History Unfolds

Read the story of how my father’s part in the Second World War unfolds. He was 23 years old in 1939.

Chapter 1: My Early Years

Excerpt-William Marsh’s own words from ‘The Lucky Shilling’ (e-book):

Working with the Territorial Royal Engineers Bridging Squadron at Chesil beach in Dorset in 1934

Working with the Territorial Royal Engineers Bridging Squadron, Chesil Beach, Dorset 1934

“The Great Depression of 1930 started to bite in the south of England and I found myself made redundant in January 1936 ….. This was also the time when the British Communist Party were holding meetings and rallies in major British cities to recruit new members for the party and volunteers for the International Brigade to go to Spain and fight in the Civil War against the fascist forces of General Franco. As a pretty disillusioned young man I attended these meetings – normally held in Reading town hall – and found myself drawn to the new ideas of Communism which all led me, in fact, to join the party and sign up to join The International Brigade in March 1937.

I had kept my feelings and my attendance at the communist meetings a secret from my family but I knew that before I went to Spain I would have to tell my parents and I was sure, with his fiercely-held Christian views, that my new communist principles would not sit well with my father….”

Read more about William Marsh’s early years in ‘The Lucky Shilling’
Buy now on AMAZON


The Royal British Legion DONATIONS

A minimum of 10% from the sale of this e-book will be donated to the Royal British Legion. For more about their charity, you can visit their website www.britishlegion.org.uk


GALLERY – the 3 portrait/group photographs were sent to Bill in Stalag VIIIB, by his family. He carried them in a small leather wallet. The back of all the photographs were stamped with the Stalag number (see below).

Photographs stamped with the Stalag VIIIB, sent by Bill's family

Bill's (William's) sister, Nora, old photo

Bill’s (William’s) sister, Nora

Bill's niece, Nora's daughter, Anne, old photo

Bill’s niece, Nora’s daughter, Anne

LuckyShilling_bigFamilyPhoto

Family group: Bill’s mum is bottom left, his dad bottom right, his brother Jack is on the top left and his sister, Nora, is standing next to Jack

Territorial Royal Engineer Bridging Squadron on Chesil beach, Dorset in 1934

Territorial Royal Engineer Bridging Squadron on Chesil beach, Dorset in 1934

Bill looking cool in 'Oxford bags' and blazer with TA Royal Engineer friend

Bill looking cool in ‘Oxford bags’ and blazer with TA Royal Engineer friend, at a beach somewhere on the South Coast

Luckyshilling_Group of WW2Soldiers

Territorial Royal Engineer Bridging Squadron on Chesil beach, Dorset in 1934


LuckyShilling_BeachWW2

Did your own family live nearby or have a similar experience to William’s?

If so, please tell us about it!

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