War veteran served in RAF for 25 years

William Parkes BEM.
William Parkes BEM.

The funeral of Second World War veteran William Parkes BEM, who passed away on September 12 at the age of 100, is due to take place tomorrow (Friday).

Mr Parkes, who served in the Royal Air Force for 25 years, was awarded the British Empire Medal in January 1958.

Born on December 31, 1916, at Middletown in Co Armagh, William Parkes was the youngest of three children.

Having lost his father at an early age, William left home at 16 to join the RAF. He served throughout the war, in Asia and later in France and Germany, and rose to the rank of Flight Sergeant.

He continued to serve during the Cold War before leaving the RAF in the late 1950s, going on to join the civil service and work in forestry.

William and his first wife, Dolly, who came from Monaghan, set up home with their sons David and John in Drumbeg in 1958. Sadly Dolly passed away in 1981.

William enjoyed good health until he was 99 and loved travelling the world with his second wife, Gladys.

When he reached 100 an Armagh apple tree was planted at Drumbeg Parish Church to mark the occasion.

In February this year he moved to Faith House Care Home, where he was well looked after in the final months of his life.

His funeral is due to take place at Drumbeg Parish Church on Friday, September 15 at 12:30pm.