Great Orme grave James Cecil Parke
James Cecil Parke is still widely regarded as Ireland’s greatest sportsman. He was also a decorated soldier, gold medallist of the Irish Law Society and prominent leader in the Scout movement in Llandudno.
He was born in Clones, County Monaghan, in 1881 and was an all-round sportsman excelling at golf, cricket, rugby and tennis. While studying Law at Trinity College, Dublin, he was first capped for Ireland in rugby. He later captained the national team. As a tennis player he won many major tournaments including: an Olympic silver medal in 1908; the Australian men's singles and doubles titles; and the Wimbledon mixed doubles title in 1914. He also represented Britain in the Davis Cup, helping to win the trophy in 1912 by beating Australasia.
At the outbreak of World War One he volunteered to join the Leinster Regiment and was wounded at Gallipoli in 1915. Later he was transferred to the Essex Regiment and attained the rank of Major. He returned to France where he was wounded for a second time. He was mentioned in despatches for his war work.
In 1920 he came to Llandudno and joined the law practice of Messrs Chamberlain and Johnson at this office building. His love of sport continued and he was instrumental in the setting up of the tennis courts in Craig-y-Don. He was chairman of the North Wales Golf Club at West Shore.
He was also the Local Commissioner and the Secretary of the Scouts’ Llandudno Association. He died suddenly after collapsing on Mostyn Street on 27 February 1946.