Norman Clarke MARRIOTT
Rank: Captain
Unit: B Company, 1/5th Battalion LEICESTERSHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 17 August 1917
Age: 26
Cemetery: Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France

Norman Marriott lived at The Grange, Wilmslow Road, Cheadle with his mother, Elizabeth and two younger brothers, Alan and Jasper. Alan also served with the forces and appears to have survived. His sister, Kathleen, was married to Captain Peter Garvie also remembered on the Cheadle Memorial.

Norman had been born in Gatley on 7 October 1890. He attended Uppingham School - a public school in Rutland, where he was a member of the Officer Training Corps. He joined up on 9 September 1914 as a private in the Royal Fusiliers (service number 639), leaving a job working as a clerk, possibly in the family firm of solicitors, Marriott & Co, 10 Norfolk Street, Manchester. He was later selected to become an officer, leaving the Fusiliers on 27 February 1915. His application for a commission described him as being 5 feet 11inches tall, with light hair, hazel eyes and a fair complexion.

13 October 1915 was the final day of the Battle of Loos. In the early afternoon, the Leicesters were ordered into an attack which was initially successful but which quickly stalled under heavy machine gun fire. Norman was shot in the arm and was out of action for several months. On 26 April 1916, he was examined at 2nd Western General Hospital, Whitworth Street, Manchester where the doctors noted "the movements of the arm and hand are almost completely recovered". He was declared fully fit a month later.

Official records show that he was promoted from 2nd Lieutenant to Lieutenant with effect from 1 June 1916, but this was not confirmed until over a year later. Within a week of the official confirmation, Norman Marriott received a temporary promotion to the rank of Captain, on 4 July 1917. He would remain in that temporary rank until he was killed in action.

On 30 July, the Battalion moved to Fouquieres to prepare for a large-scale trench raid, intending as a diversion from a Canadian attack nearby. The chosen area was west of Hulloc (north of the French city of Lens) on a frontage of 300 yards. The Germans had three lines of trenches and the plan was for two companies to take and hold the third line with one company mopping up behind them and another demolishing as much of the enemy defences as it could. "B" Company, led by Captain Marriott and 2nd Lieutenant C S Allen, were the "moppers-up".

The Battalion went over the top, with blackened faces, at 10.58pm with an artillery support. All went well and they reached the German third line with "B" Company dealing with enemy tunnels and dugouts by throwing grenades into them. Soon the Germans started a counter attack, but the flares that were supposed to signal a withdrawal failed to work and a number of soldiers were captured. Norman Marriott was last seen when he was in the German second line trench. His body was never recovered and identified.

Official records confirm that, with effect from 17 August, he could no longer hold the rank of Captain as he was "no longer commanding a company". Norman's estate left £408 12s 6d (worth just over £15K at 2005 prices)

(The information about the attack on 16 August has been supplied by Leicestershire historian Michael Kendrick. With thanks. John Hartley)

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