New memorial to honour paratrooper killed in Falklands aged 19

The memorial garden dedication in Belle Vue Park, Lowestoft.

Back then - the memorial garden dedication at Belle Vue Park in Lowestoft in 2018. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A new memorial is to be unveiled in a popular park to honour a young soldier from Lowestoft who died on the last night of the Falklands War.

Pte David Parr was only 19 when he was killed during the final push to reclaim Port Stanley from Argentine invaders on June 14, 1982.

It later emerged the paratrooper, from the 2nd parachute regiment, was killed by so-called 'friendly fire'.

Pte David Parr

Pte David Parr. - Credit: The Parr family

Next Thursday, June 2, a new memorial will be unveiled at 10am in Belle Vue Park - not far away from the school that David used to attend.

Honouring the local serviceman and paratrooper, who "served and sadly lost his life in the Falklands War", a Lowestoft Town Council spokesman said: "The unveiling and commemoration is set to be attended by the family of David Parr, service veterans and their standards alongside members of the Royal British Legion.

The poppy memorial garden at Belle Vue Park, Lowestoft

The poppy memorial garden at Belle Vue Park, Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

"Members of the public are welcome to observe as we remember Pte David Parr and all affected by the events of 40 years ago."

Pte Parr, born in 1963, attended Denes High School - now Ormiston Denes Academy - and was described by his family as a 'quiet' teenager, with a 'strong character'.

Most Read

Being an athlete of some note, the high school marks his memory each year with the annual David Parr award for the best all-round athlete.

A 'determined' David set out to join the Parachute Regiment having joined the army straight from school in 1978.

He had been on leave in Lowestoft in 1982 when he received a telegram that just said: 'Bruneval' - meaning he had 24 hours to get back to the parachute regiment barracks at Bruneval in Aldershot.

Soon the teenager was on a North Sea ferry to the Falkland Islands.

A town council spokesman added: "David was only 19 when he served in the Falklands and wrote about the shock that faced him and his fellow paratroopers when arriving on the islands.

"It was on June 14 1982, the final day of fighting, that Pte David Parr sadly lost his life."

Norfolk Harley Davidson Club Pte David Parr

A poppy wreath previously laid at Pte David Parr’s grave in St Michaels Church, Oulton Broad by Norfolk Harley Davidson Club - Credit: Norfolk Harley Davidson Club

With the bodies of those that died in the conflict returned to the UK in late November, David had a military funeral at St Michael's Church in Oulton Broad on December 2, 1982.

The town council spokesman added: "The new plaque in Belle Vue Park will complement the existing memorials at his former high school in Lowestoft, which has a plaque in the entrance hall and an annual sporting competition to award the David Parr Memorial Trophy."

'We are very proud of what Dave achieved'

In December 2010 Pte David Parr's proud brother Harmer was present at the first service of its kind in Norfolk that saw recipients receive an Elizabeth Cross and memorial scrolls, signed by the Queen.

Harmer Parr

The first Elizabeth Cross Presentation in Norfolk in 2010 saw family members receive the medal and a commemorative scroll remembering the loved one they lost during their time in the armed services. Harmer Parr with the medal. - Credit: Archant library

Back then, and expressing delight to have received the cross, he said: "We are very proud of what Dave achieved and what he did in the Falklands."

Harmer Parr

Harmer Parr recalled his brother’s harrowing experience during the Falklands War. - Credit: Daniel Morris

In September 2018, a book written by David's niece Helen Parr - who was seven when he was killed - was published.

‘Our Boys’ was published in September 2018

‘Our Boys’ was published in September 2018. - Credit: Archant library

Entitled 'Our Boys' it showcases 'the human experiences of the paratroopers who fought in the Falklands, and examines the long aftermath' of the conflict.