetaloo in the southern Flinders Ranges, on the 12 April, 1916. The family moved to Murray Bridge where the children attended school before Ernest became a wood carter.
With the outbreak of WWII, older brother Clarence enlisted to serve on the 19th June with 24-year-old Ernest following a week later on the 25th June at Murray Bridge. Second oldest brother, Richard also served as Sapper S52689. Ernest was allocated the number SX7506 and assigned to the newly formed 2/48th Battalion. His initial days were spent in the cold of the Pavilions, now part of the Royal Adelaide Showgrounds before the new enlistees headed to Woodside for their preliminary training. Pre-embarkation leave gave him time to return to Murray Bridge for time with his family before the 2/48th contingent embarked on the Stratheden for the Middle East, on the 7th November 1940, arriving on the 19th December 1940 and his Battalion completing a few months training in Cyrenaica.
From there, Ernest was soon on his way to serve in Tobruk, Syria and Egypt with the Battalion. By the start of April 1941, the 2/48th were in Tobruk where the dust, flies, heat, minimal water supplies and constant bombardment were quite a challenge to new enlistees. They were to become the famed Rats of Tobruk.
Conditions were ever-changing and the fighting continuous. The action between October 25th and 26th 1942 meant that the survivors of an horrific explosion and subsequent fighting were not always able to immediately retrieve their fallen men. 26-year-old Ernest was killed under these conditions.
John Glenn in ‘Tobruk to Tarakan’ describes the carnage caused by the chance hit by an enemy shell on a truck loaded with mines.
‘An ear shattering explosion dwarfed the sound of the guns into insignificance. Seven other trucks, all ladened with mines, had been set off. The whole area became a ghastly raging inferno. As trucks burned and exploded a great wall of fire shot into the sky. The gun flashes seemed dimmed; night was turned into day. The concussion was terrific. Steve Fitzgerald who was bringing up the mortar truck, which was laden with bombs, was seventy or so yards behind the trucks when the first one went off. His vehicle rocked in the blast, and, blinded by the flash, he was thrown clear out of it and onto the ground. Russ Lucas and Doug Richardson, who were manning a wireless set in a nearby trench, were temporarily stunned, but by gallant effort they got one man out of the trucks. He died in their arms. Parts of their wireless set were never found; the batteries were picked up two hundred yards away. Two thousand mines went up in this explosion; all the war equipment of both B and D Companies was destroyed. Of the ten men who were in the vehicles, not one was saved. They were: Corporal R. Bryant, W.D. Cockshell, W.C. Quinn, J.J. Buckley, H.S. Searle, W.A. Craig, C. Fraser, C.H. Schulz, C.E. Dolling and E. Parkyn.’
By December, the Southern Argus had reported that ‘Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Parkyn, of Woodchester, have received advice that their fourth son, Driver Ernest Parkyn, was killed in action in Egypt on October 26th. Driver Parkyn, who was 26 years of age, enlisted from Bowhill, where he was engaged in woodcarting. Driver Parkyn served in the early Libyan campaigns and was one of the 'Rats of Tobruk,' He also served in Palestine and Syria. Two elder brothers are in the A.M.F., and his youngest brother is serving in the A.I.F. in Egypt.
Initially Ernest was buried in the field with those who were killed with him before later being re-buried on the 25th January ’43 then on the 27th March 1945 in the El Alamein Cemetery, Plot XXII Row F. Grave 11. His family chose the inscription for his headstone ‘A token true and tender dear Ern, we still remember’. He now lies alongside, Charles Fraser SX7260, William C. Quinn SX7176, and Clem Schulz SX7732, from the 2/48th Battalion and killed in the same explosion.
Ernest was posthumously awarded the 1939/45 Star, African Star, Defence Medal, War Medal and Australian Service Medal which were sent to his family in April 1950.
Each year the family continued to remember Ernest. A last In Memorium was placed by Ern’s mother, Edith in 1951, just five months before her own death on September 29th, aged 66.
Advertiser Monday 30 November 1942, PARKYN. —Loving memory of dear Ernest, killed in action Egypt. Oct 25-26 His duty nobly done. —By sister Martha, brother-in-law Charlie. Donald and Doreen.
Advertiser Thursday 26 October 1944, PARKYN. —Loving memory dear son Ern, k.i.a., El Alamein, October 25-26, 1942. I think of you in silence. I love to speak your name; in life I loved you dearly, in death I do the same. —Mother. PARKYN. —Loving memory dear Ern, killed El Alamein, October 25-26, 1942. Always thoughtful, loving, kind, beautiful memories our boy left behind. Sleeping where no shadows fall, waiting his loved ones when God calls. —Sorrowing mother and father. PARKYN. —In loving memory of dear Ernie, who was killed in action, October 26 ,1942. God saw the road was getting rough, the hill was hard to climb; He gently closed your tired eyes, and said, "Peace be thine."—Inserted by his brother George. PARKYN. —In loving memory dear Uncle Ern, killed in action, El Alamein, October 25-26, 1942. He died a brave hero, true and kind, what beautiful memories he left behind. — Always re-membered by Norman. PARKYN. —In loving memory of Dvr. Ernest, killed in action, Egypt, October 26, 1942. He gave his life that we may live. —Ever remembered by sister Martha, brother-in-law Charley, Donald and Doreen. PARKYN. —Loving memory of dear Ernest, killed in action, El Alamein, Oct. 25-26, 1942. You are not forgotten, brother, dear, nor will you ever be. As long as life and memory lasts we will remember you. —Ever remembered, sister Rose, brother-in-law Joe (A.I.F. ret.). PARKYN. —In loving memory dear brother Ernest, killed in action, El Alamein, Oct. 25-26, 1942. Gone from us his smiling face his loving, kindly heart; he was the dearest of brothers, why did we have to part? —Ever remembered by Dick (ex-A.M.F.), Clarrie (A.I.F. ret.).
Advertiser Thursday 25 October 1945, PARKYN. —In loving memory dear Ern, killed in action. El Alamein. Oct. 25-26. r 1942. Dear is the grave where darling Ernie is laid. Sweet ls the memory that will never fade. Roses may wither, leaves fade and die. Some may forget you but never will I—Fondly remembered by mum and dad PARKYN. —In loving memory of dear son Ernest killed in action. October 25 - 26. 1942. I always think of you. dear Ern No one may see me weep: But many a bitter tear I shed When the others are asleep —Always remembered by mum. PARKYN. —In loving memory of our dear brother Ernest, killed in action October 25-26. 1942. Just a token, true and tender, to show, dear brother, we still remember. —Ever remembered by his brothers Dick, and Bill. PARKYN. —In loving memory of dear Ernest, killed ln action October 25-26. 1942 I. A beautiful life came to an end. He died as he lived. everyone's friend —Fondly remembered by sister Rose, brother-in-law Joe (AXF, dis.) and niece Rose Marie. PARKYN. —In loving memory of dear uncle Ern. killed at El Alamein. October 25-26. 1942. Time drifts on, three years have passed. But. memories of you always last. —Ever remembered by nephew Norman.
Advertiser Saturday 26 October 1946, PARKYN, Ernest Edward. —ln loving memory of my brother. Ernie. 2/48th Btn. 9th Division, killed El Alamein. October 25-26. —Always remembered by Clarrie. PARKYN. —In memory of Ernest, killed in action, Egypt, October 26. 1942. Deep in our hearts a memory is kept of one we loved and never forget. —Ever remembered by his sister Martha, brother-in-law Charley, little Donald, Doreen and Ernest. PARKYN. —In sad but loving memories of our dear son. Ernest Killed El Alamein. October 25-26, 1942. Just a line of sweet remembrance of one who was kind and true. As long as life and memory last, dear son. I'll think or you. —Sadly missed and always longed for by his loving mum. PARKYN. —In sad but loving memories of our dear son Ernest, killed In action. In our home you are fondly remembered. Sweet memories cling round your name. Hearts that held you In deepest affection sun love you in death just the same. —Sadly missed by mum and dad. PARKYN—In loving memory of our dear son Ernest, killed in action. Oct. 25-26. 1942. To him and all who gave their lives on our behalf we pay this day our reverent tribute of homage and proud remembrance. PARKYN. —In loving memory of our dear brother and Uncle Ernest, killed in action. Oct. 25-26, 1942. We remember him as a hero, and treasure the life he gave for all. —Ever remembered by his loving brother Dick and nephew Norman. PARKYN. —In loving memory of our dear brother and Uncle Ernest, killed in action. Oct. 25-26. 1942. We think of you In silence. We often speak your name, but all we have to answer Is your photo in a frame. —Always remembered by sister Rose, brother-in-law Joe and niece Rose Marie.
Advertiser Thursday 12 April 1951, PARKYN. — SX7506. E. E. Loving memories. — Mother.

Researched and written by Kaye Lee, daughter of Bryan Holmes SX8133, 2/48th Battalion.

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