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1MARSDEN Harry Marsden was one of five children born to John and Esther Marsden (nee Kerfoot). John and Esther were married in 1882 in St. John the Evangelist Church in Whittle le Woods. Soon after they were married they moved the short distance to Chorley and set up home in the Prince of Wales pub in Livesey Street, John Marsden was the Publican.

Henry (Harry) was their first child born in Chorley in 1883; he was followed by Edwin (1885), Maud (1886-1889), Lavinia (1888) and Herbert (1889).

Sadly Harry`s father John died in 1894 at the age of forty six. Esther and the children probably remained at the Prince of Wales after John`s death because by 1901 she had remarried to Joseph Astle Shaw. The Census of that year records him as being the Publican of the Prince of Wales Pub in Livesey Street living with Esther and the children.

By 1911 Esther and Joseph Shaw had retired as publicans and had moved to a nine roomed house at 36 Park Road, Chorley. Harry was living with them and working as a joiner for a local builder, his sister Lavinia and brother Herbert were also there. Herbert was employed by the Wigan Coal & Iron Company as a clerk in the coal office.

Harry married Edith Mary Sharples on the 8th April, 1914 at the Parish Church in Chorley. On the 10th December, 1915 he enlisted at Preston and was posted to the reserve. He was mobilised on the 31 July, 1916 and posted to the 5th Battalion and allocated the number 8540. Harry remained in England training until he was sent to Mesopotamia on the 9 February, 1917 and was officially transferred to the 6th Battalion with the new number 36329.

The Authorities were very well aware that in the months ahead the intense heat of the summer was going to play a big part stating that….. “the troops should be redistributed for the hot weather, and that every provision possible under existing conditions should be made with a view of guarding against the trying period which was rapidly approaching”.

To this effect the Battalion were to spend the months of May to September occupying different camps in the neighbourhood of Sindiya, they were to endure great heat and some men were lost to heatstroke. Unfortunately Harry was one of them, dying from heatstroke on the 10 July, 1917.

A Court of Enquiry was set up to ascertain whether anyone was to blame for his death. The Medical Officer reported;

  • Prior to his death he had not been feeling entirely well (stomach)
  • As a consequence of that he was excused from digging and sentry duty
  • He had not reported sick prior to this for some time
  • Helmet was in good condition and he had not been exposed to the sun during the heat of the day
  • Conclusion;  No blame could be attributable to anyone for his death – this was due to heatstroke which was not preventable

Private Harry Marsden was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and is buried with honour in Baghdad (Northgate) War Cemetery Pt II, Iraq.

Additional family information

2MARSDEN2MARSDEN2MARSDEN13404 Private Edwin Marsden 6th Battalion

Harry`s brother Edwin was born in Chorley in 1895. He emigrated to Australia on 18 August, 1906 sailing on the SS Essex and arriving in Sydney on the 11 October. Edwin returned to England when war broke out. He enlisted and was posted to the 6th Battalion. He left England with the 6th Battalion on the 15 June, 1915 bound for Cape Helles. Edwin died in the desperate fighting at Chunuk Bair on the 10 August, 1915. He received the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals and is buried with honour at Chunuk Bair Cemetery, Anzac. His service papers do not appear to have survived so no further information is available.


The grave of 13404 Edwin Marsden – The only Loyal who died with the 6th Bn on Chunuk Bair to have a marked grave on the site. All the others are buried “in the vicinity”. Thanks to Roger Morlidge


3MARSDENM2/135636 L/Cpl Herbert Marsden RASC 29th Div. M.T. Coy

Herbert enlisted on 30 October, 1915. He saw service in France and then Germany. He contracted influenza while on active service and this turned into pneumonia. He passed away on 13 March, 1919. Herbert is buried in Cologne Southern Cemetery, Germany. He was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.

In 1918 Lavinia Marsden married Hedley Oldfield in Chorley. Lavinia placed a notice in the Preston Guardian shortly after her third and last remaining brother had lost his life.


Rank: Private
Service No: 36329
Date of Death: 16/07/1917
Age: 33
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 6th Bn.

Janet Davis
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2 Responses to 36329 PTE. H. MARSDEN. L.N.LAN.R

  1. Michael Taylor says:

    Hello Janet,

    As I read your story about the brothers I noticed Edwin Marsden died on August 10th, 1915 at Chunuk Bair. My g-g-uncle Private Alfred Billington (126170) was in the same regiment and died a day earlier than Edwin. I wonder whether they knew each other?

    Alfred was ‘killed in action’ on Monday, August 9th, 1915 in Gallipoli and, like so many others, is remembered on the Helles Memorial in Turkey. He’s also remembered on the family headstone in Preston Cemetery.

    On the evening on August 9th the 6th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment relieved the force at Chunuk Bair, later supported by the 5th Wiltshire Regiment, but on the morning of August 10th, the position was taken by a determined and over-whelming counter attack carried out by Turkish Army Corps led by Mustapha Kemal Pasha.

    One final note: Alfred’s WW1 Memorial Plaque is on display in the Chapel at Fulwood Barracks.

    Kind regards,

    Mike Taylor

  2. Sarah Nash-Myers says:

    I have been researching these men for many years as they were my Great Grandma’s brothers. Over this time I have pieced together much of the information that is here but I do not have the photographs. I am delighted to see them and would welcome the opportunity to contact the author as previous to this I had felt that I was the only one interested in this story. My family are of course interested but not to the same level. My grandma(who was the neice of these men) is still with us at 91 and would also be very interested.
    Thank you

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