d. 23 Feb 1999
Tunbridge Wells Courier, March 1999
More than 100 people crowded into St Mark's Church, Broadwater Down, on Wednesday last week for a memorial service to Tony Parsons.
He died at his Tunbridge Wells home on February 23, aged 89.
Mr Parsons had lived in and around the town for the last 20 years. In 1975 he moved to Calverley Park from Ivy Hatch, near Sevenoaks, and also lived in Rotherfield, Bidborough Ridge and Broadwater Down, Tunbridge Wells.
An established local figure, Mr Parsons' love of France led him to set up a French conversation group which met at his house. He was also a member of the Kent Association for the Blind and the Tonbridge branch of the National Association for Decorative and Fine Arts Societies.
Brought up in the former Rhodesia and later Chislehurst, Kent, Mr Parsons qualified in 1937 as a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. He joined the Inns of Court Regiment as a territorial and was called up at the outbreak of the second world war. He was commissioned in the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry on Christmas Eve 1939 and eventually became Lieutenant Colonel. In 1941, Mr Parsons was one of just a few soldiers, under Brigadier Kingston, who helped change the course of the war by capturing several countries in the Middle East for the allies. These included Iraq, Iran and Jordan. He also fought in the Battle of Alamein in 1942.
After the war, he held senior positions in a number of firms such as GEC, Esso, ICL and the solicitors Macfarlanes. He subsequently joined the Civil Service Department in the Treasury in the '70s. He introduced outside consultants to the civil service wich was his most lasting legacy. Until then the civil service had not used any outside expertise, such as City accountants, but this has since become commonplace.
Mr Parsons was also a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Haberdashers Company.
In latter years, he lost most of his sight but mainly enjoyed good health, looking 20 years younger than his actual age.
He leaves widow Rosamund, five sons and five grandchildren.