12th worcesters

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12th worcesters

Postby cloverleaf » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:55 am

I have a lovely compass in a leather case. The compass has been stamped C C A MARSH 12th Worcesters around the edge. It is made by RWatts of London and is dated 1909. I am led to believe that the 12th worcesters were only formed in 1914. Can anyone shed any light on this including where i can find any further information about C C A MARSH. Thanks Phil
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Re: 12th worcesters

Postby scully » Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:42 pm

Hi,

C. C. A. Marsh was Lieutenant (Acting Captain) Courtney Cyril Allen Marsh he was initially with the 12th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment and then joined the 47th Sikh Regiment before he rejoined the 9th Battalion Worcstershire Regiment in Mesopotamia with a draft of men on the 7th July 1916. He was wounded in action on the 11th April 1917. He lived in Slough.

Regards,

Louis (webmaster)
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Re: 12th worcesters

Postby bmarsh-allen » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:40 pm

Courtney Cyril Allen Marsh was my Great-Grandfather! I recently asked my father (Courtney's Grandson) and Grandmother (Father's Mother and Courtney's Daughter-in-law) whether anyone in the family fought during WW1. They said yes, and spoke about Courtney, but were unfortunately unable to tell me very much, as he never spoke about it. I have promised that I would take it upon myself to research and find out where he fought, was wounded etc in order to preserve his memory and so any scrap of information anyone has found would be greatly appreciated.

Here are some facts from the family/online research:

Our family name is double barrelled as in Marsh-Allen (my name is Ben Neil Marsh-Allen) and Courtney signed up in 1914 under Courtney Cyril Marsh-Allen but was rejected because he was discovered to be underage. (Dad thought it was aged 15, but some tentative research has revealed a birth date of 1897(?) which would have made him 16 at least, 17 at most.) He then re-enlisted under the name Courtney Cyril Allen Marsh, choosing to make the 'Allen' a somewhat unusual middle name in order for his previous rejection to go undetected. He was successful second time round and joined the 12th Battalion after officer training. Courtney was wounded twice according to Dad, shrapnel blew his knee cap off and he wore a leg splint for the rest of his life (there being no replacement knee caps in those days) and he also reputedly kept a sniper bullet dug out of his neck. His batman used to visit every year up until their respective deaths – a testament to the bond between them forged during the war. (A name, or any information about this gentleman would also be warmly welcomed as all the family can remember was that he was short of stature.) Courtney signed up to the RAF at the outbreak of the Second World War joining under his original name, as a Flight Lieutenant in the Administrative and Special Duties Branch (due to his war wound I think) apparently recruiting pilots, before ending his commission in the 1950’s at the rank of Squadron Leader. He then lived next door to his son and wife (my grandparents) where my Grandmother cared for him until his death in Fincham, Norfolk in 1973.

The compass in question was sold after his death (now regrettably!) along with a pair of ornate antique pistols (sold for several thousand pounds in the 70’s) a pair of German binoculars (WW2 we think) and a set of three ‘wonderful’ Sikh knives (Dad originally thought these were Ghurkha knives – and I have since told him about his transfer to the 47th Sikhs, which shows how little we know!) along with all his other war bits, like medals etc. His field gear, tent, uniforms etc all sadly rotted away in the garage decades ago.

I have nothing of his left, not even a photograph. I started my research with only a name and the fact he was an officer. I have subsequently discovered that he served with the Worcestershire Regiment and learnt about his transfer to the 47th Sikhs. (This is historically fascinating, due to their remarkable bravery, the British Empire using colonial troops in the most horrific of offenses with men recruited from remote provinces, wearing only turbans for protection.) A dip into the National archives has revealed two medal cards:

Allen, Cantrey Cyril Marsh Corps: Worcestershire Regiment
discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D1007686#
and
Marsh, Coutney Cyril Allen Corps: Worcestershire Regiment
same web address: discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/Details?uri=D3939915

Both have been mis-spelt but match on rank, regiment and the transfer to the Sikhs. I have no idea as to why there is two entries but I believe they both belong to my Great-Grandfather. Maybe some information from the regimental records might help shed some light on these clerical errors? Again, If anyone has found any other information on Courtney Cyril or knows where to look - it would be warmly welcomed.
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