Reginald Charles MARSHALL (1893-1955)
Reginald Charles Marshall was a fellow officer of Cyril Sladden’s in the Worcestershire Regiment. They first met in 1914 whilst in training at Bhurtpore Barracks, Tidworth. He is mentioned in several letters written by Cyril. Marshall was one of the officers who, whilst at Blackdown, accompanied Cyril to a concert in Guildford in March 1915. They were also together in Gallipoli and Mesopotamia.
Reginald was born on 1st March 1893 in Southampton, the second of three children of Alfred J H Marshall and his wife, Ellen. He grew up in the Freemantle district of Southampton where his father was Headteacher of the local Church of England school. A School Admissions Register reveals that Reginald left the local Council school in January 1905 as he had gained a Grammar School scholarship.
On the outbreak of war, Reginald joined up and was attached to the 9th Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment, where he and Cyril first met at the end of September 1914. A letter of March 1915 reveals that, whilst at Blackdown, they went together to a concert in Guildford.
The 9th Worcesters set sail from England in June 1915, bound for the Gallipoli peninsula. In the fierce battle which took place in August 1915, Reginald had a lucky escape in the fighting which had killed their colleague, James Lancaster, and which saw Cyril spend time in hospital. Reginald and Cyril and Marshall met up again in Alexandria, Egypt at the end of September as Reginald was sent there from Cyprus in order to receive massage for his hand. The friends then both found themselves in Lemnos in October 1915 where they shared a tent.
In April 1916, in the same battle in Mesopotamia in which Cyril was wounded, Reginald, too, was wounded. Reginald was sent back to England to recover and it was whilst in Portsmouth Hospital that he met his future wife, Irene Myra Allen, who was nursing there as a VAD, prior to going out to Salonika.
In August 1916, Reginald was gazette from the rank of temporary 2nd Lieutenant to that of temporary Lieutenant. On recovery, Reginald served in Egypt and Flanders, so he did not cross paths with Cyril again. In Flanders he was wounded and gassed, was taken prisoner on 27th May 1918. He remained in German hands until the signing of the armistice and was repatriated on 17th December 1918, having ended with the rank of Captain.
Reginald’s old school register reveals that, at the end of the war, Reginald gained an Oxford University scholarship in 1918.
On 9th April 1921, Reginald married Irene Allen at Epping Parish Church; The Chelmsford Chronicle gave a full report of their wedding.
Reginald became a Forest Officer, working as Chief Conservator of Forests at Trinidad and Tobago for 11 years and on the Gold Coast from 1934 until he retired to Hampshire in 1947. His book, Silviculture of the trees of Trinidad and Tobago, British West Indies, was published in 1939. On retirement, Reginald was awarded the CBE for his services to forestry.
Reginald died at his home, Hillcroft, Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire, on 6th February 1955, aged 61.