• Frederick Marshall

Army / Flying Corps
  • 17th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 5th Brigade
  • Private

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  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal
  • Birth

    Sydney, NSW, Australia

  • Enlistment - WW1

    Sydney, NSW, Australia

Stories and comments
    • MARSHALL, Frederick Henry – (5864, 17th Bn)
    • Posted by FrevFord, Friday, 20 July 2018

    Fred was born on the 15th of October 1884 at Parramatta, NSW – the son of Frederick MARSHALL and Mary DELANEY, who married at Parramatta in 1883 Residents of Harris Park in December 1884 Frederick (snr), who had been a Machinist and a Miner, was deceased by 1918 Mary was a resident of Newtown, Sydney (Erskineville) and then Camperdown during the war years Siblings: Arthur W. b.&d.1886; Alfred J b.1887 Central Cumberland; Jessie E b.1888 – d.1890 Religion: Church of England Served in the Australian Rifles for 18 months He was mining at Nerrigundah prior to enlistment WW1: Fred enlisted on the 8/5/1916, aged 33 years 6 months He embarked in Sydney 7/10/1916 on the A40 Ceramic as Private 5864 with the 16th Reinforcements of the 17th Battalion, disembarking Plymouth, England 21/11/1916 Proceeded overseas to France on the 28/12/1916 and marched into the Base Depot at Etaples Joined the 17th Bn in the field on the 6/2/1917 On the 15/4/1917 at Noreuil (near Lagnicourt), having run out of ammunition, they were retiring on support when Fred was hit in the temple by a bullet which destroyed his right eye and came out through the left, destroying it also. Rendered totally blind, he was later fitted with artificial eyes. Transferred through the hospital system to England via the HS Princess Elizabeth, where he was admitted to the King George Hospital, London 23/4/1917 Transferred to the 2nd London General Hospital 8/6/1917, and then to St Dunstan’s Hostel for Blinded Soldiers, Regents Park 13/6/1917 where he received training in Braille, Typing, Boot repair, Mat making and Poultry Farming Married Margaret GERAGHTY on the 18th May 1918 at the Hampton Registry Office, London Margaret, born c1882 Shorncliffe, Kent, was the daughter of John GERAGHTY (who after being pensioned from the British Army, a former Sergeant with the Royal West Kent Regiment, worked as a Watchman in a Paper Works) and Sarah (nee Ferguson). Margaret who had been a Paper Sorter at the Paper Works, was at the time of marriage, working as a Fuse Examiner in a Munitions Factory. “On the signing of the Armistice, she devoted her spare evenings to conducting blinded soldiers around London. It was during these tours that she met [Fred], to whom the world was soon a much brighter place.” The couple returned to Australia together on the family ship Osterley, embarking 29/9/1919 and disembarking Sydney 10/11/1919 Discharged from the A.I.F. 10/1/1920 A shareholder of the New South Wales Blinded Soldiers’ Tea Company in 1921 1930: 121 Macleay St, Darlinghurst (Oriana) 1933: Dampier St, Kurnell (Blind Soldier, no occup) “To-day [January 1934] [Fred] and his wife share a cottage at Kurnell, overlooking Botany Bay. Although there are no regular fences or side-walks in the little seaside resort, Marshall finds no difficulty in following the numerous tracks which honeycomb the village. His garden is a picture. He does his own weeding, discriminating by his sense of touch, and even designs the vegetable plots and flower beds. So enthusiastic has Marshall become that recently he had erected at considerable cost a modern windmill to ensure a regular water supply. At present he is engaged in sinking an additional well. Each evening he has his daily plunge in the bay. He saws and cuts his own firewood, and, until recently, felled trees to get whatever timber he needed.” 1941, 1945 “Illawarra,” Dampier Street, Kurnell Margaret died on the 21/11/1941 NSW Fred died on the 23rd of December 1945 at the Prince Henry Hospital, NSW, aged 63, and is buried in the Botany Cemetery, NSW Daily Examiner (Grafton, NSW), Wed 23 Nov 1921 (p.4): BLINDED DIGGERS ARRIVE AT GRAFTON TWO STORIES OF SACRIFICE Two Diggers, blinded in the war (Mr W.F. Folland and Mr F. Marshall), arrived at Grafton yesterday by the afternoon train from Lismore, after a business tour of the Tweed and Richmond rivers. They were met on arrival by members of the Grafton Red Cross, and will probably stay in the city for a few days, and may visit the down-river centres, before returning to Sydney. Their tour is strictly business, as shareholders of the New South Wales Blinded Soldiers’ Tea Company, but there is, apart from the pecuniary side, an interest attaching to these two men that the returned man possessed of his sight cannot possibly command. Their spirit, in the first place, in setting out, through their business organisation, to solve the problem of repatriation must command the admiration of everyone, and for them to go out on such a tour as this, with the trying travelling and hardships incurred, is another evidence of what has become known as the spirit of Anzac, which cannot be lightly passed over by any who knows the real meaning of the term. But apart from these things these men have each a story – as all Diggers have though few give it the light of day – a story of red-blooded sacrifice, the grandness of which, unfortunately, not everyone seems able to appreciate. They do not call it sacrifice, nor do they harp on the strings of sympathy – they tell it simply as a matter of fact. It is a happening unfortunate in itself, but noble and grand beyond describing. Their tales are simple but most genuine. Both hailed from the South Coast; Mr Marshall from Nerrigundah, Mr Folland from Bega. They served respectively in the 17th and 18th Battalions of the A.I.F. Private Marshall sailed on the Ceramic, joining his unit after a brief stay on Salisbury Plains. He was blinded at Lagnicourt on April 15, 1917, in the “stunt” in which the German “hopped over” from the vicinity of Bullecourt, capturing a large number of field guns. The victory was short-lived, and they were driven back as quickly as they came, and held back. Digger Marshall was told off as a rifleman to a machine gun section. He was one of the first to be hit in that battle. Blinded. The rest of the story he leaves to the imagination. No wonder. The other Digger, who is at present in Grafton, was also a private, and was blinded in the dreadful battle in the morasses of Flanders, not far from the Menin road, on October 9, 1917. He sailed from Australia on the Wiltshire and was a machine gunner. Of his small section two were left out of eight, who went into the “stunt”; six were killed outright. He is blind and the other is well. Simple stories, both of them, without color of any kind, but see these men and remember the spirit which brings them to Grafton, and adding the color to their tales is easy. They were both convalescent in St Dunstan’s (England), after being blinded, and there learnt things which might serve them in later life. The Braille system of reading and writing, by the ingenious device of raised characters, which is a language to the touch, was one of the things taught; and each have watches on which these characters are fixed, and from which they can tell the time with a touch as quickly as another might tell it by sight. They were also taught typewriting, and the making of nets for hammocks, swings, pig nets and so on. The learning of the use of their hands in this way had not only the effect of fitting them for earning an independent livelihood; it helped to make them independent within themselves and fostered that spirit, the existence of which their presence in Grafton is ample evidence. When they returned they joined with the other blinded soldiers of New South Wales in this business brotherhood the grandness of which cannot be excelled anywhere in the world. They are deeply interested in their tea company, and they intend to make it a success. In their own words, “they wish to visit the friends that have patronised them and make others.” On their tour they are accompanied by Harry Mealing, a Sydney lad, who acts as guide. 1926: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/236996738 The Sun (Syd, NSW), Wed 24 Jan 1934 (p.12): NEW LIFE – Work Of Blind Digger (By J. Maxwell, V.C.) [Photo of Fred and Margaret] To be banished to a world of perpetual darkness is one of the Great War’s most terrible legacies, yet to meet Digger Fred Marshall, of the 17th Battalion, who lost the sight of both eyes at Lagnacourt, France, in 1917, is to be amazed at his cheerfulness and adaptability. Marshall was invalided to St Dunstan’s Hospital, London, where sightless soldiers were trained in industrial and commercial courses, but Fred Marshall presented his typewriter and his braille machine to a blind civilian, and, with his wife, returned to Australia. Mrs Marshall was a munition-worker, and, on the signing of the Armistice, she devoted her spare evenings to conducting blinded soldiers around London. It was during these tours that she met Marshall, to whom the world was soon a much brighter place. Happy In Garden To-day he and his wife share a cottage at Kurnell, overlooking Botany Bay. Although there are no regular fences or side-walks in the little seaside resort, Marshall finds no difficulty in following the numerous tracks which honeycomb the village. His garden is a picture. He does his own weeding, discriminating by his sense of touch, and even designs the vegetable plots and flower beds. So enthusiastic has Marshall become that recently he had erected at considerable cost a modern windmill to ensure a regular water supply. At present he is engaged in sinking an additional well. Each evening he has his daily plunge in the bay. He saws and cuts his own firewood, and, until recently, felled trees to get whatever timber he needed. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/230518248 The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Sat 22 Nov 1941 (p.25): DEATHS MARSHALL – November 21, 1941, Margaret Marshall, of “Illawarra,” Dampier Street, Kurnell, beloved wife of Frederick Marshall, aged 60 years. Requiescat in pace. The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Mon 24 Dec 1945 (p.10): DEATHS MARSHALL – December 23, 1945, at Prince Henry Hospital, Frederick Marshall (late 17th Battn., 1st A.I.F.), relict of the late Margaret Marshall, of Dampier Street, Kurnell, aged 63 years. FUNERALS MARSHALL – The Relatives and Friends of the late Frederick Marshall, of Dampier Street, Kurnell, are invited to attend his Funeral; to leave our Funeral Chapel, 347 Anzac Parade, Kingsford, This Monday, after service commencing at 10.45 a.m., for the Botany Cemetery.