Charles Parker
South Africa 1853 and IGS with clasp for Pegu
Charles Parker was born June 13, 1828 in
Woolwich, Kent. He was the son of Henry and
Elizabeth. Coming from Woolwich, there was
a strong association with the sea and his
father, brother and later his son were all
serving in the RN as shipwrights. For some
reason, Charles didn’t follow in those
footsteps and instead became a Stoker and
after being discharged, a Blacksmith.

He first went to sea in January 1850 but
his service was short in that he was
discharged after serving less than 5 years.
Almost all of it aboard
HMS Hermes under
commander E.G. Fishbourne and on which
he earned the South Africa 1853 Medal
and the India General Service Medal with
clasp for Pegu. Medals awarded to Hermes
for each campaign amounted to 133 and 159
respectively. The South Africa roll indicates
that when the medal was delivered to him
in 1856 he could not write and made is mark
with an X. So although it was a relatively
short lived career afloat he did earn two
nice campaign medals

He married Mary Ann Sweeting from
Romford at St Nicholas Parish Church
in Deptford on June 28, 1860. Sadly,
his wife died young in 1867 at aged 35
and he raised his son Charles at the
Woolwich Dockyard where he eventually
settled after leaving the service. At the
time of the 1881 census, he had moved to
Portsmouth with his son who was an
apprentice shipwright.

During the 4 plus year tour of duty,
Hermes had steamed 75,000 miles and
consumed 7,000 tons of coal. No doubt
Charles Parker shoveled quite a bit of that.

The IGS is named:
Chas. Parker. Stoker. “Hermes”
The SA 1853 is named:
C. Parker. Stoker.