Anthony William Parnell was born and brought up in Burnham-on-Crouch and attended Maldon Grammar School. He married in 1939 and had two children during the war. He served with R.A.F. Coastal Command and was killed in combat over the Bay of Biscay in January 1943. His home was in Nelson Road.
Anthony was born in Bradwell-on-Sea in 1914, the son of Henry Parnell and Lucy Parnell (nee Kemp). His parents had married in Kent in 1909. Anthony had at least two siblings: Nancy Lucy Parnell (born in 1911) and Glenda M. Parnell (born in 1917).
Anthony gained a scholarship to Maldon Grammar School and in 1931 was awarded Honours in the Cambridge Certificate. Later that year he had won the seniors annual tennis tornament at the annual Dr. Barnardo's Homes fete at Westbury, Burnham-on-Crouch. He also served as treasurer for the Junior Imperial League in the town.
In 1939 Anthony married Betty Rowland in the Chelmsford district. The couple had a daughter born in 1942 at the Danbury Park Maternity Hospital and a son born the following year.
During the Second World War Anthony served as Sergeant 1336372 in 248 Squadron, Royal Air Force, a Coastal Command unit.
On 30th January 1943 Anthony was on board a Bristol Beaufighter aircraft JL447 (markings WR-G) from 248 Squadron which took off from R.A.F. Predannack in Cornwall with two other aircraft for a long-range fighter patrol ('Instep') in the Bay of Biscay. His aircraft was piloted by 22 year-old Sergeant 1148684 Stuart Bell.
Shortly after 11.30 am they intercepted four German Junkers Ju 88s aircraft of 14/KG 40 over the Bay of Biscay. In the ensuing dogfight, JL447 was lost and Anthony and Sergeant Bell were killed. Another Beaufighter EL321 (markings WR-M) was lost with its crew, as were two of the German aircraft. Anthony was 29 years old.
At the time of his death Anthony's wife and children were living at 12 Nelson Road in Chelmsford.
Anthony has no known grave and is one of over 20,000 airmen commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede in Surrey and at Burnham-on-Crouch
Anthony William PARNELL, Sergeant, 248 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Killed in action over the Bay of Biscay. Aged 29