ELHAS News - October 2018 - William Parkin Way

William Parkin

On the night of 5th December 1916, an exploding shell ripped through Hut 42 of the No1 Shell Filling Factory, Barnbow. It killed 35 women and girls and injured many more. Between 100 and 150 girls were working in Hut 42 at the time and every one of them would have been affected in some way, either physically or psychologically.

William, who was passing at the time, entered the stricken hut at least eleven times, each time returning with an injured girl over his shoulders. He only gave up, exhausted, when emergency services were firmly in action.

Neither the Government, the local Council, or the Company acknowledged his efforts in saving these girls at the time, but the munitionettes themselves presented him with an engraved silver watch in appreciation for what he did.

On completion, the road will pass partially over the site of the munitions factory where information boards about the site will be placed. In naming it after William, Leeds City Council have gone a long way to giving him the recognition he rightly deserves, and as a society, we are very proud of the small part we played in this.