MARCHANT, George Robert Sutton

No.50179, Private, George Robert Sutton MARCHANT
Aged 33

12th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Tuesday, 25th September 1917

George Robert Sutton MARCHANT was born in 1884 (Thetford Q4-1884 4B:392) son of George Robert and Emma Jane MARCHANT (née LINGWOOD).

1891 census...Aged 6, he was at Thetford Road, Brandon with his father George R MARCHANT [36] furrier's dyer born Battle, Sussex; hi smother Emma J [40] born Brandon; sisters Harriet L.[7] born St. Leonards, Sussex and Emma M. [4] born Brandon.

1901 census...Aged 16 a furrier's labourer, he was at Thetford Road, Brandon with his parents, and brother William [6] born Brandon.

In 1906 he married Elizabeth WHARF.

1911 census...Aged 27, a furrier's labourer, he was at Thetford Road, Brandon with his wife Elizabeth [29] and sons Ernest [4] and Arthur [1]. All were born in Brandon.
His parents were later to live in 52 London Road, Brandon, his widow at 22 Bury Road, Brandon.

His son Ernest died in Germany in 1946, just after WW2, serving with the Royal Engineers see here

click here to go to the Brandon at War website for more information

He enlisted in Brandon on 7th April 1908 for one year in the Territorials (No.491, 4th Bn Norfolk Regiment). He gave his age as 23 years 6 months, married,a furrier employed by W Rought-Rought, Thetford Road, Brandon He was born and living in Brandon. The height/weight part of the form is blank. He re-engaged in Territorials for one year on 7th April 1901, for a further 4 years on 7th April 1910 and a further year on April 7th 1914 and was mobilised on 5th August 1914. He did not join the BEF with the 12th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment until June 1916 in France/Flanders. His later Army records are not available so it is not known when he was transferred to the Suffolk Regiment.

On 25th September 1917 the 12th Suffolks at dusk sent out two companies on a raid at GONNELIEU. The Germans had seen them getting out of their trenches and laid down a barrage in front of them. Despite this and advancing in moonlight, the Suffolk reached their objective, killing many Germans, returning with five prisoners and a machine gun. The cost however was high, very nearly 100 casualties.

CWGC records just 2 killed however

The Bury Free Press of 19th January 1918 reported :-

After waiting some months enquiries have been made concerning Prvt George Robert Marchant, 50179,12th Suffolk Regiment, who was reported missing on September 22nd last. He was in France,and had just passed into signalling,and and been on active service nine months. His wife, Mrs. Marchant, Bury Road, Brandon has only received the official notification. She or his parents,Mr. and Mrs. Marchant, Bury Road,Brandon will be grateful for any information any comrade or anyone can furnish of him at the above date or after.

Then in the issue of 16th February:-

Recently Mr. and Mrs. Marchant of London Road, Brandon made enquiry as to whether anyone could give them any information regarding their son, Prvt George Marchant. A letter has been received by Mrs.Marchant, of which we give a copy:
"Madam, I see by the papers you want information about your son, Prvt G. Marchant, 12th Suffolk Regiment. I am sorry to inform you that he was killed in action on September 25th while on a raid into the enemy's line, by a trench mortar. He was liked by all who knew him. I was with him at the time of his death, in charge of the party that he was with, and am sorry to lose him. I am on leave and saw the paragraph in the paper and thought I would write and let you know. I remain, yours faithfully, Sergt J.W.Wright, 12th Suffolk Regiment, Nowton Court Farm, Bury St.Edmunds"
The parents, also his wife, are grateful for this news.

The area raided

George Marchant is commemorated on the Thiepval memorial, pier and face 1C/2A

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