Recognition for brave Padre, murdered in cold blood on D-Day.
Who is Padre Parry?
On May 22nd 2014, I purchased a suitcase that has taken me on an unexpected and quite extraodinary journey. The owner of the suitcase had written his name on the top of the case : Rev GEM Parry CF.
I have spent the last 18 months, researching the life of Padre Parry and I have since unearthed the most remarkable story about a man, who went to war and never returned home.
Parry, aged 29 was the only padre to be killed on D-Day. Rev GEM Parry CF (George Edward Maule Parry) Service No: 173033. George Parry was born on 4th Feb 1915. He grew up in Leytonstone, E7. His father was a Canon and he was one of 4 brothers, all of whom were serving their country. Parry studied Theology at Kings College, London from 1933-1937. In 1941, Parry served in West Africa, the Gold Coast and after having been disembarked from West Africa Gold Coast and returning to the UK, George Parry was appointed as a Chaplain 4th class in Leytonstone. However, he went back to Africa the following year where he stayed until 1943. In June 1944, Parry, Padre to the 7th Parachute battalion parachuted into Normandy, during Operation Overlord. Just 96 Padres were killed in WW2, Rev Parry being one of them, now laid to rest in Benouville Churchyard.
There are many chilling reports of Parry's death, this one taken from: The Argus, Melbourne, Wed, 12 July 1944.
"Parry was killed with a knife or bayonet while defending helpless wounded men during a German raid on a medical aid post. The Germans set upon the wounded in a frenzied state, shooting and bayoneting them, Rev. Parry threw himself between the Nazis and the wounded troops".
Army chaplains are unarmed and so a question was raised in Parliament by Sir Herbert Williams;
"If any statement could be made about the murder of Rev George Maule Parry, chaplain to the forces, by the Germans in Normandy. Sir James Grigg, Secretary of War stated in the House of commons that the matter would be investigated."
Leonard Mosley, War correspondent for the Kemsley newspaper, attached with the Sixth Airborne Division, penned the following words about the brutal murder of popular Padre Parry.
"I don't think there was a man in the whole battalion who that day did not fight to avenge the death of Padre Parry."
Over 70 years have since passed and Padre Parry's story can finally be told.
What can YOU do to help?
I now want to get Parry recognition in the form of a memorial or medal. With your help, I will be able to bring to the attention of parliament the unanswered questions of Padre Parry's murder. If YOU think that Padre Parry deserves recognition, then please sign and share this petition.
Listen to "The Chaplain's Suitcase" BBC Radio 4 on December 27th 16:00.
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