MARROW, Reginald Ernest

No.14819, Private, Reginald Ernest MARROW
Aged 21

"B" Coy., 8th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Tuesday, 31st July 1917

Reginald Ernest Marrow was born in Wickhambrook (Risbridge Q4-1895 4A:705), son of Henry Herbert and Alice Cooke MARROW (née ALBOROUGH).

1901 census...Aged 5, he was at Bakers Office and Shop, Malting End, Wickhambrook with his father Henry Herbert MARROW,[36] bread baker and grocer, born Troston; his mother Alice [30] born Higham; sisters Edith [9] born Denston, and Gladys Ellen [2]; brothers Stanley H [5], Sydney Josiah [3] and Albert John [6 months]. All the children, except Edith, were born in Wickhambrook.

His father died in 1907

1911 census...Aged 15, a doctor's lad, back house, he was at Maltry Lane, Wickhambrook with his widowed mother ( now recorded as born in Cavenham); brothers Albert and Harold [4]; sisters Elsie [8] and Florence [6]. The new siblings were born in Wickhambrook and his mother had lost one of her 10 children.

He enlisted in Bury St Edmunds in August 1914.
A summary of account in "The History of the Suffolk Regiment" by Lt Col Murphy :-
The first day of the 3rd Battle of Ypres (now known generally as Passchendale). This offensive cost the British 310,000 casualties. Imagine advancing to fight through a field of mud, then add in the fact that in the ten days leading up to the attack, 4.25 million shells were fired by our artillery alone. The 8th Service Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment were involved in the attack on Pilckem Ridge as part of 53rd Brigade. Percy was in "A" Company. They reached their assembly point at 2 am on 31st July and by zero hour (3:50) had established HQ. at Wellington Crescent. During this move enemy shelling set fire to some dumps and a tank, lighting up the ground. As "C" Coy.was passing through Zillebeke a shell burst amongst them, killing and wounding several. The attacking division, through which the 53rd Brigade were to leapfrog when the 1st objective was take, moved off and the 8th Suffolks and 6th Royal Berkshire waited for front line reports that would tell them the way was clear for their advance. By a tragic mistake the 30th Div infantry wheeled to their left and attacked Chateau Wood instead of Glencorse Wood. This misleading information that Glencorse Wood was in our hands led to the 53rd Brigade plunging into a fatal gap. Some did reach the line of the 1st objective. Lt Bolingbroke with scouts, went forward to clear Sanctuary Wood and place signposts to guide the companies. Sniper fire made this a precarious operation but the message was sent back that 30th Div were on the north of the Menin Road and in Chateau Wood.
Despite machine gun fire a platoon of B Coy got up to Lt Bolingbroke's position and they decided to attack the second line (Surbiton Villa) with what troops they could collect, without waiting for support. In severe fighting around Surbiton Villa a party of "A" Coy managed to wipe out a machine gun post.The battalion got onto the Menin Road near Clapham Junction and advanced several hundred yards beyond it before they were checked and forced to shelter in shell holes. That was the end of the attack as the Germans were in great strength around Glencorse Wood. Whilst waiting here a cock pheasant alighted about fifty yards ahead. A runner shot the bird, carrying it out of battle on the end of his rifle, probably not the first time he had killed game without a licence!
177 casualties were sustained by the battalion in this action, of these 61 were killed and only 6 have known graves.

The Bury Free Press of 8th September 1917 reported:-

Mrs. B. Marrow received the sad information on Thursday morning week from the War Office, that her son, Private Reginald Marrow, of the Machine Gun Section, has been missing since July 31st. Private R.Marrow responded to the call of King and country soon after war broke out and was sent to France in July 1915...

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Reginald Marrow is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Ypres, panel 21

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details