Huthwaite War Memorial Project

MARSHALL J.W. 214350

Huthwaite War Memorial

John William Marshall

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

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

Gonnehem British Cemetery - ref. E.25

Raised at Huthwaite noting his fathers long work and residence upon Sherwood Street. Perhaps John prefered name Willie while farm working at Clowne before enlisting for duty November 1916.


Notts Free Press - Undated: - 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 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 Jack very much, but for you the burden must be well nigh unbearable. Since Jack 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 Jack 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 Jack 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."
"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."

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Written 23 Jul 06 Revised 07 Feb 09 © by Gary Elliott