Parr, Robert Philip
Born in Shrewsbury, Parr was the only son of Sir Robert Parr KBE, CMG, formerly His Majesty’s Consul at Aleppo, Syria, who lived at Grinshill Hall, Shrewsbury, Shropshire. His mother was Lady Parr (Ciceley Emily Parr, daughter of Henry David Shaw, of Hadnall, Shropshire).
He entered Mr. W.L.F. Browne’s House in May 1936. During his time at Winchester he worked his way up from Junior Part 2 into Senior Part, and became a House Prefect. He was a keen cricketer and got his Flannels for bowling. He got his Scarf for boxing as early as 1938, and was one of the best swimmers in the school.
He was anxious to join the forces at the earliest possible moment, and after a few months at Aberdeen University in 1940 enlisted in the Buffs before he was eighteen. He then saw service as a Corporal in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps in 1941, before going for a commission. Early in 1942 he went to 161 OCTU and obtained a commission in the Grenadier Guards on December 3rd 1942.
He was killed in action near Minturno on January 29th 1944, when serving as a Lieutenant in 6th Battalion, Grenadier Guards, with whom he had won a high reputation as an officer. 6th Grenadier Guards had suffered huge casualties at Mareth in March 1943, Salerno in September 1943, and on Monte Camino in December 1943. As a result, large numbers of new personnel had been drafted in as replacements.
6th Battalion was part of 201 (Guards) Brigade in 56th (London) Division. In the week of 22nd to 31st January 1943 the fighting on the Garigliano river was bloody and there were terrible losses. 6th Grenadier Guards lost twenty-nine out of thirty-five officers, and 529 out of 800 other ranks. Conditions were appalling. Father George Forbes MC, chaplain to 1 (Guards) Brigade at the time, wrote as follows:
“The first night in that position was one of the most unpleasant I have ever spent. It came on to rain at nightfall so heavily that we gave up any idea of sleep, and during the night it turned to sleet and hail with wind of gale force blowing. To crown it all the Germans opened up with their mortars at 0500 as a prelude to one of their frequent dawn attacks”.
Parr was twenty years old. He rests in grave VI.D.10 of the Minturno War Cemetery.
- Surname: Parr
- Forenames or initials: Robert Philip
- House: F
- Years in School: 1936-1940
- Rank: Lieutenant
- Regiment: Grenadier Guards
- Date of Birth: 13th April 1923
- Date of Death: 29th January 1944
- How Died: Killed in Action
- Location in War Cloister: Inner B2
- Decoration: NA
- Burial Site: Minturno War Cemetery: Grave VI.D.10