1. Grave:Amara War CemeteryXXI. J. 11.
2. Book:The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918Pg.129
3. Memorial:The (1940) Scroll - WW1 Roll of Honour47B GQS

Awards & Titles:

Military Cross
Mentioned in Despatches

Family :

Son of Henry Marsh CIE of Springmount, Mountrath, Queen's Co and the late Helen E. Marsh.

He was known to all as Harry.

Education & Career :

Marsh went to Wellington College in 1900, and was in the Orange, a house named after Prince William of Orange, one of the Duke of Wellington's allies. He played in the XV, winning his cap in 1903 before going to Sandhurst.

He was great friends with the Heyland Brothers in the Orange, J R Heyland was the year above him and also joined a Gurkha Bttn, the same Lodge and was also KIA and is recorded on the MGWP.

Service Life:


Unit / Ship / Est.: 2nd Battalion King Edward's Own Gurkha Rifles (The Sirmoor Rifles) 

Action : Mesopotamia 

At the outbreak of war the British, together with Indian troops, resolved to protect oil supply in the region by occupying the area around Basra at Abadan. This evolved into a series of campaigns towards Baghdad against the Turkish forces as Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) was part of the Ottoman Empire. Meetings in late 1914 and into 1915 led the Viceroy and Indian government at Simla to reconsider the limited involvement of troops and they decided to order further advances with a view to securing the Shatt-al-Hai, a canal connecting the Tigris and Euphrates river and potentially capturing Baghdad. The British government disagreed and wished to conserve forces for the Western front. The Viceroy was given permission to act as it wished, but told in no uncertain terms that no reinforcements should be expected.

The initial success experienced by the British and Indian forces quickly disintegrated in the face of Ottoman opposition. The Siege of Kut-Al-Amara began on 7th December with the besieging of an 8,000 strong British-Indian garrison in the town of Kut, 100 miles south of Baghdad, by the Ottoman Army. These campaigns produced few tactical benefits, indeed the catastrophic defeat at Kut in 1916 was a major setback. Badhdad was eventually taken in March 1917.

The conditions in Mesopotamia were dreadful. The climate, sickness and disease produced large losses in addition to battle casualties. About as many men died of disease as were killed in action. The Mesopotamia front was part of a strategy hoping for success at lower cost than the Western Front but no decisive victory was achieved.

He was commissioned into the Indian Army in 1904 and posted to Sussex Regiment before being gazetted to the 2nd Battalion King Edward's Own Gurkha Rifles (The Sirmoor Rifles).

Whilst with the Sussex he was well known for his boxing powers, and
won the Sirhind Cup at Umballa.

He was promoted Lieutenant in 1907 and served on the NW Frontier between 1907 and 1908. He was part of the Abor Expedition in 1911-12 under Lt Col J Fisher and was Mentioned in Dispatches.

He was made Adjutant of the Battalion.

The 1/2 Gurkha Regiment had landed in France in October 1914 and had been rushed to the front to help stem the German assaults near Neuve Chapelle, where they were to stay until the Battle of Neuve Chapelle in March 1915. They had a significant role in the battle and the Indian Corps was then vital in defending Ypres after the German Gas attacks in April and May 1915.

The Corps was then moved to the Mesopotamia front as British service battalions became available for the Western Front in late 1915. The Battalion went to Mesopotamia in 1916, assisting in the fall of Baghdad.

Detail :

In lamenting his death, the Colonel wrote as "However, there it was, and we had
lost one of the best fellows that ever stepped, when performing the most noble act that any man could do. . . ."

Citations & Commemorations :

  He took part in the attempted relief of Kut 1915/16 and was mentioned in despatches, and was awarded the Military Cross.

Marsh's Military Cross was announced in the London Gazette 31/5/1916;

"Capt. Henry Francis Freke Marsh, 1st Bn., 2nd Gurkha Regt., Ind. Army. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Although wounded, he continued to command his company throughout the afternoon and evening, refusing to be carried back to safety. His cheerfulness and bravery inspired great confidence in his men."

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : Siwalik No. 2939 E.C.Bengal

15th December 1910
17th August 1911
18th April 1912

Source :

The project globally acknowledges the following as sources of information for research across the whole database:

Additional Source:

Last Updated: 2020-04-07 13:17:51