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Septimus Parkin (1886-1916)

Felling coal miner served in the Royal Navy on HMS Invincible at the Battle of Jutland

Septimus Parkin was born on 16 September 1886. His father was George Parkin (1855-1900), a general labourer, who was born in Felling
Shore. His mother was Sarah Ann Parkin nee Forster (1855-1908) who was also from Felling Shore. Records identify eight children in the family made up of seven boys and one girl. Septimus name may be a clue that he was the seventh son or seventh born child.

In 1891 Septimus lived with his family in Wesley Lane, Felling. By the time of the 1901 census his family were living at 3 Brandling Place, Felling and he was working as a screener at a coal mine. He joined the Royal Navy on 3 June 1907 to serve for five years full time followed by seven years in the Royal Fleet Reserve (RFR). He was given the service number SS105153 and the rating of Stoker 2nd class. He entered the service via HMS Victory a training base in Portsmouth. He was then posted to HMS Patrol, a Pathfinder-class scout cruiser, where he was promoted to stoker 1st class on 30 March 1908. At the time of the 1911 census he is recorded as a single man serving as a stoker onboard HMS Dreadnought in Portsmouth Harbour.

Septimus completed his initial five year service and was transferred to the RFR on 2 June 1912. He returned to Felling where he married Isabella Cairns (1889-1979) in late 1912. Isabella was a chemical worker’s daughter from Heworth. The couple had two sons. George C was born in 1913 and Joseph in 1914. With war looming, Septimus was recalled to active service on 2 August 1914. After a period of re-training, he served briefly on HMS Blake, a light cruiser, before joining the crew of HMS Invincible on 15 November 1915.

HMS Invincible was the flagship of the 3rd battlecruiser squadron in the Grand Fleet. On 31 May 1916 the squadron acted as the fleet’s heavy scouting force during the Battle of Jutland. She was destroyed by a midships magazine explosion after her ‘Q’ turret was penetrated, effectively blowing the ship in half. She is reported to have sunk within 90 seconds. Septimus was lost in this action along with 1,026 officers and crewmen. His body was not recovered for burial and he is honoured on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. He is remembered locally on the Roll of Honour 1914-18 of High Felling Council School.

Septimus Parkin was awarded the Star, the Victory Medal and the British War Medal for his service in World War One.

Civil Parish: Heworth

Birth date: 16-Sep-1886

Death date: 31-May-1916

Armed force/civilian: Navy

Residence: Wesley Lane, Felling(1891 census)
3 Brandling Place, Felling (1901 census)
HMS Dreadnought, Portsmouth, Hampshire (1911 census)

Education: High Felling Council School

Employment: Coal screener (1901 census)
Coal miner (1907 Royal Navy service record)

Family: Parents: George Parkin (1855-1900), Sarah Ann Parkin nee Forster (1855-1908)
Siblings: Thomas Parkin (1876), Robert Parkin (1877) Jacob Parkin (1880), George Parkin (1883), William Parkin (1885), Daniel Parkin (1889), Dorothy Parkin (1893)
Spouse: Isabella Parkin nee Cairns (1889-1979)
Children: George C Parkin (1913), Joseph Parkin (1914)

Military service:

Royal Navy
Stoker 2nd class, 3 June 1907
Stoker 1st class, 30 March 1908
HMS Nelson, 1907
HMS Patrol, 1907-1908
HMS Dreadnought, 1909-1912
Transferred to Royal Fleet Reserve, 2 June 1912
Stoker 1st class
HMS Victory, 2 August 1914-8 December 1914
HMS Blake (Broke), 9 December 1914-30 June 1915
HMS Victory II, 29 July 1915-12 November 1915
HMS Invincible, 15 November 1915-31 May 1916

Medal(s): Star
Victory Medal
British War Medal

Memorial(s): Portsmouth Naval Memorial
Roll of Honour, High Felling Council School, Felling

Gender: Male

Contributed by David D, Stanley, Co Durham