Marshall Howman (1887 – 1915) Redux

One of the most commented upon posts here is the one about my great uncle Marshall. The most recent comment was from Rosemary Braby on 11 May this year.

Such an interesting and moving story, Barbara.
I am assistant priest at Trowse Church, where Marshall’s memorial is in the churchyard.
We are planning a weekend at the end of June, commemorating the outbreak of World War One, and especially honouring those whose names appear on our war memorial and others with local connections. We would be very grateful if you would allow us to use your information about Marshall in the display that we’re putting together. We have been trying to trace living relatives of those named on our war memorial, unfortunately without much success. Marshall’s memorial is somewhat unusual, looking more like a normal gravestone. It’s good to know that his great-niece still cares about him.”

What a stroke of luck that I just happened to be in Norwich from Tuesday until Saturday (28 June) morning and was able to go with my mum, who lives very near the Trowse parish church, to visit the exhibition before leaving for Felixstowe.

Trowse Church

Trowse St Andrew’s Church, Norwich

I assembled the information from the blog and a few other bits and pieces and made it up into a booklet and sent Rosemary a copy for the display.

Display 2

On the Saturday we made our way down to Trowse and enjoyed lovely home made cake and cups of tea and chat with other visitors and met Rosemary, Janice (the priest) and Rosemary’s husband Jim who had put together a powerpoint presentation of pictures and statistics about the War.

Honours Board

The Honours Board

Trowse-by-Norwich was mostly a purpose-built village built to house the workers at Colman’s Mustard Factory nearby. Although now part of Unilever there is still a popular Mustard Shop in the lovely Royal Arcade in the city centre and the archivist was able to help Rosemary to track down details of many of the men named on the Honours Board in the church. There were photos of many of them too but sadly I haven’t yet found one of Marshall.

Mustard Shop

The Mustard Shop in Norwich

Altar display

The Altar Display

WW1 medals

Medals (the two boxed medals are those of Harry Lyon invalided out of the RFC in 1917 and who worked as chauffeur at Colmans for 40 years)

Communion set

Communion set used in the trenches

Field glasses

Field Glasses and Pocket Watch

display 1

Display Board with many photos

Marshall's Memorial

I was very touched to see that flowers had been placed by Marshall’s memorial

Memorial close up

The wording from ‘Abide with me’ has now been revealed

During the course of further correspondence Rosemary told me this :

We managed to decipher a little more of the inscription – a line from the hymn “Abide with me”: “Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies“.”

I have memories of Gran telling me about her beloved brother Marshall and her pride in the memorials to him in both Norfolk and Worcestershire. I also remember that she loved the hymn ‘Abide With Me’.

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;

The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;

When other helpers fail and comforts flee,

Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;

Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;

Change and decay in all around I see—

O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour;

What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?

Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?

Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;

Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;

Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?

I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;

Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;

Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;

In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Henry F. Lyte, 1847

 Earlier that week I had visited the Earlham cemetery where there are two War Cemeteries. The Old Cemetery which is mainly First World War burials and a further newer Commonwealth War Graves cemetery mainly Second World War. There are other CWGC graves scattered throughout the cemetery itself.

Old War Graves

The Old Cemetery

Earlham CWG

The Newer Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery

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2 comments on “Marshall Howman (1887 – 1915) Redux

  1. nilly says:

    My granny’s father, a Quaker, was the Ranger of Mousehold Heath near the Britannia Barracks and she grew up in Ranger’s Cottage (or Lodge). She and her sisters were in their teens during WW1 and she remembered her parents telling them to take the time to speak kindly to the young soldiers they encountered just before they set off for the hell of the trenches.

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