The Publisher

Lieutenant Colonel R.F. Parkinson, D.S.O.
38th (Ottawa) Battalion

He was never too busy to find a job for a serviceman in need and dipped generously into his pocket times without number to tide a less fortunate comrade over a thin day. Even in recent years, “burned out” veterans who found themselves hard up had the habit of coming around the office to make a touch from

(Ottawa Journal, 4 Jan 1946)

Born on 1 January 1883 in Woodstock, Ontario, Robert Francis Parkinson was a newspaper publisher and managing director of the Ottawa Journal. He first joined the 22nd Oxford Rifles and then the 43rd Duke of Cornwall’s Own Rifles when he moved to Ottawa in 1908 to join the staff of the Ottawa Journal.

In early 1915, he joined the 38th Battalion under the command of Lieutenant Colonel C. M. Edwards. He served as “A” Company commander before a promotion to battalion adjutant during the battle of the Somme.

Parkinson assumed temporary command of the 38th for three months after Edwards was wounded at Vimy Ridge. After receiving the Distinguished Service Order in January 1918, and was granted leave to Canada. He returned to France in March 1918 to take command of the 38th after acting battalion commander Major A.S. English was wounded.

In July 1918, Parkinson was recalled to England to assist Lord Beaverbrook at the British Ministry of Information and later served as military secretary to Sir Edward Kemp, Minister for Overseas Forces with Canadian headquarters in London. He headed the Canadian War Records Office until the end of the war.

Parkinson was appointed commanding officer of the Governor General’s Foot Guard from 1921 to 1925. Managing director of the Journal for thirty-four years, he died on 4 January 1946.


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