Ajax Veterans Street Dedication: Parry Road
- Media Type:
- Street Name: Parry Road
Name of Veteran: William Edward Parry Apr. 8, 1893-Aug. 21, 1972
Ship Served: HMS Achilles
Date of Service on Ship: 1939
Year of Visit/Dedication:
Veteran or Family Visit:
Veteran of the Battle of the River Plate: Yes
Died at Battle: No
William Edward Parry was born on April 8, 1893 in London, England. He joined the Royal Navy before World War One and by May 15, 1913 he was made sub-lieutenant. He reached the rank of Captain on December 31, 1934 at the age of 41. William was Captain of the HMS Achilles with a primarily New Zealander crew from January 27, 1939 until October 15, 1940.
The Leander-class Light Cruiser HMS Achilles played a primary role in the Battle of the River Plate. When war was declared on Germany in September she began patrolling the west coast of South America looking for German merchant ships. By October 22, 1939 she was assigned to the South American Division under Commodore Henry Harwood.
The Achilles lost 4 men during the Battle of the River Plate, several men were wounded and the ship suffered considerable damage. Captain Parry himself sustained an injury to his leg.
After the Battle of the River Plate Commodore Harwood was quoted as saying, “I cannot speak too highly of the conduct of the officers and ship’s company of HMS Achilles. They carried out their duties under hot fire with complete unconcern, and fully concur with Captain Parry’s remarks that New Zealand has every reason
to be proud of her seamen during their baptism of fire”. (Source: New Zealand History Online)
Captain Parry was decorated with Commanders of the Order of the British Empire in 1939 and with Knights Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1950. He retired on January 26, 1952 as Admiral.
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- Location of Original:
- Original document and image located in the Ajax Archives.
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