NATHAN PARKIN 1896 – 1916

26/1179 Lance Corporal Nathan Parkin, 26th Battalion, the Northumberland Fusiliers [3rd Tyneside Irish] was killed in action 1 July 1916 aged 20.  He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme[1] and Easington Colliery War Memorial.[2]

Family Details

Nathan Parkin was born 23 March 1896 [3], the son of Lionel Kipling and Louisa Parkin at Copley.[4]  There were at least 7 children, all born in the Parish of Lynesack and Softley: [5]

  • Ralph bc.1891
  • William bc.1892
  • Bertie bc.1894
  • Nathan born 1896
  • Lionel bc.1898
  • Joseph Blackett bc.1898
  • Hilda bc.1910

In 1901, the family lived at Quarry Lane, Butterknowle and 38 years old Lionel Parkin worked as a coal miner.[6] Living next to them was the Richardson family whose son John Joseph was then 10 years old.  Serving as 20786 Serjeant John Joseph Richardson DCM, 6th Battalion, the Machine Gun Corps, he died of wounds 7 July 1918 and is buried at Nine Elms British Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium.[7]  By 1911, the Parkin family lived at 12 Stevenson Street, Bowburn, County Durham where Lionel was still working as a coal miner [stoneman], William and Bertie were recorded as coal miners [putters] and 15 years old Nathan was employed as a coal miner [driver].[8]  At a later date, the family lived at 7 Hebburn Street, Easington Colliery, County Durham.[9]

Service Details

The service details of Lance Corporal Nathan Parkin have not been researched.

The Northumberland Fusiliers often known as the “Fighting Fifth” because until 1881 it was the Fifth Foot, the Northumberland Fusiliers. A total of 51 battalions were raised for service in the Great War, the second largest after the London Regiment.  The 26th (Service) Battalion (3th Tyneside Irish) was formed at Newcastle, January 1915 by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle and the City.  It came under the orders of the 103rd Brigade, 34th Division.[10] At the beginning of the Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916, the 103rd Brigade comprised the following units:

  • 24th, the Northumberland Fusiliers (1st Tyneside Irish)
  • 25th, the Northumberland Fusiliers (2nd t Tyneside Irish)
  • 26th, the Northumberland Fusiliers (3rd Tyneside Irish)
  • 27th, the Northumberland Fusiliers (4th Tyneside Irish)
  • 103rd Machine Gun Company joined 27 April 1916
  • 103rd Trench Mortar Battery joined February 1916

The battalion landed in France in January 1916.[11]  It saw action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1 July that year.

The 34th Division attacked astride the AlbertBapaume road at La Boisselle. 26/NF was attached to 102 Brigade [21/NF & 22/NF] and they tried to pass south of La Boisselle and north of Lochnagar.  They started the moment the mine was fired, crossing 200 yards of no-man’s land and reaching the trench of Schwaben Hohe, they continued down the west side of Sausage Valley and crossed both Kaufmanngraben and Alte Jugerstrasse.  Bombers were sent out to La Boisselle but could not make progress.  Machine gun fire from La Boisselle started to cause heavy casualties but Quergraben III was reached in places and a few men were reported in Bailiff Wood.  A German counter-attack forced the defenders back to Kaufmanngraben where they consolidated. [12]

The 1st Tyneside Irish suffered 620 casualties on 1 July (18 officers and 602 other ranks), its commander, Lieutenant Colonel L.M. Howard, was among the dead. The 4th Tyneside Irish suffered 539 casualties (20 officers and 519 other ranks). While the commanders of the 2nd and 3rd battalions were both wounded, as was the Brigade commander, Brigadier General N.J.G. Cameron. [13]

Later research record that 26th Battalion, the Northumberland Fusiliers [3rd Tyneside Irish] lost 8 Officers and 162 Other Ranks between 1 and 3 July 1916.[14]

Lance Corporal Nathan Parkin was awarded the Victory and British War medals.[15]


26/1179 Lance Corporal Nathan Parkin, 26th Battalion, the Northumberland Fusiliers [3rd Tyneside Irish] is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme and the Easington Colliery War Memorial.  This memorial was unveiled 30 January 1926 by Col. Pickersgill.  There are 198 servicemen dedicated to the Great War, “Our Glorious Dead”.  He is also commemorated on the memorial plaque in the Church of Ascension and a family gravestone in the cemetery. [16]



[1] Commonwealth War Graves Commission

[2] NE War Memorials Project

[3] England Select Births & Christenings 1538-1975 film no.1514636

[4] Soldiers Died in the Great War

[5] 1901 & 1911 census

[6] 1901 census

[7] Commonwealth War Graves Commission

[8] 1911 census

[9] CWGC



[12] “The Somme Day by Day Account” Chris McCarthy 1993 p.25


[14] Officers Died in the Great War and Soldiers Died in the Great War Note: only 2 ORs are recorded to have died of wounds.

[15] Medal Roll

[16] NE War Memorials Project