Duplock, Montague (served as Marten Cave Duplock)

Marten Cave Duplock (written as Montague Duplock on the Prestatyn Memorial), was the son of Charles M. Duplock and his wife, Eliza Jane. His birth is registered in the first quarter of 1890, at Leicester. The name Montague has not been found anywhere else up to now.

In the 1891 census for England, available on Ancestry, the family are living at 62, Granby Street, Leicester. Head of the family Charles M. Duplock is age 30, and described as a dental surgeon. He was born at Lambeth, London. Eliza was 35 and was born at Rushden, Northamptonshire. Marten Cave was 10 months old, born at Leicester, and there was also a servant, Ruth Betts, age 20.

By 1901 they had moved to 23, Titchbourne Street, Leicester. Marten is now 10 years old, and since the last census, Charles L. Duplock, age 8, had been born. Charles has his own page on this website. There are now two servants.

The UK Dentists Register for 1910 shows the father, Charles Masters Duplock, in practice in High Street, Prestatyn. However, the death register for the second quarter of that same year, records his death which was registered at St Asaph, at the age of 48.

In the 1911 census for Wales, Eliza Jane is living at Prospect, Ffordd Las, Prestatyn, with one visitor. Marten Cave has not been found on the census. It is likely, in view of subsequent reports, we know that at some point he emigrated to Canada, so he may well have been already there.

In the JFM quarter of 1917 for the St Asaph marriage records, there is an entry for the marriage of Marten C. Duplock to Margaret E. Jones, so he was back in this country by then.

Marten’s Service records have not survived, and there is no record for him in the archives at Hawarden, but we have information about him from other sources.

The Prestatyn Weekly for April 20th 1918:

Another young man who has made the supreme sacrifice was Lieutenant  Marten Cave Duplock, Prospect, Ffordd Las, Prestatyn. He came over from Canada to join the RE but was transferred to the 7th Bedfordshire Infantry. He was killed on the 2nd inst. He was in Prestatyn three weeks before, and was but 27 years of age. Mrs Doplock’s youngest son has been missing since October 1916.

In the UK Army register of Soldier’s Effects there is an entry for Marten which shows that a total of £126 10s was refunded to his account.

The National Probate Calendar (Index of wills and administration) has the following entry 11 June 1919:

Duplock – Marten Cave, of The Central, Llanrwst, Denbighshire, Lieutenant H M Army, died 2nd April 1918 in France. To Margaret Elizabeth Duplock, widow, effects £194 7s 10d.

From the Cymru, 12th April 1918:

Roll of Honour, Officers Killed.

Duplock Lieutenant M.C: Official information has been received  by Mrs Duplock, Central Restaurant Llanrwst, that her husband Lieutenant Duplock has been killed in action. Deceased was a brother-in-law of Mrs Jones, the Café, Corwen.

On the website ”Bedfordshire Regiment in the Great War”, Steve Fuller has researched this information about our soldier in the section “Officers who Died”.

Lieutenant Marten Cave Duplock, killed in action 2nd April 1918.

Marten was born in Leicester around June 1890, but by the time war broke out, his family were in North Wales. He enlisted into the Army at Rhyl on February 26th 1915, becoming Sapper 82239 in the 126th Field Company of the Royal Engineers, but was discharged to commission on June 16th 1915. At the time he was a 24-year old draughtsman, he stood 5’ 4” tall, and lived in the same house as his mother, Prospect, Prestatyn. He married Margaret Elizabeth during his service in the war. Marten was gazetted as a 2nd Lieutenant on July 1st 1917, and joined the 8th battalion in France soon afterwards, surviving the 3rd Battle of Ypres and the Battle of Cambrai. He transferred from the 8th to the 7th battalion on February 9th 1918 along with another 7 officers and 170 men when the 8th disbanded, and served less than 2 months with them before his death. Duplock was a casualty in a localised counter attack. On the evening of April 2nd, when the remnants of the battle weary battalion, alongside the similarly exhausted survivors of the 11th Royal Fusiliers, attacked a German held village near Cachy, west of Albert. In a superb manoeuvre that one of the senior officers present described as “the finest piece of fighting he had seen”, the tiny band of exhausted British troops, who had been fighting and retiring for almost two weeks, attacked a dug-in German held village and routed the entire garrison, killing around 100 and capturing 2-300 more in the process. However, the battalion lost a further 5 officers and almost 50 men killed, wounded or missing, and were forced to retire again overnight for fear of being overwhelmed by the superior German forces.

Marten was killed during the assault, but his body was not recovered, so he is remembered on the Pozieres Memorial to the missing. At the time of his death, his wife lived at The Central, Llanrwst, North Wales, and there appears to have been a dispute of some kind relating to his will, between his wife and his mother, although details are not contained within the record.

His service record is held at the National Archives, ref WO339/31581. With kind permission of Steve Fuller.

Marten Cave Duplock is also commemorated on Llanrwst Town Memorial, Llanrwst British Legion Memorial, and Saint Gwair Church Llanrwst.

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