1ST MARCH 1945
Additonal information provided by the Commonwealth War Grave Commission:
580 Army Troops Coy.
Son of Joseph and Jane Marsh; husband of Matilda Marsh, of Liverpool.
John Marsh was shot and killed while attempting to escape from Work Camp 10.029/GW in Klagenfurt-Waidmannsdorf. You can read the full story here. As author Paul Angerer notes, the date of his death as recorded on the headstone above is incorrect; he actually died on 28 February 1945. He was a little over 26 years and six months.
Members of the Austro-British Society Carinthia are attempting to find living relatives of John Marsh. We have established that John was born on 31 July 1918 in Toxteth Park, Liverpool. According to GRO records and the 1921 UK Census, John had four siblings: Irene (1914), Edna M. (1916), Constance Ida (1917), and Olive (1923).
While we haven’t been able to determine all the details, it is fairly certain that John’s mother was Margaret (née Templeton), not Jane, as stated in the CWGC records. We suspect that Joseph and Margaret were not married, since the births of their children were registered under both surnames, Marsh and Templeton. We have no idea what became of Margaret, only that Jane seems to have taken her place by the time John enlisted in 1936.
John married Matilda Ward on 16 September 1939 at the Holy Trinity Parish Church of Walton Breck, Liverpool. He was captured in April 1941 by the Germans in Crete and brought to Stalag XVIII A.
It’s sad to say, but if he had waited a couple of months instead of trying to escape, he would probably have survived the war.
(Last updated 10 May 2023)