The Tank Museum | Recipient

William Alonzo, Bishop Parker

Sub-Prelate of the Order of St. John
Bishop of Shrewsbury 1959-1970
Provost of Denstone 1960-1967

Bishop Parker, who died on 18th April 1982, aged 85 years, had many claims to fame, but one of which he was always proud was that he served as an officer in the then Tank Corps and later became a Bishop. After leaving school William Parker was trained at Woolwich before joining the Tank Corps. He served at Wareham and was then posted to France where he fought at Cambrai and was mentioned in despatches. He was twice wounded and twice picked up for dead.

In 1922 he left the Army to join his father in the family cotton mills in Manchester and at the same time studied law at Manchester University. He was about to be called to the Bar when he decided, like so many that had survived the Great War, that the Church was really to be his life. He studied at Kelham and after ordination was appointed curate at Sheffield Cathedral. He then went out to Jerusalem, an experience which later led to him becoming a Sub-Prelate of the Order of St. John. With the outbreak of the Second World War he rejoined the Army as a Senior Chaplain to the Forces with the British Expeditionary Forces in France, but he was invalided out and then started his long association with his beloved diocese of Lichfield, first as a Vicar of St. Chad's Church in Shrewsbury then a Record and later as Archdeacon of Stafford. He became Canon Residentiary and then in 1960 Bishop of Shrewsbury and Provost of Denstone, an almost impossible task which resulted in a breakdown in health and in 1970 he retired to Church Stretton.

Bishop Parker will be remembered for his administrative ability, his gift of friendship and his love of the countryside, where he always found peace and inspiration.

ORDER OF ST. JOHN (ALL CLASSES)

1939-45 STAR

BRITISH WAR MEDAL 1914-18 (SILVER)

GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL 1918-62, PALESTINE (1936-39) BAR

VICTORY MEDAL

WAR MEDAL

KING GEORGE VI CORONATION 1937

KING GEORGE V JUBILEE 1935