680946 GNR. E. MARQUIS. R.F.A.
Edwin Marquis was born in October 1884 in Preston and baptised at Preston St John on 26 October. His father was Robert Marquis (b. 1856 in Fulwood), a saddler. His mother was Mary Ann Battersby (b. 1856 in Lindale in Cartmel). Robert and Mary Ann were married in 1878. They already had a son, Miles, who was born the previous year. They had a further 7 children, though two died in infancy. So the remaining five were: James (b. 1879), Edith (b. 1882), then Edwin, then Ann (b. 1887) and finally Mary (b. 1894). The family moved to Longridge just after Edwin was born and here they lived on Regent Street. In 1909, Edwin married Ann Emmett but I have not been able to find a record of them in the 1911 Census. Edwin worked as a cotton weaver. Robert Marquis was recorded as an invalid and 1911 and he died in 1914.
Edwin was among a group of Longridge men who enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery in May/June 1915 and were all posted to “B” Battery of 286 Brigade. Edwin was given service number 680946 and he landed in France with 57th Division in February 1917 (the same month as his brother James was killed in Mesopotamia, see below). That year he served in the defence of Armentières and in October-November in the 2nd Battle of Passchendaele. By the end of the War, Edwin had been transferred to “A” Battery of 77th Brigade. This became an Army brigade in 1917 so I don’t know where it served. Edwin came home after the War ended and went back to work as a cotton weaver. In November 1919, he and Anne had a son, James, but sadly their son lived for only 27 days. Edwin died almost exactly one year later, on 14 November 1920, from syncope caused by cardiovascular disease of the heart. He was 36 years old.
Service No: 680946
Date of Death: 14/11/1920
Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery, “A” Bty, 77th Bde.
Cemetery/memorial reference: E. 4.
Cemetery/Memorial: LONGRIDGE (ST. LAWRENCE) CHURCHYARD
Additional Information: Son of the late Robert and Mary Ann Marquis; husband of Ann Marquis, of 20 Chatburn Road, Longridge.
Edwin’s older brother Miles Battersby was also in the Royal Field Artillery. He and Edwin must have enlisted around the same time but Miles was posted to 57th Divisional Ammunition Column. He was 696121 GNR. M. BATTERSBY. Edwin and Miles were in the same Division and would have fought alongside each other during the time that Edwin remained in 286 Brigade. In 1901, Miles had married Emma Jane Watson (b. 1876 in Longridge) and the couple had a son, Leonard (b. 1920). Miles survived the War and came back to Longridge where he died in 1954.
Edwin’s brother James was also in the Army. He was 23688 PTE. J. MARQUIS. James served in 6th Battalion, King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment). 6Bn had served in Gallipoli but James joined them in Egypt probably in 1916 and they then went to fight in Mesopotamia. A brief account of the Mesopotamia campaign can be found here. James would have been part of the failed attempt to relieve the siege of Kut-al-Amara in the spring of 1916. During the summer, British and Indian forces were re-organised under General Maude and in January 1917 they began their renewed attack against the Ottomans, which would result in the capture of Baghdad in March 1917. James died on 7 February 1917 of wounds received during this campaign. He was 37 years old.
Service No: 23688
Date of Death: 07/02/1917
Regiment/Service: King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment), 6th Bn
Cemetery/memorial reference: XIV. G. 23.
Cemetery/Memorial: AMARA WAR CEMETERY, IRAQ.
Edwin’s sister Edith Marquis was married to 680961 GNR. L. H. ROBERTS.
Edwin’s wife, Ann Emmett’s brother was 680922 DVR. T. EMMETT.
Ann Emmett’s step-brother was Arthur Mercer (b. 1872 in Longridge) and he had a son, Albert (b. 1894 in Longridge). So he was Edwin’s nephew. He joined the Army in 1912. He was 1665 SGT. A. MERCER. L.N.LAN.R. Albert was in 4th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and he was killed at Festubert on 15 June 1915.