Skip Navigation
Roy Earl Parrish

West Virginia
Veterans Memorial


Roy Earl Parrish

"Roy Parrish was one of the most fearless men I ever knew . . . never satisfied unless he was in the thickest of the fight."

Major John Bond

Roy Earl Parrish was born on November 27, 1888, in Wallace, West Virginia, the third of seven children born to Thomas and Mary Morgan Parrish.
Thomas Parrish

Thomas Parrish, father of Roy Parrish

Roy attended West Virginia Wesleyan College, graduating in 1908, and West Virginia University, where he studied law before graduating in 1910. He was admitted to the bar in 1910 and practiced law until 1917.

Roy Earl Parrish

Roy Earl Parrish, State Senator, ca. 1916

Roy Parrish was elected to the House of Delegates in 1912 and served in the 1913 legislative session. In 1914, he was elected to the State Senate. His committee assignments included Insurance, of which he was chairman, Judiciary, Education, Railroads, Militia and Public Library.

In 1917, Roy entered Officer's Training Camp at Fort Benjamin Harrison at Indianapolis, Indiana. He remained there until August 15, receiving a commission as a second lieutenant of Field Artillery. In September, Roy was transferred to Camp Sheridan in Alabama, where he was appointed Assistant Judge Advocate. He served in this capacity until November 20, 1917.

Roy Parrish sailed for duty overseas on January 14, 1918, and arrived in France in early February. After three months of special training, he was ordered to the front as a member of the Sixth Field Artillery, First Division.

Lt. Parrish took part in the Chateau-Thierry Drive. On July 18, the day Allied troops began a counteroffensive against the Germans, Roy was sent on liaison work. When the regiment reassembled after the attack, he was missing. The War Department reported that Roy Parrish was killed sometime around July 18-22, 1918. According to the captain of the infantry, he was killed by a German shell and at first was buried in a large shell hole in an open field north of Missy-aux-Bois.

After the war, Roy Parrish's father sought to locate his son's remains. Based on the location of his burial provided in original reports, it was concluded that his remains were those found near the area of battle, close to a canteen cup with "Faris" written on it. It was assumed the name had originally been "Parrish" and that it had been changed due to corrosion. Those remains were re-interred at Oise-Aisne American Cemetery in France.

Parrish's cross

Lt. Roy Parrish's cross in Oise-Aisne American Cemetery, F re-en-Tardenois, France. Courtesy David J. Watts, Find A Grave

While Lt. Parrish's remains rest in the Oise Aisne Cemetery in France, he is also memorialized on a cenotaph at the West Virginia National Cemetery in Grafton.

Cenotaph for Roy E. Parrish at Grafton National Cemetery. Courtesy Cynthia Mullens

On January 21, 1919, the West Virginia State Senate held a memorial session in which tribute was given to Roy Earl Parrish's memory by several of his colleagues. When architect Cass Gilbert designed the new state capitol several years later, a bronze tablet in memory of the former state senator was created. It is located just inside the doors to the Senate chamber. A VFW post in Clarksburg also is named in his honor.
Bronze tablet to Roy Earl Parrish

Bronze tablet to Roy Earl Parrish West Virginia State Senate Chamber Ph89-19, WV State Archives


West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history.

Veterans Memorial Database

West Virginia Veterans Memorial

West Virginia Archives and History

West Virginia Archives and History