Stoker 1st Class SS/113065 Leonard Marsh

Killed in Action on Wednesday, 31st May 1916, age 22.
Commemorated on Panel 19 of Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire, United Kingdom.

Royal Navy, H.M.S. "Queen Mary.".

Son of Henry and Mary Marsh, of 104, Walford St., Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Gornal, Staffs, Enlisted: Unknown, Resident: Tipton.

Date of first service not known.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Navy Papers transcribed.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on Commonwealth War Graves site.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/3037403/

Genealogical Data

Birth registered September quarter 1894 at Dudley. According to Naval records, Leonard was born on 12th July 1894.

1901 Census
Wellington Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Henry Marsh (42, Boiler Maker, born Netherton), his wife May (40, born Stourport), and their 5 children: Benjamin (16, Rivet Heater in Boiler Maker, born Gornal), Maud (11, born Tipton), Henry (8, born Gornal), Leonard (6, born Gornal), and Albert (4, born Pensnett).

1911 Census
169 Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs.
Henry Marsh (52, Boiler Maker, born Netherton), his wife Mary (50, born Stourport), and 4 of their surviving 5 children of 6: Benjamin (26, Machinist, born Gornal Wood), Maud (21, Tailoress, born Tividale), Leonard (16, Driller for Girder Bridge Engineer, born Gornal Wood), and Albert (14, Book keeper, born Pensnett).

Personal Data

Leonard Marsh enlisted with the Royal Navy on 12th November 1912 for a period of 5 years followed by 7 years in the Reserves. He was 5 feet 2½ inches tall with a 35½-inch chest, he had light coloured hair, grey eyes and a fair complexion. He had a tattoo dot on the back of his left hand, and a scar on his right temple. Before enlisting he was employed as a Driller.

After his enlistment, Leonard was posted to HMS Victory II from 12th November 1912 to 10th April 1913, with a 10-day period aboard the Battle Cruiser HMS Renown in December. Victory II was a Shore Station in Portsmouth, not a ship, and was the training establishment for Stokers. The training for Stokers was not just in shovelling coal, but included technical aspects such as the management of steam pressure. The training was based around a 100-page Stoker’s Manual.

After training, Leonard was pasted as a Stoker Class II to HMS Maidstone on 11th April 1913. This was a Depot ship for submarine squadrons based in Portsmouth. He served on Maidstone until 3rd September 1913 when he was posted to HMS Queen Mary, the day she was commissioned. The Queen Mary was the last Battle Cruiser built before the outbreak of war. On 3rd December 1913, Leonard was promoted to Stoker Class I.

Action resulting in his death

HMS Queen Mary was the last battlecruiser built by the Royal Navy before World War I. She was completed in 1913 and participated in the Battle of Heligoland Bight as part of the Grand Fleet in 1914.

She participated in the largest fleet action of the war, the Battle of Jutland in 31st May 1916. She was hit twice by the German battlecruiser 'Derfflinger' during the early part of the battle and her magazines exploded shortly afterwards, sinking the ship.
1,266 crewmen were lost, with less than 20 survivors. Leonard Marsh was not one of the 20, and is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

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