No.5653, Sergeant John MARSH
Aged 36

9th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on 9th April 1917

John Marsh was born at The Street, Pakenham on 31st May 1883 (2nd qtr 1883 Thingoe 4a:642) son of John and Louisa MARSH (née PECK). Baptised in St Mary's, Pakenham on 10th September 1883.

1891 census...Aged 8, he was at The Street, Pakenham with his father John MARSH [36] farm labourer; his mother Louisa (recorded here as Laura) [30]; sisters Mary [12], Laura [6] and Elizabeth [5]; brother James [10]. All were born in Pakenham.

1901 census...Not found in this census. His Army number suggests he may have enlisted for a short term in the Suffolk Regiment sometime in 1900. His parents were still at The Street, Pakenham with his brother James (stock man on farm), Reggie [8] and Howard [5]; sister Catherine [9 months].

1911 census...Aged 23, a labourer, he was at The Fen, Pakenham with his parents (father now a blacksmith's striker); sister Elizabeth and Kate; brothers James, Reginald and Edward (all jobbing labourers). His mother had lost 6 of her 13 children.

On the pension card his mother was at The Fen, Pakenham

He enlisted in Guernsey.
War diary for 9th June 1917....
Front line trenches...A party of about 25 enemy attempted to raid NEWPORT SAP at 6.30 am, but were repulsed, leaving 4 of their dead in front of our wire, and taking their wounded back to their own lines. A smoke barrage and bombardment was put up by our artillery and trench mortars, and under cover of this a party went out and brought in the dead, who were buried and identification obtained. Casualties, 2 OR wounded.

photo CWGC

John Marsh is buried in Vermelles British Cemetery, France 6:A:20

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