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Henry Marshall and his son Thomas Collier Marshall served with the 5th (Territorial) Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment during the First World War.

  • 1601 Private Henry Marshall, 5th Bn.
  • 1636 Private Thomas Collier Marshall, 5th Bn.

Henry Marshall was born in Elton, Bury in November 1878.

Henry married Phoebe Collier Berry at St Paul’s church, Peel, Little Hulton on 19th November 1898.

In 1901 the family were living at 23 Smithfold, Little Hulton, Lancashire. On the night of the 1901 census the household consisted of Henry, his wife Phoebe and their sons, two year old Henry (for simplicity referred to hereon as Henry Jr) and seven month old Thomas Collier Marshall. That night they also had two boarders with them – a female named Amelia Marshall who was thirteen years old and probably their niece, and a man named Joseph Gillibrand, a coal miner. At this time Henry, aged 22, was working as a stoker in a colliery.

By the time of the 1911 census the family had moved to 29 Brackley Street, Walkden, Worsley, Lancashire. Now, as well as sons Henry Jr and Thomas, they had had three daughters. Lily (b. 1904), Amelia (b. 1906) and Bertha (b. 1910). Henry was still working as a colliery stoker for the ‘Earl of Ellesmere’ Company. They had their company offices in Walkden and pitts around Tyldesley and Worsley.

On 29th October 1912 Henry enlisted in the 5th (Territorial) Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment at Bolton. He had previous military service with the 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers and had purchased his discharge from the Army (no further details known). He was given the service number 1601.

On 29th April 1913 Thomas Collier Marshall followed his father into the 5th (Territorial) Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment at Bolton. Thomas gave his age as 14 years 8 months old whereas he was actually two years younger than he stated. He was given the service number 1636.

At his enlistment medical Thomas was described as being 4ft 5in tall with a 27.5 in chest. He was assessed as being of ‘fair’ physical development.

Henry and Thomas both completed their mandatory ‘annual training camp’ in 1913.

On 5th August 1914 as war broke, both Henry and Thomas were embodied and began training for war service.

In September 1914 at Chipping Sodbury, Henry signed the declaration that he, as a man of the Territorial Force, would subject himself to liability to serve in any place outside the United Kingdom in the event of a National Emergency.

A Surrey-based newspaper published an article in January 1915 claiming that Thomas Collier Marshall was the youngest soldier in the Territorial Army;


Despite this article being published, Thomas managed to serve another 18 months before he was discharged on 7th July 1916 as a consequence of;

 ..having made a mis-statement as to age on enlistment under K.R para 392 VI (a).

It appears to have been the worst kept secret in the country, postcards from circa 1914 also advertise his young age.


Bandsman Thomas Collier Marshall had served a total of three years and 70 days with the 5th Battalion before being forced to leave.

henry marshall

Private Henry Marshall (father)

On 14th July 1916, one week after his son was discharged, Henry sailed from Folkestone to Boulogne. Henry was officially 1/5th Battalion, but was attached to the 8th (Service) Battalion of the Regiment.

Having been in France just over a month, on 25th August 1916 Private Henry Marshall was killed in action on the Somme. His body was never recovered.

Private Henry Marshall is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial to the missing.

Rank: Private
Service No: 1601
Date of Death: 25/08/1916
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st/5th Bn. attach 8th Bn.
Panel Reference: Pier and Face 11 A.

In respect of  her late husband’s war service, Phoebe received his British War Medal, Victory medal, Territorial Force War Medal, Memorial Plaque and Memorial Scroll.

In the years that followed the war, Thomas continued playing wind instruments. He is pictured below in about 1920.

thomas marshall

Thomas Collier Marshall circa 1920

Thomas Collier Marshall died of tuberculosis at Sheffield Royal Infirmary in September 1925. He was just 25 years old. His body was taken home to Walkden and buried at St Paul’s church.

*Amelia was the name of Henry’s mother, and as such the name appears to have been continued by both brothers handing it down to their own daughters.
**At the time of both of their enlistments, Henry gave his address as 66 Harriet Street, Walkden; whereas Thomas Collier Marshall gave his address as 66 Elliot Street, Walkden. Both are valid addresses and only a couple of miles from one another in Walkden.

Paul McCormick
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One Response to Henry and Thomas C Marshall

  1. Thomas James Marshall says:

    Hi Paul,
    I just found your excellent write up about my grandfather, Thomas Collier Marshall, and his father, Henry Marshall, both who served in the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment during WWI. Sadly Henry died on the Somme, but his young son was sent home. If that had not happened, I would not be here today!
    Thank you for all your work in telling the stories of these brave men. You are to be highly commended.
    Thomas James Marshall.

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