Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams
Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay
Name / Enw: Marrow, Fred
Regiment/Catrawd: 1st Bn Cheshire Regiment
Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 8284
Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Le Touret Memorial
Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Panel 13
Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: France
Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory, British War and 1914 Star medals
Date of Death: 18th October 1914
Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:
Killed in Action 18th October 1914 age 24
Fred first appears on a census in 1891. He was living with his family at 77 Grassecroft St Dukenfield, Stalybridge Cheshire where he had been born in 1889. The head of the family was George Marrow 26 a cashier born in Newton Moor. His wife was Mary Alicia Marrow 29 born Stalybridge. Their children were Fred 1yr and Leonard 3 months. There was an Able Hall Lees widower listed as father – a very confused entry. (Suspect it should have said father in law) Frances Cooper Haywood was a servant.
Fred’s father George died in 1900 and circumstances had changed a lot by the next census of 1901. The mother by then 40, had remarried so presumably George Marrow had died. Her new husband and head of the household was James Austerberry 54 a Boot and Shoe manager who had been born in Yorkshire. The family lived at 2 Egmont Terrace Stalybridge. The complicated household consisted of James Asterberry and his wife and their respective children. These were, James’s children –
Anice Hutchinson 32 a widow and her two children Gertrude 6 and Anice 3
Harry 24, James 16, Ambler 14, Hilda 12 all Asterberrys
and his 2 stepsons Fred Marrow 11 and George Marrow 8.
Sydney Austerberry was Fred’s half brother as he was born in 1905 to Mary Alice and her second husband James Austerberry.
The 1911 census finds Fred living at 2 High Street Connah’s Quay Flintshire. He was a boarder at the home of Elizabeth Ann Barratt a 31 year old widow who had been born in Cardiff. She had 2 sons Titus Wilkes 9 and Richard William Barratt 3. Fred Marrow was 21 and a fireman at the ironworks. Benjamin Frederick Bradley was another boarder who also hailed from Stalybridge.
Fred died very early in the first weeks of the war. His service records survive and are accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk. They tell us that he had enlisted in 1908 as a Special Reservist in the Cheshire Regiment. This is why he was called on immediately. The army contacted a previous employer for information about his character at the time of his enlistment. It isn’t all clear but it had been completed by a W Webster a cashier at the Eagle Ironworks (Stalybridge?) He confirmed that Fred had been an apprentice turner at the works for two years. He had left on 20th April 1908 because of ‘Late Attendance’. He was a sober and honest character.
Another interesting document in his record is a Conduct Sheet that details two disciplinary incidents well before the war began. The first tells of how he was confined to barracks for two days for turning up to parade at 10.00am unshaven. The second records how he went missing from 2.15pm on 5th June 1911 until 9.00 am on the 6th inst. Wonder what he was up to?
His records include documents signed by Mrs Barratt his landlady for receipt of his medals. There are other documents signed by his mother for receipt of a commemorative scroll and a letter from the king.
Fred Marrow in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 – This tells us that his mother Mary Alice was the Legatee but then this was changed because his Will was in favour of Elizabeth A. Barratt. There was a recharge to the Regimental Paymaster of £3. 10s 0d on the 17th June 1915. The sole Legatee was Mrs Elizabeth A. Barratt who was paid £1. 19s 6d on the 3rd September 1915 and his War Gratuity of £3 on the 7th June 1919.
A relatives form completed by his mother says he was unmarried and had no children and that his father was deceased. She, his mother was Mary A Austerberry of 2 Egmont Terrace Stalybridge. She listed two ‘full blood brothers’ George Marrow 26 of Grasscroft Street Stalybridge and Sydney 14 of 2 Egmont Terrace Stalybridge.
A casualty Sheet records that he was Killed in Action in the field on 18th October 1914
The Cheshire Regiments Roll of Honour records that Fred was killed in action near Ypres during what was known as the ‘Battle of La Basee’. Unfortunately Fred has no known grave and he is commemorated in name on the Le Touret Memorial to the Missing at Festubert, Pas-de-Calais, France.
Christine’s* mother remembers being told by her father George Marrow (Fred’s brother) that Fred was killed during heavy fighting at a farm. The Cheshire regiment , 1st Battalion’s War Diary, records that there was only one man killed on that day 18th October 1914 at Violaines, near Festubert. This must have been my great uncle Fred.
There is an index card for Fred in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at The County Record office at Hawarden. It was completed by landlady E A Barratt. It gives the address 2 High Street Connah’s Quay. It says his period of service was from 4th August 1914 till his death. (She did not include his 6 years as a reservist). She said he was killed at La Bassee.
*Many thanks to Fred’s Great Niece, Christine Williams who sent us the photograph at the top of this page, the news cutting above and the photograph of the memorial plaque (so called Death Penny)
Fred is also named on the Memorial at St Mark’s Church CQ