MARSH, Bertie and Sydney

Bertie and Sydney were the sons of Henry and Ellen Marsh and lived at Gilgai near Inverell. Their births were registered at Inverell; Bertie in 1895 and Sydney in 1897. They were educated at Gilgai Public School. 

When Bertie enlisted at Inverell in June 1916 he was a twenty year old Carrier. He joined the 34th Battalion, 4th Reinforcement and departed from Australia on HMAT A30 Border in October.  After arriving in England in January 1917 further training was conducted until he was sent to France in May. Two weeks later he joined the 13th Battalion. Bertie was Killed in Action on 8 August 1917 and buried at Messines Ridge British Cemetery, Belgium.

Sydney had tried to enlist in 1916 but was rejected at Armidale. When he enlisted again at Inverell in August 1917, Sydney stated he was twenty one and that he had spent 6 weeks with the 13th Infantry Battalion. His father gave permission for him to serve overseas. Sydney joined the 1st Pioneer Battalion, 13th Reinforcement. He left Australia in October 1917 on HMAT A14 Euripides, arriving in England at the end of December. He was sent to France in April 1918 and invalided back to England in June for admission to Northampton War Hospital. Sydney returned home in 1919 and was medically discharged. The Tingha Advocate newspaper, 9 May 1919, reported he was one of several men given a ‘Welcome Home’ at Gilgai and ‘presented with a set of military brushes’.

Bertie and Sydney have their names recorded on the Inverell and Gilgai Honor Rolls. Bertie’s name is inscribed on the Inverell and Gilgai Cenotaphs. In 1919 he was one of the men for whom a memorial tree was planted in Kurrajong Parade, Inverell.