1918-2008: Ninety Years of Remembrance

Soldier Record

Harold Marsland

Contributed by: Tim Colman (Great Nephew), on 2008-11-01

Harold Marsland
Rank
First Name Harold
Surname Marsland
Year of Birth 1896
Year of Death 1916
Regiment West Yorkshire Regiment
Place of Wartime Residence Leeds, West Yorkshire

Harold's Story

The day Harold died the battalion history records that the 1/8th West Yorks was to take part in an attack on Thiepval. The battalion moved into Aveluy Wood on 2nd. September and into the frontline trenches near Thiepval on 3rd September. By 05.00am on that day the battalion was ready. At that hour the artillery barrage began and fell accurately on the German line. As the barrage lifted the men went steadily forward attacking from a line roughly following the present Mill Road with the 1/8th West Yorks on the left flank, alongside the River Ancre. But by 05.03am the enemy opened up from a position roughly on the site of the present day Ulster Tower commemorating the ill fated attack made by the 36th (Ulster) Division on 1st July 1916. Although the first wave of Yorkshire men suffered little from it, the second wave, on leaving their start point, were badly caught in the zone of fire. The first wave managed to reach the enemy's front line and for a little while it seemed the attack would succeed. However, at 07.04am the 1/8th West Yorks reported that they were being counter-attacked and they were driven out of the German line. By 07.40am the division was being relieved and the attack had faltered. By 10:11am the remains of the Division were back at its starting point. The casualties for the day were heavy, the 1/8th loosing 9 Officers and 294 other ranks, one of whom was Harold.

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