|The Naval Brigade in Egypt and the Soudan
EDWARD PHILIP PARRICK, R.N.
|Edward Philip Parrick was born in Portsmouth on 31 Aug 1860. He entered the R.N. in HMS Duke of Wellington on 29 Jan ’76 as a 15
½ yr old Boy Writer. He had previously attended school & was literate. He very likely had very good or handwriting & spelling skills to
qualify for the Writer branch. Generally Writers had to have at least a second class education certificate to qualify for the Writer
He served on Troopships HMS Malabar & Jumna before returning to Duke of Wellington & being rated Writer 3rd cl on 31 Aug ’78. He
was then drafted to HMS Hecla on 3 Sep ’78, for a lengthy commission, participating in the Egypt/Soudan campaign of 1882-84. He
was onboard Hecla for the bombardment of Alexandra on 11 July ’82. During his time on Hecla Parrick was rated Writer 2nd cl on 30
Aug ’83. He was landed at the Port of Suakin with the Naval brigade in 1884 & also saw service at Trinkitat during ’84, thus qualifying
for the Suakin ’84 clasp to his 1882 Egypt medal.
He returned to UK on 8 Feb ’88 & was drafted to HMS Excellent, where he was promoted to Writer 1st cl on 18 Feb ’88, & Chief Writer
on 1 July ’89. Promotion was quite rapid for Parrick so he must have showed promise & superior ability.
Whilst at HMS Excellent Parrick rec’d his Naval LS on 12 Sep ’88.
He left Excellent 19 Apl ’90 & subsequently served on HMS Magicienne, Victory, Boscawen, Leander, & Liffey. He served on Liffey in the
East Indies for 3 yrs. His pay as Chief Writer was raised to 6/- per day effective 31 Aug ’98.
Parrick returned to UK, & finished his time at HMS Pembroke, base at Chatham, & went to pension on 14 Apl ’01. However he signed
on again & continued to serve at HMS Pembroke base as Chief Writer, thru WWI until 1919 when he was demobilized on 12 Jan ’19.
During the time Parrick served at Pembroke he was President of the Chief Petty Officers Association as well as President of the
Pensioners Assoc. During the 1920’s Parrick was also a member of the Ministry of Pensions Committee, which fixed disability pensions,
& in the course of his duties travelled extensively throughout the country.
He was married & had one son. His son, at the time of his father’s death, was Engineer Lieut Commander E.P. Parrick, R.N.
During his time prior to WWI he served on the Pensions Appeal Tribunal. He was also very active in Gillingham City Council, being first
elected in 1903 as a Councilman & later Mayor. Much of his very lengthy obituary is devoted to his considerable period of civic service.
At the time of his death he was Mayor of Gillingham.
Edward Parrick died suddenly on Sep 7, 1935 in his 76th yr at Gillingham. He had been admitted to the Royal Freemason’s Hospital in
London for a few days prior awaiting an operation. The Chatham Rochester & Gillingham News published a photo & an extensive
obituary for him. Below are some quotes from that obituary:
“It is interesting to note that he took part in the Egyptian war, and was present at the bombardment of Alexandria, and afterwards
landed under Lord Charles Beresford. He was also in the first & second Soudan campaigns. While in the Navy he had the honour of
meeting King George, as the Prince of Wales, when H.M. served in the Navy.
He also had the unique honour of having shaken hands with three generations of the Royal family – King Edward, King George, & the
(current) Prince of Wales. When he told the Prince of Wales he was the third generation he had shaken hands with, the Prince of Wales
said : “Well lets shake hands again then!”
For several years He was popular President of the CPO’s Association of the Chatham depot. He was also former President of the
Pensioners Association. In the old days a proof of his popularity was provided when the CPO’s Assoc. presented him with a silver tea &
coffee service at the old Public Hall.
The deceased was also a prominent Freemason of “The King’s Navy” Lodge, which is composed of Naval members & was formed owing
to his personal efforts. He was also an enthusiastic worker for the British Legion, the local members of which will much regret his
“The selection of the Council last year to make Councillor Parrick Mayor of the Borough was much appreciated by the townspeople,
especially in view of the fact that Councillor Parrick was a member of the council immediately following incorporation. The duties of
Mayor were ably carried out by Councillor Parrick…”
Parrick had served as a Councilman since the early 1920s.
Much of the obituary is devoted to describing the funeral, the service, & the many floral tributes:
“The funeral which took place yesterday (Thursday) afternoon was one of the most impressive and largely attended that has ever
taken place locally. The service at St Barnabas Church was crowded with motor cars & townspeople who had come to pay a last
tribute to their highly esteemed Mayor.”
…... then continued to the cemetery where vast crowds assembled in the vicinity of the main gate…..Rev Webb conducted a Masonic
service at the graveside, and at the conclusion the bretheren performed the customary ceremony of casting sprigs of acacia into the
Mayor Parrick was laid to rest in Woodlands cemetery Gillingham on 12 Sep, 1935. His wife Mary Kathleen joined him in the family plot
on 14 Nov 1956.
Unfortunately the headstone is now gone, several in that section have been removed over the years & many of the kerbstones have
also sunk over the years so Edward & Mary Parrick’s grave is now unmarked.
Parrick had received the King George 1935 Jubilee medal just prior to his death.
His medals have been well worn with pride over the years, he likely wore them on every occasion he could. Not many Egypt/Soudan
veterans survived into the 1930’s, & it must have been rare to see an Egypt medal being worn in the 1920-30’speriod, so his medals
saw quite a bit of service & wear!
Altho Parrick was landed at Suakin in ’84, he was not present at either El Teb or Tamaai. He would have known & have been shipmates
of some of the ratings in HMS Hecla’s Naval Brigade. He likely paid many of the ship’s company on pay days. Being of PO status, he
certainly would have known both CPO Tolman & PO Hamer. Kind of wonder if he ever kept in touch with any of his mates from