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John William Marshall

Pioneer 214350 - Royal Engineers
"M" Special Company R E

Enlisted: Clown, Derbys. November 1916

Killed in Action Flanders 18th July, 1918 : Aged 22

Gonnehem British Cemetery - ref. E.25

Huthwaite Online WW1 Remembrance

Pioneer 214350 John William Marshall was born 1897 in Lower Cudworth, Yorkshire. Parents marriage 9th September 1892 in Upper Langwith, Derbys between Railway Signalman Mr Thomas Marshall and Miss Mary Stubbings, reveals various birthplaces for children, some possibly with grandparents until settling into Kirkby-in-Ashfield. Father heads Park Street household through to 1911 when aged 44. Mrs Mary Marshall 41, mothers Thomas Albert 16, John Willie 14, Olive Mary 13, Ivy 11 and Rowland 8.

Mr John William Marshall had started part time businesses at Kirkby home sugar boiling sweets plus bagging coals. His move into Huthwaite would follow fathers relocation reportedly living at 5 Sherwood Street, nearer his long term employment in charge the Great Central signal box at New Hucknall Colliery sidings. John William perhaps better known as Willie and noting blindness in one eye, ended up working at a Derbyshire Hickingwood Farm, where he voluntarily enlisted in Clowne November 1916.

Pnr J W Marshall landed in France after three months training initially numbered 46937 with D.L.I. Active service in Flanders fields recorded two regimental transferals ultimately awarding recognition to Royal Engineer Pioneer 214350 John W Marshall, serving their specialist company duties when killed in action by shellfire shrapnel 18th July 1918, aged 22.

J W Marshall was given local roll of honour on both Kirkby-in-Ashfield Kingsway cenotaph and Huthwaite Cemetery cenotaph.

Notts Free Press

Huthwaite soldier killed

News has been received of the death in action of Pioneer John Wm. Marshall, 214350, Gas Company, R.E. His father lives at 5, Sherwood Street, Huthwaite, and has been a signalman for 18 years in charge of the Great Central box at the New Hucknall Colliery sidings. The deceased soldier was 22 years of age. He voluntarily enlisted in November, 1916, being blind in one eye, and was at that time working at Hickingwood Farm, Clowne, Derbyshire. He volunteered for service abroad, and was sent to France after three months training. Letters from his Sergeant and Second Lieutenant state that he was instantaneously killed by fragments of shell in action on the 18th. July. He was in Huthwaite last just before Christmas. An elder brother has been over two years in the R.G.A. in France. The following letters have been received:-

It is with the deepest regret that I have to announce to you the death of your son, 214350, Pioneer J. W. Marshall, in action on the afternoon of the 18th. July. It may be some consolation to you to know that death was instantaneous, a piece of shell passing through his heart. Your son was very popular in his section, and I can fully sympathise with you in your loss, for I have also lost a good, straight forward and diligent worker. He had been brought to my notice for his good work and he will be a great loss to the section. Please accept my deepest sympathy, and if there is anything further I can do for you I shall be only too pleased. P.S.- Your son's belongings will be sent to you in a few days. - A.C. Nicol, 2nd. Lieut., R.E.

It is with the greatest regret that I find it necessary to write to you at this time on account of the death of your boy John, which occurred on the afternoon of Thursday, the 18th. July. On behalf of the section and myself let me offer to you and all your family our very deepest sympathy with you at this time of great bereavement. Without a doubt we shall miss John very much, but for you the burden must be well nigh unbearable. Since John joined our company in November, 1916, he has always been in our section, and as his Sergeant I cannot do otherwise than speak in the very highest terms of his work. He was truly a splendid soldier, but over and above that he was an excellent friend. All in the section - yes, I can with safety say, all in the Company - were fond of him. Coming as I do from a farm I could easily see that John was always interested in his civil life occupation, and I feel sure that agricultural interests have also lost a keen enthusiast. If it bears any consolation I am glad to say that at the end John did not suffer in any way. Two small pieces of shell entered his breast and death was instantaneous. I regret that I was unable to be present personally at his burial, but assisted in having him carried out of the line, and can assure you that his interment was conducted with the most religious ceremony possible in a forward area. The actual spot of the grave I cannot tell you because of the exigencies of the military censorship, but it will be communicated to you in due course. Great as your trial is I trust all his relatives will be given strength to say "Thy will, O Lord, be done", and may our Saviour, the Prince of Peace, the Comforter, bring peace to your minds and comfort to your broken hearts. Believe me, all our hearts yearn for you in sympathy at this time.- Sergeant William Barr, R.E.

JW Marshall

23 Jul 06     by Gary Elliott       Updated 07 Feb 10