Some time ago I wrote about Toss. You can read it here: Lost on the Montevideo Maru. Just to reflect on Toss, he was a young boy of 18 years old when he arrived at Rabaul. Soon after his 19th birthday it is presumed he drowned after the Japanese prisoner of war ship was torpedoed, not far from Luzon in the Western Pacific Ocean, the largest island in the Phillipines.
Sunday 23 January 2022 is the 80th anniversary of the invasion of Rabaul, by the Japanese. Here is a story of the event from Barney Cain who survived the ordeal. Barney is now in his 100th year of life and tells the story of his survival. Veteran: Barney Cain
There are several books written on the attack on Rabaul.
The few I. have are:
Selby, David ,Hell and High Fever. Sydney, 1956
Aplin, Douglas, Rabaul 1942. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 1980. 1994
Reeson, Margaret, Whereabouts Unknown, Sutherland, NSW, Australia 1993
Reeson, Margaret, A Very Long War , Burwood, Victoria, Australia 2000
Townsend, Ian, Line of Fire, Sydney, NSW, Australia. 2017
Note from author: “Your life was short Toss, but I will ensure you are remembered. “
I have been researching our family tree since 1981. As many family historians will know, you get a liking for certain ancestors, even though you have never known them in person. Well, these three lads are mine and their research has been challenging at times. Maybe this is the reason for them being ‘special;’
Let us start with Arthur John PARKER who was born in Carcoar, NSW in 1896. His parents being Thomas PARKER and Jane WILLIAMS, both born in Carcoar. Arthur was the fifth child of a family of five boys and five girls. The family moved to Cowra around 1900 and by 1909 they had settled in Leadville, NSW. Arthur lived in Leadville until he decided to enlist in the Military in 1916. You can read about his military service here. He went overseas and fought in France, was wounded and recuperated in England and finally came home to Australia in 1919 when he was discharged on 9 May.
He met up with a young lady named Ruth WILLIAMS, a coincidence she shared the same surname as his mother’s maiden name, although as far as I know, there is no relationship. On 23 October 1920 Ruth, a spinster and Arthur, a bachelor, married at St. Matthews Church, Botany. According to the marriage certificate, Ruth was born in Hobart, Tasmania in 1895, although I have not been able to locate a birth registration for her. Her father, Thomas WILLIAMS was a horse trainer and her mother Susannah TAYLOR was deceased.
There is very little I know about this relationship. It appears it did not last long and I have not been able to locate Ruth in any records.
According to family information, Arthur had two sons, Eric and Toss. The mother of his children was known as Winne. My mother and grandmother (Arthur’s sister) use to visit her in Darlinghurst. She worked in a cake shop and was also a cook. Winnie, as she was known was actually Rhoda Prudence Winifred GREEN who was born at Leadville, NSW. So, Arthur and Winnie would have known one another as children.
Eric was born April 1921 at Paddington, NSW and ‘Toss’ aka Arthur, was born March 1923. These dates of birth were found in their military records where their next of kin was noted as Winifred PARKER and Rhoda PARKER.
Arthur and Winnie disappear from the records between 1920 and 1930. They are found living as husband and wife in the 1930 Electoral Roll at 44 Selwyn Street, East Sydney.
In 1936 Arthur is found in the Electoral Roll living at 1 Buckingham St, Redfern. The following year, 1937, he is living with Alice Eva PARKER at 30 Richard Street, Annandale. Then in 1943 Electoral Roll he is living with Eva at 30 Bellevue St Arncliffe. He lived here until he died in 1946. The last Electoral Roll available for research is 1980 and Eva PARKER is still living in Bellevue Street. She died in 1988 at Primrose House, Private Hospital, Kogarah.
Although Arthur and Winnie separated, Eric and Toss had a relationship with their father. My mum often visited Arthur and Eva and she said the boys were usually there.
In 2005 I purchased Arthur’s death certificate and I was shocked to see that the informant was Eric Parker (adopted son). I showed Mum and she said she thought both boys were Arthur’s children. So, my digging began.
So, I had to wait until 1921 before I could apply for a transcription of Eric’ birth. Finally the time has come and I found two registrations. I am not sure what I read into this. I am putting this on line as maybe others will see or know things that I am not aware of, especially the Child Welfare Act of 1940.
My theory is that these boys are Arthur’s and because Eric was originally registered as illegitimate and father not registered, (the boys were known as Parker as per their military enlistment and their mother was known as Parker), Arthur wanted to set the record straight, therefore he submitted another registration in 1940. Although, I would presume there would have been an authority of some kind from the child’s mother, Rhoda.