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Remembered Today:

Sec. Lieut. Frederick Marillier DCM, No 5. platoon, B Coy


Jim Hastings
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Remembering this year and every year the 400 officers and men of 2nd battalion Royal Sussex Regiment who were killed, wounded or went missing in the fighting around Chateau / Coalbox Wood over 30th-31st October 1914 during the First Battle of Ypres. :poppy:

Last year I made the same remembrance:

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=201775&hl=%2Bchateau+%2Bwood

and said I would look into Sec. Lt. Marillier so that a tribute could be made to him this year, one of those 400, who epitomise for me the men of the 2nd Royal Sussex. So, to be true to my word:

Second Lieutenant . Frederick Marillier DCM

was killed in action at Ypres 100 years ago today, 30th October 1914. He was a well-respected member of 2nd Bn Royal Sussex, but he was no ordinary officer. As promised last year, I sought to find out about him so that I could place tribute to him on the centenary of his death.

Thanks to his service record kindly provided for me by Mandy Hall and research in the 2nd Royal Sussex war diary, newspaper reports held at WSRO and elsewhere, I have been able to build a picture of 2nd Lt. Marillier.

2nd Lt. Marillier was no ordinary officer for two reasons: his pre-service background and the fact he was originally a ranker.

Frederick Charles Jennens Marillier was born to Londoners Ernest, an artist, and Alice, a music teacher, in Hastings in autumn 1887. The family stayed in the Hailsham area of East Sussex (Jubilee House according to the 1901 Census). He was educated privately and was active in the Boy Scout movement. In 1904/5 he joined B Company of 5th (Cinque Ports) Battalion the Royal Sussex Regiment, rising to command the 32 man detachment in Hailsham as a Lance Sergeant by 1909. He is recorded as having been an excellent shot. In 1905 he joined Hailsham Council Boys School as an Assistant Master. In 1909, to the Headmaster’s regret, Frederick decided to leave the teaching profession and join the Army as a ranker. He enlisted in Eastbourne on 20th November 1909, signing on for 7 years with the Colours, with regimental number L/9275. His medical records indicate that he was nearly 5’8”, with brown hair and hazel eyes. His potential must have shone through at the Depot in Chichester as he was promoted to a paid L/Cpl within a fortnight (2nd Dec 1909). Posted to 2nd Royal Sussex on 26th April 1910 he reverted to Private at his own request, but was promoted to paid L/Cpl again by 13th September 1910, having, understandably considering his background, swiftly secured his military educational certificates. On 11th February 1912 he was promoted Corporal, and on 28th January 1913 he completed a Physical Training Instructor course at Aldershot, Marillier being keen on all sports according to reports. As Marillier was posted to the Depot shortly afterwards, on 8th February, it was highly likely he was a PTI there. Marillier evidently liked Army life and on 20th March he decided to extend his service from 7 to 12 years with the Colours. On 12th April 1914 he was promoted Lance Sergeant and a week later posted back to the 2nd Sussex in Woking. On the outbreak of war, and with other NCOs from 2nd Sussex being sent to assist in the creation of the 7th Service battalion, further promotions took place in the battalion and Marillier was promoted to Sergeant on 5th August 1914. He deployed with B Company, 2nd Royal Sussex to France on 12th August.

He would have taken part in the Retreat of I Corps and the first action of 2nd Royal Sussex at Priez on 10th September 1914. He took part in the battle on the Aisne in the September and early October, where he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. According to a Private Porter (from an interview given to the Sussex Daily News on 18th December, when he was back in England recovering from a wound) it was discovered that the Germans were found to be entrenching themselves in 50 yds from the Royal Sussex positions in Troyon. On the night of the 1st October Sgt. Marillier took charge of a twenty man party of B Coy (including Porter), advanced to the enemy positions, filled in their trenches and recovered the body of a Northamptonshire Regiment Sergeant. The 2nd Royal Sussex war diary also records this event.

Following this gallant act, Sgt. Marillier was recommended for the DCM and, on 4th October, was ‘Promoted in the Field’ to Second Lieutenant. By the 18th October 2nd Royal Sussex were on their way to Ypres and by the 27th were in the woods of Herentage Chateau (‘Chateau Wood’). On the 30th, just after 1000hrs, the battalion, under shell-fire, were ordered to restore the line broken at Zandevoorde, the Commanding Officer, Lt.Col. Crispin, being killed on the onset of this manoeuvre. Into the afternoon, D Coy supported by Marillier’s B Coy advanced well until they came under intense rifle and machine gun fire from an Inn by the Bassevillebeek. Private Edwards, another wounded man interviewed by the Sussex Daily News (3rd December), tells us that his platoon, No.5, commanded by 2nd Lieutenant Marillier, had only advanced 50 yds into the wood beyond the Bassevillebeek when 2nd Lt. Marillier was hit. Marillier was dead by the time Edwards reached him.

Frederick Marillier was one of 41 men killed that day with 2nd Royal Sussex, a further 20 in the next two days. During this 48hr period during the 1st Battle of Ypres 2nd Royal Sussex suffered 6 Officers and 394 Other Rank casualties: dead, wounded and missing. The vast majority of the fallen, including 2nd Lt. Frederick Marillier DCM, are remembered on the Menin Gate.

It was during this fighting that the Germans dubbed the 2nd Royal Sussex ‘The Iron Regiment’, a fitting tribute for 2nd Lt. Marillier and his comrades.

RIP :poppy:

In true fashion, I have found a photo of Frederick Marillier, but cannot seem to post it on the forum!!! I will once sorted!! There are some excellent maps in the 1914 section of the 2nd Royal Sussex war diary, one indicating where Marillier and three brother subalterns were initially buried. Hopefully one day I'll be able to transpose these maps onto a modern one and find the location and pay my respects to them there.

Best wishes, Jim

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They are remembered Jim :poppy:

A most fitting and well worded tribute to 2/Lt Marillier and the 2/Royal Sussex, well done best regards Keith.

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Keith/John

Thank you gents, somehow I got the feeling, from the comments made by his men in the newspapers, they would have followed him anywhere. Some names reverberate throughout the 2nd Royal Sussex time and again, Sgt Clay and CSM Butcher spring to mind instantly, just like Sec Lt Marillier.

The action as described in the war diary is not that easy to follow (for me at least) against what are excellent maps, but I will invest in a good map of the Ypres area and see what I can trace.

Good news is Mandy, again the saviour, had emailed me to tell me how to post photos best, so I'll have a go later and hopefully there will be a photo of Marillier on this thread shortly (thanks Mandy :thumbsup:)

Remembering the Sussex men these days

Thanks again

Jim

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As a footnote, his father, Ernest, learned of his son's death while at Norton Barracks, Worcestershire - as 53 year old (!) Sgt working in the Depot records office!! His must be a story in itself!!

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I believe the old boy would have a few gems of stories to have told Jim.

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He was quite angry that the authorities did not send anything sentimental back from his son's belongings, just trousers, pants and socks. Also the Army overpaid Sec Lt. Marillier by two days, so he had to repay some back by the looks of it!

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P1080353_zpsd2712021.jpg


Apologies, not the best picture, but at least we can now see what Sec Lt Marillier looked like

Thanks for your help Mandy

Cheers

Jim

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Congratulations Jim, on posting the photo. Great write up on Frederick Marillier. I am in WSRO at the moment, just about to leave before it gets dark. I popped into Chichester Cathedral earlier to look at the panel Frederick is recorded on, in the Royal Sussex Memorial Chapel. Will post a few pictures later.

Mandy

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Frederick Marillier and the Iron Regiment Remembered :poppy:

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Jim

An excellent thread and a fitting memorial to Marillier and the battalion.

I dug out the pages of Lt Dashwood's diary (parts are kept at Kew) and thought it apt to post them. I hope they are of interest. Apologies if you've already seen them.

Kind regards

Colin

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post-47743-0-68528700-1414697237_thumb.j

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Congratulations Jim, on posting the photo. Great write up on Frederick Marillier. I am in WSRO at the moment, just about to leave before it gets dark. I popped into Chichester Cathedral earlier to look at the panel Frederick is recorded on, in the Royal Sussex Memorial Chapel. Will post a few pictures later.

Mandy

Thanks Mandy, would appreciate seeing those. I sent the write-up to Matthew at the WSRO too as I know they are trying to collect info on Royal Sussex men. How are things with the 7th coming along?

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Jim

An excellent thread and a fitting memorial to Marillier and the battalion.

I dug out the pages of Lt Dashwood's diary (parts are kept at Kew) and thought it apt to post them. I hope they are of interest. Apologies if you've already seen them.

Kind regards

Colin

Thank you Colin, really appreciate you posting his dairy, not something I've had chance to read yet. I know Lt Dashwood really only from his excellent work with his machine gunners on 14th Sept on the Aisne. I have read the Packham diary held at WSRO (have you? If not I can email it to you if you'd like?) and was looking for some more 2nd Sussex diarists. Apparently there is one by L9898 Pte William Pelling in the Liddle Collection too, so will have to try and get to see that also.

Thank you again

Best wishes

Jim

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Jim

I confess to not being that knowledgeable on the Royal Sussex Regiment, I collect sources for reference wherever I find them. I came across the diary above in the letters associated with the writing of the official history in the CAB 45 section at Kew.

Dashwood presumably sent his private diary in and a transcription was made which covers August 1914 to March 1915.

If you're after a copy please PM me an email address - you've obviously got a much greater interest than me in the 2nd Battalion and can probably use it more.

Kind regards

Colin

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Really appreciate that Colin, will PM you asap

Great photos Mandy, thank you so much. So many of those names are from 1914 ... the COs, the RSM ...

Jim

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I will also PM you Colin.

Interesting that Dashwood's diary mentions Lt Lousada. His name is also shown on the panels in my photo. CWGC gives his date of death as 2nd November 1914. I have a copy of his service file from Kew. There are various letters in his file with the date of death ranging from the 30th October to as late as the 8th November.

Mandy

Jim I think, I sent you a copy of Lousada's file.

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Great photos Mandy, thank you so much. So many of those names are from 1914 ... the COs, the RSM ...

Jim

Especially recognizable from your most recent trip.

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I will also PM you Colin.

Interesting that Dashwood's diary mentions Lt Lousada. His name is also shown on the panels in my photo. CWGC gives his date of death as 2nd November 1914. I have a copy of his service file from Kew. There are various letters in his file with the date of death ranging from the 30th October to as late as the 8th November.

Mandy

Jim I think, I sent you a copy of Lousada's file.

Yes thank you Mandy, I'll have to double check but I think he died from wounds received on the 30th on the 2nd Nov ...Found a newspaper article about him too recently, it's only short so I'll dig it out and post the details

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Sussex Daily News, December 1914: “Lieutenant Lousada was widely known in Chichester district, having been stationed at the Depot immediately prior to his going out to the war. In social circles his pleasing manner and merry disposition won him many friends, by whom his death will be deeply deplored. His optimistic temperament was a marked characteristic in his military career, and his brother officers always found in him an excellent companion and a true colleague. He was a keen soldier, a dauntless and promising leader, and a thorough sportsman, who frequently hunted with the Depot Pack and Lady Gifford’s Harriers. He will, however, be specially remembered in Chichester for the prominent part he took in the organisation of the Lawn tennis Tournaments at Priory Park. Born on 19th November 1888, he was gazetted 6th February 1909, and in October 1910 was promoted Lieutenant. In 1912 he was employed with the West African Frontier Force”

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Jim, a high quality bit of research and a fitting tribute. I've got my copy of the Ypres League map open looking for where Helpjpl's relative was killed in that area. I'll try and annotate a map if I can.

Not forgotten,

Pete.

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Morning Pete,

Hope you are well? Have you been around that area at all, know you did some tours around Ypres area with Chris Baker?

Talking of Chris, I found this old post he replied to for Sue Light

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=38560&hl=marillier

Need to get myself a Ypres League map!!

Take care mate

Jim

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Morning Pete,

Hope you are well? Have you been around that area at all, know you did some tours around Ypres area with Chris Baker?

Talking of Chris, I found this old post he replied to for Sue Light

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=38560&hl=marillier

Need to get myself a Ypres League map!!

Take care mate

Jim

James, I don't know that area well; I went with Chris and Martin Clift to Gheluvelt Chateau and then to the edge of the village to look down the Menin Road to the south east. Previously I'd been down the Zandvoorde road from Gheluvelt and realised what a dominating position it is by looking across to the village. Because I knew hardly anything about 1st Ypres then I didn't grasp the significance of the area. Zandvoorde is a few miles from Hill 60 and the Caterpillar but I doubt if it gets much coach traffic; it is a place for the cogniscenti like us. I'm finding it fascinating 100 years on due to the stories of Mariller and Levinge.

Pete.

P.S. Where is Herentage Chateau and Chateau/Coalbox Wood in this context? When I think of Chateau Wood I think of Hooge and that iconic photograph of men crossing on duckboards from 1917 but I'm assuming they aren't the same.

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