My name is Nigel Marshall, and I am from Scholes.
I have had a lifelong interest in the Great War, and the people who served in it. My main area of interest centres
around the Territorial Force Battalions of the West Yorkshire Regiment, and the formations they fought with, and that interest
has, for the last thirty years, led to me returning time and time again to the battlefields and back areas of France
and Belgium with which those men would have been so familiar.
|At The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, March 2011
Grandfather, Frederick Louis Kilkenny served with the Leeds Rifles throughout the war, on the Western Front in France and
Belgium and at home stations in Staffordshire and Ireland. I too wore the cap badge of the Leeds Rifles during my time as
an Army Cadet. Lou Kilkenny’s brother, Andrew Kilkenny, or Syd as he was known to the family, was a Royal Engineers
signaller and despatch rider during the Great War and he served in Egypt and Palestine. Andrew died at Alexandria in Egypt
on 22 November 1918 and is buried in Cairo War Memorial Cemetery. These men, with others, have been a constant source of inspiration
to find out more about what that war was like, for them, and for others.
in the Great War has led to me visiting the Western Front many times since the age of 19, and I have been proud to lay wreaths
in memory of fallen Leeds Riflemen of the 49th (West Riding) Division at their memorial above Essex Farm Cemetery
on the road out of Ieper to Boezinge in Belgian Flanders on numerous occasions. Although the division served elsewhere on
the Western Front during the war, this area of Flanders has a special draw for me as it was here that my grandfather served
until his health deteriorated to the point where he was sent back to England in the summer of 1915.
I was a Gunfitter
with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. I spent most of my time in the Army with Armoured and Field Workshops,
although I had a lengthy attachment to the Life Guards of the Household Cavalry Regiment. I served at various locations in
the UK and Germany with an operational tour of the Gulf in 1991 thrown in for good measure.
As well as visiting
the battlefields as a private individual for my own enjoyment and personal study, I am available as a battlefield
guide which I find equally rewarding.
|The 49th (West Riding) Division Memorial