This site commemorates the men and women of Collingham, Linton and Micklethwaite who served during World War 1.
Parkinson, Arthur Lesley

Rank and Unit at End of World War One

Rank Commander

Service Number 001672

Service Royal Navy


Pre-war Occupation*/marital status**

Trade or Occupation pre-war: Merchant seaman
Marital status: Married

* Taken from attestation papers or 1911 census
** Marital status on enlistment or at start of war
Connection with Collingham, Linton or Micklethwaite and reason for inclusion on this web site
  • Born in Collingham, Linton or Micklethwaite


Family background

Arthur Lesley Parkinson was born in Collingham on the 3rd June 1880, the son of Walter Henshaw Parkinson and Ada Wellesley Parkinson and they lived at that time in Back Street, Wetherby. Arthur had a brother, James Herring Parkinson who was killed at the Battle of the Somme.

Arthur joined the Mercantile Martine service and served as 2nd Officer aboard the Atlantic Steamship Company's ship Manhattan during the Boer War (1899-1902) earning the Transport Medal with South Africa clasp. The ship ferried general stores from Britain to Capetown. Arthur was also a member of the Royal Navy Reserve (RNR) serving as a Midshipman from the 10th October 1898. He gained his 1st Class Gunnery Certificate on the 1st June 1906 and a 2nd Class Torpedo Certificate on the 1st August of the same year. Later in 1906, Arthur was promoted to the rank of Sub Lieutenant in the RNR and to Lieutenant on the 11th September 1907.

In March 1908, Arthur married Edith Adeline Wood in South Stoneham, Hampshire. He gave his trade as Third Officer in the Merchant Service.

Arthur's RNR service continued with Training on HMS Prince George from the 2nd March 1909 to the 8th March.

Arthur's daughter, Lady Eileen Joy Parkinson was born in January 1910 and in 1911 the family is living at 65 Polygon Road, Southampton.

From 1911 until 1914, Arthur served as 2nd or 3rd Mate of vessels of the Union Castle Line. For example on Galician to Cape Town on the 10th May 1911, and on Garth Castle on the 17th August 1911. He also completed further training from the 21st October 1911 until the 3rd November on HMS Hampshire. Arthur also completed another trip as 2nd or 3rd Mate on Garth Castle for Cape Town on the 8th November 1911.

Service record

Arthur's naval skills meant that on the outbreak of war, he was immediately mobilised and posted to HMS Hyacinth (Cape Station) and was posted as Lt Commander of Torpedo Boat (TB) 060. On the 11th September 1915, he was made a Lieutentant Commander in the RNR and on the 12th July 1916 he was appointed commander of HMS Salamander - a converted steam whaler formerly called the Krabben.

Arthur served with the East Africa squadron as part of the escort to the monitors Severn and Mersey and took part in operations along the East African coast (e.g. occupation of Tanga); his ship was also used as a minesweeper in these operations. On the 27th May 1918, Arthur was posted to Afrikander, the Naval base in Cape Town.

After the war, Arthur stayed at sea for a time being the Master of the Union Castle Line ship, Ipu, in July 1919.

To go with his Boer war transport medal, Arthur was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory medal for his WW1 service and in 1920 he was further awarded the Royal Naval Reserve Decoration. Arthur finally retired from the RNR on the 25th November 1922.

After the war

After that Arthur became a self-employed Nurseryman in the St. John’s Nursery, Polegate, Sussex. He died on the 26th May 1960 aged 80.

Biography last updated 20 February 2021 17:27:40.


1911 Census. The National Archives. Class RG14 Piece 06014
Royal Navy Records of Service Cards (ADM340/107/13). The National Archives.

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