Major WILLIAM EDWARD PARSONS, 5th Earl of ROSSE
Unit Irish Guards
Buried at BIRR OLD GRAVEYARD
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. He married in 1905, Frances Lois Lister-Kaye, Daughter of the Duke of Newcastlre. 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.
In 1896, he joined the 4th West Yorkshire Regiment, transferring to the 1st Coldstream Guards in 1898. He served in the South African War.
He served as a Major with the newly formed 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 had been hit by a shell that gouged out part of his head, which left him 80% incapacitated. He returned home but never fully recovered and died on 10 June 1918 at Birr Castle. He is buried in the graveyard at Birr