About Nigel Marshall

My name is Nigel Marshall. I am originally from Scholes but I now live in a rural village on the egde of the Somme Battlefields, in Northern France where I work as a military historian and battlefield guide.

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, 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.

My 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 in the Royal Engineers Signal Service, and served with the Northern Cable Company, a Leeds based Territorial Force unit, during the Great War and he served in Egypt and Palestine. Andrew died at Alexandria in Egypt on 22 November 1918. He 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.

My interest in the Great War led to me visiting the Western Front many times since the age of 19, and I have been pleased 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 also 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, having reported sick while the battalion was in bivouac in the grounds of Elverdinge Chateau.

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 attachments to the Life Guards of the Household Cavalry Regiment for their annual firing camps. I served at various locations in the UK and Germany with an operational tour of the Gulf in 1991 thrown in for good measure.

I am a self-employed Battlefield Guide and Military Researcher living on the Somme Battlefields in France. I am a member of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides, the European Tour Operators Association, The Western Front Association, and I am a founder member of the recently launched Great War Group.

The work I have done for people has attracted credited acknowledgement in various books and journals. If you have a soldier that you'd like me to research for you, or you'd like to visit the former battlefields of the Western Front, please feel free to make contact to discuss your requirements.

Details of my battlefield guiding and research services may be found at www.marshallsbattlefields.com