Simon Parkes.Org – Simon Parkes (born 1968) was a British naval officer in the Royal Navy who disappeared off Gibraltar in 1986. Parkes was serving aboard HMS Illustrious when he disappeared while ashore in the dependency. In 2001, Parks’ disappearance received renewed interest when it was noted that convict Alan Crimson was also working at Illustrious at the same time.
Disappearance – Simon Parkes.Org
Parkes was a marine radio operator in the Royal Navy and served aboard HMS Illustrious. In December 1986, Illustrious remained in Gibraltar, allowing the crew to make some trips ashore. This is the last leg of the ship’s Global 86 tour.
Parks had disembarked with his shipmates on December 12 and was last seen at the Horseshoe Bar after telling friends he would bring something to eat. Someone was fitting his description at the Hole in the Wall pub, part of the Fleet Pavilion (which hosted the Fleet Festival).
Evidence also suggests that the subject was found intoxicated. Parks’ disappearance prompted a search of areas where he was last known. It took 250 men to physically search the area.
Deliberate disappearance or AWOL (absent without leave) were originally suspected, with authorities pressing their emphasis on looking for a person, not a body. Parkes had left his passport, all his possessions and Christmas presents behind on the ship with his family later saying that he had written a letter telling them that he would be home for Christmas. Shipmates later confirmed that Parkes was looking forward to going home for Christmas and that he had also arranged for special dockside passes so that his family could greet him when the ship arrived back in the UK.
Subsequent Events – Simon Parkes.Org
In 2001, Petty Officer Alan Crimson was accused of killing two teenagers. Both were in the Royal Navy and were killed on 12 December each year (1997 and 1998). As Parks disappeared on December 12, 1986 and was working aboard the Crimson Illustrious at the time, parallels were drawn between Parks’ disappearance and the murders. In 2003, Hampshire Police flew to Gibraltar and organized further searches. Around the South Barracks, around Rosia Lane (where the Naval Ceremony took place in 1986) and the Trafalgar Cemetery. Research has failed.
In July 2005, the BBC broadcast Body Hunt; Look for Simon Parks. This prompted someone to call and report some details, which police described as “vital information”. In October of the same year, Parks’ disappearance was given a spot on Crimewatch. Crimson, through his attorney, appealed both plans to Ofcom, saying he hasn’t had enough time to respond to problems with the plan, the absence of other suspects and that he denies having anything to do with Parks’ disappearance.
In December 2019, Hampshire Police said they had received information that Parkes’ body could be buried at Trafalgar Cemetery in Gibraltar. A new search will be carried out after efforts to locate his body failed following a search in 2003.
Leading Seaman – Simon Parkes.Org
The lead seaman is a non-commissioned junior rank or rate in the navy, especially the Commonwealth of Nations. When used by NATO countries, leading navies have the OR-4 classification code. It is often equivalent to the rank of corporal in the Army and Air Force, and some navies use the corporal instead of the lead Marines.
The classification is used in the navies of Australia, Bangladesh, Canada (Seaman First Class), Finland, Ghana, Greece, India, Ireland, Namibia, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom.
The Royal Australian Navy emblem is a dirty anchor over the word “Australia”. Worn on the shoulders or left sleeve, depending on the uniform worn at the time. It is superior to a skilled marine, but inferior to a petty officer. It is also known as a sailor or leader, equivalent to the rank of corporal in the Royal Australian Air Force and Australian Army. Leading sailors are referred to as “leaders” and informally “Gaelics” (instead of “gillic”) from the Gaelic anchor symbol of their rank.
In the Royal Canadian Navy, Seaman First Class (formerly Lead Seaman until August 2020) is senior to the rank of Seaman Second Class and Junior to Seaman Master (which is actually the designation of Seaman First Class). His equivalent in the army and air force is the corporal and is part of the junior officer corps.
As in the Royal Navy, the slang term for the rank is “killick”. Although the old symbol of a false anchor is no longer used for this classification in the RCN. The term is still used.
First class sailors are usually second and third class sailors and their military and air force equivalents: soldiers, corporals and corporals with mess and billets. Their mess at naval bases or facilities is commonly known as the “Junior Ranks Mess”.
As of August 2020, the Royal Canadian Navy replaced the term sailor with the gender-neutral term sailor. Leading sailors are now referred to as “Sailor First Class” (often shortened to “S1”).
The Soviet Union and Russia
“Leading seaman” (Russian: старший матрос, romanized: starshy matros; literally “senior seaman”) is a naval enlisted rank of the Navy of the Russian Federation. It is senior to the lowest rank of “seaman” (Russian: матрос, romanized: matros). The rank was presented to the Soviet Navy in 1946 and inherited by the Russian state in 1991.
The previous Soviet republics of Belarus and Ukraine maintain similar ranks with the same pronunciation but slightly different orthography.
The rate of leading seaman, leading hand or leading rating in the Royal Navy is senior to able seaman and junior to petty officer. It is equivalent to corporal in the other services. The badge is the fouled anchor (an anchor with a length of rope twisted around it). Worn on the upper left arm in formal uniform. White front (only when in formal uniform). Or overalls and on the shoulder slides in working dress. Although this has been updated to single hook in the chest centre.
Specialists use the word “leading” before their speciality (for example, leading writer, leading cook, leading regulator).
A leading rating is often called a “killick”, referring to the rank insignia of a fouled anchor.