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australian rowers profiles and history

A Treve Marsh

Ballarat City Rowing Club (VIC)

Arthur Treve Marsh was born in 1892 the son of John and Sarah Marsh of Armstrong Street, Ballarat. His father John was the Captain of the Ballarat Fire Brigade for many years and would have worked alongside Harry Bunce who was also a stalwart member of Ballarat City Rowing Club and later the President. His father would have had links with the club and so Treve joined the Ballarat City Rowing Club in about 1912. He was elected to the committee in 1913 and served for a year before enlisting for service in the Army. He competed in a number of club events and was actively involved in social activities.

He was a clerk and 21 years and 11 months old when he enlisted on the 17th of September 1914 at Ballarat. He probably enlisted with some of his mates from Ballarat including Private Henry Foster who later wrote to Arthur’s parents after his death. He embarked on the HMAS Ulysses on the 22/12/1914. He was a private in the 14th Battalion Company and embarked for Cape Helles, Gallipoli on or about the 12/4/1915. He would have been one of the first arrival at Gallipoli.

He was killed in the charge on Hill 60 at Gallipoli. He was initially posted as wounded and missing on the 21st of August and it was later confirmed he was killed in action. Henry Foster said he was beside Treve or “Lizzie”, as his mates called him, when it was their turn to go forward over the hill. Treve was shot through the head before they had gone five yards and Henry had to go on knowing that his friend was probably dead. He made enquiries among the stretcher bearers that night but couldn’t confirm his death as all the battalions were mixed up. 

He said in his letter “Treve was a great favourite and liked by all who knew him. He was as good a comrade as one could wish for, and I can honestly say that I miss him as much as if he were my own brother”.

Another comrade sent a letter to Treve’s father from QMS Laver was as follows:

Gallipoli, 24th August 1915

Dear Mr.Marsh, It is with great regret that I write to acquaint you with the death of your son Treve which occurred last Saturday, the 21st inst., in a charge. Your son was very well liked by all who knew him, and as well one of his comrades told me when telling me of his death, “He had a heart of gold.” Previous to this last engagement Treve had come successfully through a very hot encounter, and when I saw him he had just helped carry a wounded man back on a stretcher through heavy fire, which was just like what he would do. I don’t know whether you will remember me by my name, but you will remember me as the corporal in the QMS store at Broadmeadows…….”

His family were not officially told of his fate until 6/4/1916 after an official enquiry. His body was never found. He is commemorated at the Lone Pine Memorial to the Missing and has no known grave.

NOTE About attack on Hill 60.Two major attacks were made by Allied forces, the first on 21 August and the second on 27 August. The first assault resulted in limited gains around the lower parts of the hill, but the Ottoman defenders managed to hold the heights even after the attack was continued by a fresh Australian battalion on 22 August. Reinforcements were committed, but nevertheless the second major assault on 27 August faired similarly, and although fighting around the summit continued over the course of three days, at the end of the battle the Ottoman forces remained in possession of the summit.(Wikipedia)

Lest we forget.

Kate Elliott
October 2021

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