Memorial for Islington sailor who died saving ship in WW1

PUBLISHED: 10:27 06 July 2015 | UPDATED: 11:27 06 July 2015

Frederick Parslow Snr

Frederick Parslow Snr


A heroic Islington sailor who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for helping to save his ship from an attacking U-boat in the First World War will be commemorated 100 years after his death.

A memorial paving stone is being created to honour mercantile Marine Master Frederick Parslow, as part of the Great War anniversary commemorations.

Master Parslow, of Balls Pond Road, was a civilian when his ship, the unarmed SS Anglo-Californian, was ambushed by the German vessel on July 4 1915.

He was killed in the attack, but not before managing to weave his ship back and forth across the North Atlantic, evading the attacking submarine.

After Master Parslow was killed, his son, also called Frederick, took over the bridge and continued the battle to save the ship.

Two armed vessels reached the ship an hour-and-a-half later, rescuing its surviving crew and its cargo of 927 horses bound for the Western Front.

Following his death, the Royal Navy gave Master Parslow a nominal rank of Lieutenant in the Navy Reserves in order to bestow upon him the Victoria Cross, Britain’s highest military honour.

Master Parslow, was 59 when he was killed.

He was the First World War’s oldest Victoria Cross recipient, and one of just two civilians to be given the honour during the conflict.

Dignitaries from Islington Council will be joined by naval top brass for a public ceremony on Islignton Green to unveil the stone and mark the centenary of Master Parslow’s death on July 4.

Islington Council armed forces champion, Cllr Gary Poole, said: “Even though 100 years has elapsed since Master Parslow’s incredible act of bravery took place, it is fitting for us to pull out all the stops to remember him on this the 100th anniversary of his death.

“His was just one of countless brave deeds carried out by thousands of young men, many of which went unpraised. The paving stones are a way of cementing their memory for generations to come.”


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