Ronald Parkes was born at Stroud, Gloucestershire, in 1919, the eldest of three children of Horace William Parkes, and his wife, Ruby May (née Pothecary). His father was from Evesham and, in the late 1930s, the Parkes family moved to the Vale of Evesham. Horace William Parkes died in the first half of 1939.
By the time of the 1939 Register, Ronald and his mother and brother were living on Bretforton Road (present-day No 111), Badsey, in the home of Frederick Waldren. Frederick was the husband of Mary Elizabeth (née Parkes) who was the sister of Ronald’s father. Ronald was a market gardener and was assisting his uncle. Ronald’s mother later married Frederick Waldren in 1943, following the death of his first wife.
Ronald joined the Royal Artillery (Service No 1773152). He was killed during the allied invasion of Italy on 20th September 1943, aged 24. Gunner Parkes was with 39 Battery, 14 Lt AA Regiment. He is buried in Salerno War Cemetery, Italy. The following words are inscribed on his grave: “’O for the touch of a vanished hand’, dearly loved by his mother and brothers.”