Sergeant Joseph Marshall


Joseph Marshall was born about 1883 in Hampshire, England (possibly the Joseph Marshall born in Southampton on 5 October 1883, the third of fourteen children of domestic servant Thomas Marshall and his wife Maria (nee Jowles).

Marshall served in the army before the war, though in which regiment and when are not known at present. He was still serving on 26 January 1910 when he married Annie Ledgerwood Lockhart at Sinclair Seamen's Presbyterian Church, Shankill, Belfast. The couple had four children before Annie's death from influenza on 28 November 1918.

By the time of the 1911 Census he had left the army and was living at 5 Richmond Square, Belfast, with his wife and first child, her parents and two of her sisters, and was working as a hydraulic pressman for a linen firm.

Marshall enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 14 and 29 May 1914 (No.947 – later Corps of Hussars No.71175). He embarked for France with A Squadron on 17 August 1914, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne. The squadron then served as escort and bodyguard to the BEF's commander-in-chief at St Omer from October 1914 until January 1916, when it was posted as divisional cavalry to the 55th Division.

On 2 July 1915 the Ballymena Observer published a number of letters of thank from North Irish Horsemen to people who had sent gifts of cigarettes to the troops at the front, including the following:

Miss M. Ballentine, Galgorm Road. – Dear Miss, – Just a line to thank you personally for cigarettes. Hoping Ballymena population and yourself are doing well. Yours truly, with thanks, J. Marshill [sic], N.I.H., France.

In May 1916 A Squadron came together with E and D Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps until February-March 1918, when the regiment was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit. It then served as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Marshall remained with the North Irish Horse throughout the war, though whether he spent the entire period in France and Belgium, or returned at some point to the regimental reserve depot at Antrim, is not known at present.

On 1 December 1918 Marshall was admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley, suffering from influenza. Following his recovery he returned to his regiment, but in May 1919 he transferred to the Royal Irish Rifles (No.24950) and was posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion at Belfast. He remained in that role until discharged on 21 January 1922.

Marshall was granted a pension due to 'neurasthenia following influenza'. It appears that he later moved to England, where he lived at Leightley, near Gunnislake, Cornwall.


This page last updated 22 April 2023.