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Gordon William Parkinson was born on November 18, 1898 in Byron, Ontario. He was the second child of Robert John Parkinson and Katherine Ellen (Hull) Parkinson. In 1904, the family moved to Granton, Ontario. Gordon left his home to work for James McCormick Leather in London, Ontario, to learn the trade of harness maker.
At the age of 17, on April 12, 1916, he voluntarily enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces and trained at Merwin Heights in London. He was part of the 142nd Battalion known as “London’s Own Battalion.” On July 8, 1916, his battalion left for Camp Borden by train. On November 1, 1916, the battalion left for England, and Gordon entered Dibgate Camp on November 11, 1916. Gordon crossed the channel to France on March 29, 1918, and was in active service with the First Division Canadian Corps. Throughout his time away from home, Gordon regularly wrote to his father, the family, and to his older brother Bob. He also sent home various items such as souvenirs, and a book titled “Atlas of the War.” Gordon was in the 1st Battalion, First Division Wing, D Coy, when he was killed in action on October 1, 1918. Gordon was buried in the Sancourt British Cemetery in France on October 17, 1918.