Thomas Marsh Killed by friendly fire 3rd May 1916

Marsh MEN 16.5.1916 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Marsh MEN 16.5.1916 © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Thomas Henry Marsh Suzanne Communal Cemetery Extension Private 8744, who died on 03 May 1916 Age 25.  Husband of Agnes B. Marsh, of 47A, New Lane, Patricroft, Manchester. He was  second XII Pln casualty in the Somme defences  and worked in CWS Boot Dept.  His cousin was XII Platoon’s Private 8626 Willian Leslie Hadcock, who was also a CWS employee. Contemporary information from Pte Hadcock, known as Leslie; is provided by his grandson, courtesy of The Manchester Regiment Forum. This indicates Thomas was killed by friendly fire on a night patrol into no mans land. C Coy were posted in the Vaux area and it is likely the incident took place in the Somme marshes or Trafford Park. Thomas was 25 years old and his body was recovered to be buried near his CWS colleague, John Sumner (above) in Suzanne Communal Cemetery Extension. His cousin, Leslie, will have been present for his funeral service, representing the family. Thomas had written home five days before his death, describing his perilous scouting expeditions “I will not say it is not a bad game, a bit risky patrolling, and it’s a long two hours’ walk from one end to the other, having a word with each post, which consists of a few men, who have not the slightest bit of cover. The only trouble is shrapnel MARSH   TH   8744   17TH BN   03051916and getting collared…”  Referring to the open meander of Trafford Park, Thomas had further described the open nature of the southern Somme defences “…There is a nice great flat field, a champion place-the same place a crowd of about 150 came across and were sent back again (well some of them) by fourteen on this side, and they chased them back with bayonet.  They brought one back as a souvenir….

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