Private Harold Marston

Private Harold Marston, Machine Gun Corps. He was killed in Belgium by shellfire on 26th April 1915, aged 18, during the Battle of St Julien and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Flanders, Belgium. ( The C.W.G.C. site has his Unit as the 1st/7th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers ). The Machine Gun Corps as a Unit was not formed until October 1915 so it seems likely that he was a member of the 1st/7th, N F. machine gun section. The M.G.C. used the Vickers water cooled gun in both an offensive and defensive role. The Battalion had landed on the Continent only days before and had been rushed North into Flanders with the 50th ( Northumbrian ) Division to take part in a hasty counter attack near St Julien in support of the Canadians. The attack went in over open ground with no cover and resulted in heavy casualties amongst the Territorials. The photograph shows the impressive Memorial raised to the 50th ( Northumbrian ) Division of which the Battalion was part of until February 1918 when it was transferred to the 42nd ( East Lancashire ) Division as the Pioneer Battalion. It was erected near the village of Weiltje in the Ypres Salient where nearby the Division had fought its first action of the War on 26th April 1915.

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