Major William Edward Parsons 5th EARL OF ROSSE
Date of birth 14 June 1873
Date of death: 10 June 1915
Died of wounds received in action aged 41
Buried in the graveyard at Birr
William Edward was the son of Lawrence Parsons, the 4th Earl of Rosse and his wife the Hon Frances Cassandra Harvey-Hawke.
He was educated at Eton and came up to Christ Church in 1891.
He was extremely interested in agriculture and went to Denmark to study the latest methods. He started the great plant and tree collection at Birr Castle.
In 1896, he joined the 4th Battalion W. Yorkshire Regiment, transferring to the 1st Battalion the Coldstream Guards in 1898. He served in the Boer War. He married in 1905, Frances Lois Lister-Kaye. They had two sons and a daughter.
He was an Irish Representative Peer from 1911 to 1918 and Lord-Lieutenant of King's County from 1908 to 1918.
He served as a Major with the Irish Guards after the outbreak of war and was Second-in-Command of his Battalion at Festubert on 10 May 1915 when he was very severely wounded in the head by a piece of shell. He returned home and died on 10 June 1918 at Birr Castle, County Offally. He is buried in the graveyard at Birr
He is commemorated on Womersley War Memorial in the grounds of St. Martin’s Church Womersley near Wakefield.