Marriott OLDHAM
Rank: Private
Number: 50476
Unit: 9th Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 14 April 1918
Age: 29
Cemetery: Tyne Cot Memorial

Marriott was born in Hazel Grove during 1888. He was probably related to the two men called Oldham who are commemorated on the Memorial in the village. Nothing else is known about his life other than he enlisted into the army at Stockport. His service number suggests this was in late-1916 which would mean he was a conscript rather than a volunteer. Family history websites have no record that he married.

The 9th of April had seen the opening attack by the German Army in what would become known as the Battle of the Lys. The 9th Cheshires had gone into action on the 10th, near the village of Nieppe in northern France. Over the next three days, the British Army fought a fighting retreat and Marriott and his comrades were in the thick of it. By 4pm, on the 12th, there had been many casualties and the 9th Battalion was formally withdrawn from the Battle to rest and reorganise.

Unsurprisingly, it was impossible to maintain proper battalion records during this chaos and it not possible to be certain what happened to Marriott on the 14th. The Battalion's War Diary only mentions that the men provided working parties - presumably carrying stores to the front line. He may have been part of one of these parties and been killed by artillery fire.

However, the Regimental History records the 9th Battalion as still being involved in the fighting throughout the 13th and 14th. They were around a position known as Crucifix Corner (about 6 kilometres south west of the Belgian village of Wulvergem). It is possible that, whilst the Battalion had been formally withdrawn, the troops had become mixed up with other units and stayed with them through the fighting.

It is most unlikely that it was possible to bury Marriott at the time and this accounts for why he has no known grave.

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