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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Lt.-Col. P.W. Machell, CMG, DSO


Nick Thornicroft

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Is anyone aware of Machell's connection to Bristol or the West Country? His death was reported in a Bristol newspaper under "Casualties To Local Officers", but I cannot find a link. If anyone can shed any light on this, I would be most grateful.

Many thanks

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Is this Percy Wilfred Machell, born 1862, Glanford Brigg, Lincolnshire we're after?

If so, his father, the Rev. Richard Beverley Machell, was from Scarborough and his mother Emma Willoughby (married Malton, Yorkshire, 1850) was from Radford, Nottinghamshire.

So not much help there...

Steve.

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Hello Steve

Yes, it's the same man - aged 54, CO of the 11th Border Regt. (which he apparently raised & trained). At least I can now rule out the origins of his parents as a possible link to Bristol. Maybe his father was a one-time minister in the city?

Cheers

Nick

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As I thought I had found earlier, but wasn't sure of, Percy Wilfred Machell married Princess Victoria Alice Leopoldine Countess Of GLEICHEN (b: 28 Nov 1868 in St James' Palace, Westminster, Middlesex, England)

Married: 5 Dec 1905

A son, Roger Victor Machell was born 23-7-1908.

Percy was born 5 December 1862.

I'm not sure about Princess Victoria (apparently she liked to be called Valda) but if I'm reading the family tree right her paternal grandmother was Queen Victoria's elder half-sister.

It also appears that the Machell line is of the Aristocracy. Someone with the book the Aristocracy in the Great War should be able to find him, I would think.

Steve.

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I can't see a Bristol connection either Nick. His father as you know was Canon Richard Beverley Machell of York Rector of Roos Parish. His mother was maybe the connection (Lord Middleton perhaps???)

From quick research on the net some of the Machell Family were from Newmarket and owned Crackenthorpe Hall, near Appleby, Cumbria. His uncle Capt James Octavia Machell a well known 19thC racehorse owner and trainer, left the Hall to his nephew

P.W Machell was commissioned into the Essex Regiment in 1882 and spent most of his service in Egypt. Lord Lonsdale a local personality and regarded as England's greatest sporting gentleman raised the 11th Battalion Border Regiment (The Lonsdales) in 1914 as a pals battalion and asked the retired Percy Machell to train and command them.

(Probably due to Lord Lonsdales horse racing connections and the fact that Lowther hall, the home of Lord Lonsdale is near to Crackenthorpe).

Having trained and led the battalion to France, Col Machel was killed leading his men over the top on July 1st 1916 in the attack on the Leipzig Salient.

He had stayed back as the commanding officers were told to, but he had promised his beloved Lonsdales he would lead them if difficulty arose. The Lonsdales were enfiladed from a position known as the Nordwerk even before they reached the front line and many were cut down. So Col Machell went forward and lead his remaining men over the top. Unfortunately he was killed as soon as he went over the parapet.

He was buried in WARLOY-BAILLON COMMUNAL CEMETERY France.

If you do find a connection please let us know.

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Many thanks for both your replies. I shall have to carry out a bit more research & see what turns up.

Nick

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There seems to be a link to his wife's sister from Ashmead House, Cam, Gloucestershire...

4d) Viktor Ferdinand Franz Eugen Gustav Adolf Constantin Friedrich (long castle 11 November 1833-London 31 Dec 1891); m.London 24 January 1861 Laura Wilhelmina Seymour, CR countess of resembling in Gotha 24 January 1861 (London 27 January 1833-London 13 February 1912); this marriage which apparently considered morganatic by the Hohenlohe House, though in Great Britain Queen Victoria seems ton have considered the marriage as equal and of sometimes referred tons of Gfn of resembling as Pss Viktor.

1e) Feodora Gfn of resembling, more later known as lady Feodora resembling (London 20 Dec 1861-London 22 February 1922)

è) Albert Edward Wilfred AP von Gleichen, more later known as lord Edward resembling (London 15 January 1863 London 14 Dec 1937); m.London 2 July 1910 Sylvia Gay Edwardes (Paris 16 February 1880-Bath 27 Oct 1942)

é) Victoria ( Valda ) Gfn of resembling, more later known as lady Valda Machell (London 28 November 1868-London 10 September 1951); m.London 5 Dec 1905 Percy Wilfred Machell (k.a.nr Warly Baillon 1 July 1916)

1f) Roger Victor Machell (23 July 1908-18 January 1984)

ê) Helena Gfn of resembling, more later known as lady Helena resembling (London 1 February 1873-Ashmead House, Gloucs 28 January 1947)

Steve.

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Steve

That's excellent stuff - many thanks. With a precise date the obituary may be able to offer a little more local info.

Cheers

Nick

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Nick,

I have some pictures of Col Machell circa 1914/15 at the Racecourse Training Camp, Carlisle as well as one of this son Roger in a miniature Lonsdales uniform. If you'd like copies just PM me.

Maybe the local paper (Cumberland News or Carlisle Patriot) had info in the obituary section. I'm trying to make time next week to visit the library for a further search of the microfiche for a picture of my GGF. I will check it out for you ( sure I saw an obit, but I wasn't really looking for that last time I was in).

If I find anything, I'll let you know.

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Have been trying to find this photo for a while; it shows Lt-Col Machell's grave at Warloy-Baillon. It was taken by me in the mid-80s and shows the substantial memorial that used to be on his grave, and which was stolen c.1990. Hope you find it of interest.

post-6-1130864792.jpg

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Paul

Many thanks for posting the photo - very interesting to know the background to his grave, & shame on the person(s) who desecrated it. Machell was a fascinating character who died leading his troops into action - brave men all.

Nick

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  • 10 years later...

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