Born Islington. Mercantile marine, Captain of the SS Anglo-Californian. Died in a German submarine attack off the Irish coast. His son, also Frederick, who was on the ship as the second mate, took command and was later awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Parslow Snr was the first member of the mercantile marine to be awarded the VC in WW1.
Note: 'Mercantile Marine' is the term used until after WW1 for what we now know as the Merchant Navy.
We'd understood that the VC was only awarded to military personnel, and the Merchant Navy is not part of the military. Our colleague, Andrew Behan found enlightenment at the National Army Museum:
"Since the inception of the VC, there have been 14 further Royal Warrants that have changed the original terms and conditions set out for awards. Recognising the bravery of civilian volunteers during the Indian Mutiny (1857-59), an 1858 warrant extended the eligibility of the VC to ‘non-military persons’ serving with the forces. Seven civilians have been awarded the VC: Thomas Kavanagh (1857); William Fraser McDonell (1857); Ross Lowis Mangles of the Bengal Civil Service (1857); George Bell Chicken, a civilian volunteer with the Indian Naval Brigade (1858); the Reverend James Adams of the Bengal Ecclesiastical Department (1879) and Captains Frederick Parslow and Archibald Smith of the Mercantile Marine (1915-17). The latter two recipients were posthumously commissioned into the Royal Naval Reserve to make them eligible for the VC."