Gunner 83843 George Henry Marsh

Marsh George Henry 96 400x600

Died of Wounds on Sunday, 15th April 1917, age 21.
Buried in Grave VII. H. 1. at Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery, Saulty, Pas De Calais, France.

Royal Field Artillery, 48th Brigade, "B" Battery.

Son of Ezekiel and Ellen Marsh, of 17, Broomfield, Smethwick, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Birmingham, Resident: Unknown.

First landed France & Flanders, 22nd May 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/91442/

Genealogical Data

Birth of George Henry Marsh registered March quarter 1896 in Dudley.

1901 Census
132 Church Lane, Smethwick, Staffs.
Ezekiel Marsh (41, Steam Engine Fitter, born Dudley), his wife Ellen (34, born Birmingham), and their 3 children: Lillian G. (6, born Birmingham), George H. (5, born Tipton), and Eva E. (4 months, born Smethwick).

1911 Census
17 Broomfield, Smethwick, Staffs.
Ezekiel Marsh (51, Engineering Fitter, born Dudley), his wife Ellen (44, born Birmingham), and their 6 surviving children of 7: Lillian (16, Shop Assistant, born Birmingham), George (15, Engineering Machinist, born Tipton), Eva Eliza (10, Scholar, born Smethwick), Howard Frances (7, Scholar, born Smethwick), Cyril Fredrick (5, born Smethwick), and Edgar Horace (2, born Smethwick).

Personal Data

After George's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £7/3/0d (7 pounds and 3 shillings); this was paid to his mother and sole legatee, Ellen, in September 1917. His War Gratuity was £12/10/0d (12 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his mother, Ellen, in October 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that George had enlisted at the very outbreak of war, in August 1914.

Action resulting in his death

48 Brigade Royal Field Artillery (RFA) was formed as part of the Lord Kitchener’s First New Army, ‘K1’. It was the one of the 4 brigades of artillery allocated to the 14th (Light) Division who arrived in France on 23rd May 1915.

The Division took part in the ‘Actions of Hooge’ (Menin Road, Ypres) in July and August 1915 when the Germans used first flamethrowers. In September 1915, they were in action at the second ‘Attack on Bellewaarde’, also just off the Menin Road close to Hooge.

During the 1916 ‘Battle of the Somme’ (July to November), the 14th Division fought at the ‘Battle of Delville Wood’ (July - September), and the ‘Battle of Flers-Courcelette’ (September).

The 48 Brigade RFA left the 14th Division on 7 January 1917, and became an Army Brigade RFA. This meant that it could be used in any Division as their commanders saw fit, but at the beginning of the Battle of Arras it was allocated to their old home, the 14th Division.

The 14th Division fought in the first stage of the ‘Battle of Arras’ known as the ‘First Battle of the Scarpe’ (9th - 14th April 1917). This saw the 14th Division capture Monchy- le-Preux and the Wancourt Ridge, particularly noted for the actions at The Harp and Telegraph Hill.

The 14th Division was withdrawn from action on the 12th April, but the artillery often stayed after their parent Division had been relieved as the movement of artillery is more time-consuming.

George Marsh died of wounds on 15th April 1917 at the 43rd Casualty Clearing Station which was adjacent to Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery, Saulty, where George is buried. Saulty is about 15 miles west of the Monchy area, so we can safely assume that George was wounded, possibly by counter-battery German artillery fire, in the few days before his death, so fairly certainly during the first ‘Battle of the Scarpe’.

Newspaper Cuttings