Information about birth

Year of birth:
1897
Place of birth:
Belfast, Antrim, Ireland, United Kingdom

General information

Profession:
Flax-dresser

Army information

Country:
Scotland, United Kingdom
Force:
British Expeditionary Force
Rank:
Private
Service number:
376427
Enlistment place:
Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Units:
 —  Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment), 13th Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
22/08/1917
Place of death:
Vampir, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)
Age:
20

Memorial

Tyne Cot Memorial
Panel: 13

Distinctions and medals 2

British War Medal
Medal — 03/11/1920
Victory Medal
Medal — 03/11/1920

Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 ‘Place of death’

My story

Robert Marks was born in 1897 and was the eldest son of Thomas and Eliza Marks, of Belfast, County Antrim, Ireland. According to the 1911 Ireland Census, Robert worked as a flax-dresser in Belfast. He later emigrated to Glasgow, where he eventually enlisted.

Robert served in the Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment), 13th Battalion, part of the 45th Brigade, of the 15th (Scottish) Division. The Division participated in the Battle of Passchendaele and on 22 August 1917 it attacked to the West of Zonnebeke with two Brigades, the 44th Brigade on the left and the 45th Brigade on the right. The attack of the 45th Brigade was carried by the 13th Royal Scots and the 11th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. They had to capture and consolidate three German strongpoints dubbed, Potsdam, Vampir and Borry Farm.

At 4.45 a.m., zero hour, the British barrage and the attack commenced. By 5.30 a.m. the men had reached Potsdam and Vampir, but they were held up by machine-gun- and sniper fire, coming from these strongpoints. The Battalion suffered heavy casualties, due to the relentless machine-gun fire. In the meanwhile the advance of the 11th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders had been checked in front of Beck House and Borry Farm. The Royal Scots were still able to capture some buildings along the Ypres-Roulers railroad, but any further advance proved neigh to impossible. At 1 p.m. it was decided to fall back to consolidate a line. By 2 p.m. the Battalion was forced to retreat a bit further, as allied shells were falling short on their positions. From 2 p.m. on the situation remained unchanged.

Robert Marks was killed in action on 22 August 1917, during the attack on Vampir and Potsdam Farm. The 20-year old has no known grave, possibly because his Battalion was forced to retreat, leaving many of the fallen behind. Private Robert Marks is remembered on panel 13 of the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Files 1

Sources 6

"Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Uniform, 2018, pg. 62-63.
Sources used
"The Royal Scots : 1914-1919", Ewing J., Edinburgh, Oliver and Boyd, 1925, pg. 447-459.
Sources used
Ancestry
https://www.ancestry.com/
Further reference
CWGC
https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1634455/marks,-robert/
Sources used
The Long, Long Trail
http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/
Sources used
War Diary Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment), 13th Bn.
http://www.nmarchive.com/
Further reference