General Sir William Parke was born on 17 May 1822 in London in England. He was the son of Charles Parke, a land owner, formerly H.B.M Commissioner to the kingdom of Mexico and Deputy Lieutenant of Dorset and Letitia Alcock, the sister of Thomas Alcock (MP).
Parke was commissioned in 1840 into the Duke of Albany's own Highlanders.
Posted to India at the time of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 he was First Class Brigadier and from March 1858 commanded the second brigade of the Rajaputana Field Force and led the assault on Kotah in 1859. He also took part in the pursuit of Tantya Tope and Rao Sahib in Central India. In 1860 he transferred to the 53rd Foot. Parke held numerous staff positions with the home army and became a Major General in 1868, subsequently reaching Lieutenant General in 1877.
After his retirement he served as regimental Colonel with the 2nd battalion Worcester Regiment and subsequently the Seaforth Highlanders in which position he remained until 1897. Parke was decorated with the KCB in 1887, and died on 29 March 1897.
Parke married Anna Maria, daughter of Major General William Nepean the second son of Sir Evan Nepean Bt in 1865 and lived at Thornhill house a Palladian style mansion built by Sir James Thornhill near Stalbridge in North Dorset. They had a son William who was born in 1866 and died unmarried, and a daughter Dorothy Eden Parke who married Somerset Arthur Sherston who was killed in action in 1915. William Parke's elder brother Charles Joseph Parke was High Sheriff of Dorset in 1868. His niece Ellen Henrietta Parke married Philip Thomas Godsal the inventor of the Godsal Gun. Parke was also great uncle to Lieutenant Wilfred Parke the first aviator to recover successfully from an accidental spin.
- History of Worcester Regiment 29th/36th Foot
- Times Obituary 1 April 1897
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