Torbay war hero’s medals brought home

Private Parnell's war medals

Private Parnell's war medals - Credit: Archant

The medals of a Torbay war hero have been brought home.

Private Walter Parnell died in battle during World War One.

Now his gallantry medals have been acquired by Bygones and will be on display at the museum and attraction in St Marychurch, Torquay, not far from Pte Parnell’s former home in St Anne’s Road, Babbacombe.

Bygones boss Rick Cuming said: “We are always interested in adding items with local links to our displays.

“Pte Walter Parnell lived in Babbacombe and when his medals became available at a regional auction house, we purchased them so they could be permanently displayed close to where he lived .”

Pte Parnell was born in Bolfton Cornwall in 1884. He was the son of Robert and Mary and lived with his wife Lillie at 29 St Anne’s Road.

He was a gardener by profession and enlisted at Newton Abbot into the 1st Battalion the Devonshire Regiment.

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Pte Parnell was killed in action at the Battle of Broodseinde , Ypres, on October 4, 1917 aged just 33 .

Like so many others, his body was never identified and he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial and at the war memorial at All Saints Church in Babbacombe.

Rick says: “His wife would also have been sent a memorial ‘death penny ‘which is unfortunately no longer with his medals.”

Rick added: “So many gave their lives for our freedom today and holding the medals and the postage box sent to his wife really brings home the reality of their sacrifice and the impact it had on their families.

“Hopefully future generations will be able to remember his service and they remain displayed close to his home.”