We are extremely grateful to Margaret Stocker of Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, who contacted the Society with the interesting story of the Parkinson Family, and their link with WWI Hospital at Corsham.
For several years when researching my father’s family in the 1990’s I puzzled over a photograph of a house called ‘Dunsford’ in Corsham Wiltshire. At this time I was living in Kent, and my father, born in 1912 in the south London area had not been to this house since the 1920’s, but he did have memories of visiting with his mother, to see his grandmother and great aunts and uncle, Percival Parkinson.
In 1997 I made a trip to Corsham, to research the Parkinson family who had come to live in Bath in the 1850’s, and at last I found the house. I must thank Marjorie Eagles for her help, and the introduction to Tom and Muriel Burnard who then lived at ‘Dunsford’ No.9 Prospect.
Percy George Parkinson and his twin brother Frances Russell Parkinson were born in 1856 in Bath, to George Thomas and Elizabeth. George Thomas was a surgeon dentist, who had come from Norwood, and the family lived for a number of years at Batheaston, before eventually living at 28 The Circus, Bath.
There were seven children, four girls and the twin boys. In the 1880’s George retired and moved away. The two sons joined the Army in 1877, Percy in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, and Frank in the Welch Regiment. Three of the unmarried daughters remained in Bath.
Whilst stationed in Ireland, Percy married Frances Fyers. There were four children, Gladys, (1885) Irene, (1886) Esme (1887) & Claude (1889). The family home was at Bathwick, at 9 Dunsford Place. Frances died while Claude was a baby, and their aunt Jane brought them up.
In the late 1990’s I corresponded with Claude’s daughter Diana, and before her death in 2001 she sent me a number of photo albums of the 1st WW years. These were taken by the nursing sisters overseas, and the men on the “Front” in France. Most of these fascinating albums are now in the Imperial War Museum, but I have kept the ones with many photographs of the family at “Dunsford” , Lypiatt Farm, Dicketts Farm and Batheaston Post Office.