William Thomas Marriott
1890 - 1917
Researched and written by Sheila CLARKE
William Thomas Marriott was the eldest child and only son of Richard Marriott, a coal hewer, and Mary (Maria) who was the daughter of Thomas and Maria Bailey. He was born in 1890 in Norton, Brownhills. He was nine months old at the time of the 1891 census, and, with his parents was living with his maternal grandfather and grandmother in Church Road Ogley Hay. Also there at that time the nephew and niece of Thomas Bailey, William and Annie Bailey who were born in Gloucestershire, as was Thomas Bailey. The men of the family were all coal miners.
By the time of the 1901 census the family were living at 268 Hednesford Road. William’s sister Florrie (later Kelly), was 8 years old, and Bertha (later Hewett) was 6 years of age. Staying with them was widower Thomas; Maria’s father now aged 68, who still worked as a coal hewer. William attended Norton canes Boys’ School.
According to family tradition Richard Marriott had two houses built around 1896 in Hednesford Road, Norton. Bertha, his daughter, believed that she was around six weeks old when the family moved into their new home at number 268. The houses are still there today and are occupied by members of the family.
Richard Marriot had been born in Aldridge, and as well as working in the mines was believed to have dealt in horses, delivered milk and beer around the area and cared for the pit ponies. This affinity with horses was passed to his son William who, at the time of the 1911 census was running his own business as a carter from the family home in Hednesford Road. The family believe that because he was such a natural with horses William could have stayed out of the Great War and trained the horses instead.
William entered the war as a private with the South Staffordshire Regiment. His regimental number was 1629. He was later in the 10th battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment, regimental number 40072. When or why, the transfer took place is not clear.
The 10th Battalion of the Worcestershire regiment sailed for France in July 1915. They saw action in France and Flanders throughout 1915 and 1916. The battalion in which William served was involved in the Battle of Messines Ridge in June 1917, and in the subsequent push for further advancement. For 10 days from July 11th until 21st the battalion lay at ‘Irish House’ south of Viestraat, resting and cleaning up having suffered 50 casualties.
On 22nd July the Battalion again moved forward. The line taken ran through Green wood. Two companies held posts in the wood. Further back two other companies were entrenched in Rose Wood and Godezune Farm. Heavy firing ensued. British artillery was bombarding the enemy trenches. In retaliation German guns were pounding the British positions. Great shells came smashing down hour after hour, day and night, and there were many casualties. Relief was expected after the third day but because of the resistance the offensive was postponed and an extra three days without relief had to be endured. The shellfire became heavier and heavier but the battalion held on. During the night of 29th/30th July reinforcements arrived at last, and the battalion moved back to huts near Kemmel, having sustained fifty men dead or wounded from the shellfire alone. Among the dead was William Thomas Marriott, who had been killed on 27th July 1917.
A comprehensive account of the part taken by The Worcestershire Regiment in The Great War can be found on the Worcestershire Regiment website http://www.worcestershireregiment.com/.
Name: William Thomas Marriott
Birth Place: Brownhills, Staffordshire
Residence: Norton Canes, Staffordshire
Death Date: 27 July 1917
Death Place: France and Flanders
Enlistment Place: Cannock, Staffordshire
Regiment: Worcestershire Regiment
Battalion: 10th Battalion
Regimental Number: 40072
Type of Casualty: Killed in action
Theatre of War: Western European Theatre
Comments: Formerly 1629, South Staffordshire Regiment
Extract from UK Soldiers who died in the Great War 1914-1918
William Thomas Marriott is buried in a war grave at Voormezeele.
The Voormezeele Enclosure Number 3
Voormezeele enclosure number 3 is located in Belgium 4kms. South –west of Ieper town centre on Ruusschaartstraat, the N331. The graves were begun very early in the First World War and were gradually increased until the village was recaptured by the Germans after very heavy fighting on April 29th 1918. Voormezeele Enclosure No. 3 is the largest of the burial grounds here. After the Armistice some French graves were relocated to a French cemetery and other graves brought in from isolated sites and smaller cemeteries. There are now 1611Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War commemorated here. The cemetery was designed by Sir Edward Lutyens. More historical information together with visitor and wheelchair access advice can be downloaded from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Web site.
Val Boden a relative of William visited his grave with her family and took photographs of the location.
The Church of St. James the Great in Norton Canes holds the memorial to local men who lost their lives during the First World War. The church contains lovely stained glass windows and a tablet commemorating those who died.
Enlargements of the three sections of the stained glass window at the Church of St James the Great, Norton Canes
Pictures 12, 13 and 14
As a former pupil, William's name was also recorded on the War Memorial of Norton Canes Boys School.
Other census returns for the Marriott and Bailey family
In 1881, Richard Marriott was living with his mother and step- father 1881. The Stepfather Michael Jones was working as a shop keeper as Richard’s father had done.
Richard died aged 85 in 1953.
In 1871, Richard Marriot aged 4 years living with mother and father 1871. His father William is a shopkeeper in Watling Street.
The 1881 census shows Thomas and Maria Bailey, with daughter Maria, living in Clayhanger, Walsall Foreign.
The 1871 census of the Bailey Family shows Maria aged three months.
In the 1861 the Bailey family have lodgers and are living in Walsall Wood.
The Record Card shows William T Marriott’s medals which were sent to the family after the War had ended.
William Thomas Marriott is buried at Voormezeele Enclosure No, 3, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. The reference for his grave is XIII. C. 20.
Reference, item and source
1. Photograph of William Thomas Marriott © Val BODEN
2A. Extract 1 from the 1891 Census © Ancestry
2B. Extract 2 from the 1891 Census © Ancestry
2C. Transcriptiom of extracts from the 1891 census
3A. Extract 1 from the 1901 Census © Ancestry
3B. Extract 2 from the 1901 Census © Ancestry
3C. Transcriptiom of extracts from the 1901 census
4. Photograph of 269 Hednesford Road © (Google)
5. Extract from 1911 Census © Ancestry
6. Plan – battle map © The Worcester Regiment website (http://www.worcestershireregiment.com/h_messines.php)
7. Extract from UK Soldiers who died in the Great War 1914-1918 © Ancestry
8. Voormezeele Enclosure No, 3 Cemetery © Geerhard Joos and Remembering the Fallen website (https://www.ww1cemeteries.com/voormezeele-enclosure-no-3.html)
9. Photograph of Voormezeele Cemetery © Val BODEN
10. Photograph of William Thomas Marriott's headstone © Val BODEN
11. Photograph of the stained glass window at the Church of St James the Great, Norton Canes © Alan BETTS (BFHG)
12. Left section of the stained glass window at the Church of St James the Great, Norton Canes © Alan BETTS (BFHG)
13. Central section of the stained glass window at the Church of St James the Great, Norton Canes © Alan BETTS (BFHG)
14. Right section of the stained glass window at the Church of St James the Great, Norton Canes © Alan BETTS (BFHG)
15. Photograph of the memorial plaque at the Church of St James the Great, Norton Canes © Alan BETTS (BFHG)
16. Photograph of the War Memorial of Norton Canes Boys School © Alan BETTS (BFHG)
17. Transcription of the names on the War Memorial of Norton Canes Boys School © Alan BETTS (BFHG)
18. Extract from the 1881 Census © Ancestry
19. Extract from the 1871 Census © Ancestry
20. Extract from the 1881 Census © Ancestry
21. Extract from the 1871 Census © Ancestry
22. Extract from the 1861 Census © Ancestry
23. The Medal Card for William Thoms Marriott © Ancestry
24. Commemoration Certificate for William Thomas Marriott © Commonwealth War Graves Commision
25. Cemetery Plan for Voormezeele Enclosure No. 3 © Commonwealth War Graves Commision