5th Royal Scots Fusiliers, 3rd May 1917
Aberdeen University Roll of Service
An extract from Aberdeen University Roll of Service states:- MERSON, REV. MARSHALL: Lieutenant, 5th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers; son of George Merson, fishcurer; born Buckie, 3 August 1889; educated there and at Abedeen University, where he graduated M.A. in 1912. Thereafter he took a highly creditable place in the classes of the Divinity Hall of the University. During his Divinity course he gave much valued assistance to the ministers of Buckie and of Holburn Church, Aberdeen; and his summer vacations were occupied with work as student missionary in the island of Swona.
At the close of his last session of Divinity in the spring of 1915, he enlisted promptly as a Private in the 4th Battalion Gordon Highlanders, and in the following August received a commission as Lieutenant in the Royal Scots. Alike on garrison duty at home and on active service in France, Merson showed much ability and devotion and received from his C.O. the testimony that he had “proved himself to be an extraordinarily good officer”. He was killed in action in France, 3 May 1917.
Further Military Research
It has further been established that Marshall Merson was promoted from being a Private, number – 3705 in the 2nd/4th Gordon Highlanders to a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Scots Fusiliers, effective from 18 August 1915. He was at a later date promoted to Lieutenant before being killed in action. He is remembered at Jerusalem Memorial, Palestine as either his body was not identified or he was never found.
In the Register of Soldiers Effects, dated 19 October 1917, his earnings were given to his father, his brother William James who was shown as a Captain, brother Captain A.J. Merson 4th Royal Scots Fusiliers and Captain R.J. Merson R.A.M.C., 26 Heavy Artillery Group.
Marshall Merson was born on the 3 August 1889 at Buckie, Banffshire.
In the 1891 and 1901 Census’s his family is shown as living in the town of Buckie, Banffshire and his family consisted of the following:-
- Father – George born c.1856 at Grange – Occupation – Fish Salesman
- Mother – Betsy born c.1862 at Buckie, Banffshire
- Brother – William James. born c.1879 at Buckie – Occupation – Fish Salesman’s Clerk
- Brother – James born c.1879 at Buckie
- Brother – Douglas Marshall born c.1884 at Buckie
- Brother – Alick (Alexander?) James born c.1885 at Buckie
- Brother – Robert John born c.1888 at Buckie
- Brother – James G. born c.1898 at Buckie
- Brother – Stephen born c.1900 at Buckie
In the 1891 Census, Marshall is shown as being at 9 Marine Place, Buckie and in the 1901 Census, he as shown as being at 16 Marine Place, Buckie. On the 1891 Census the wife of his father is shown as Betsy as above, however, in the 1901 Census, the wife of his father is shown as Jane born c.1860 at Lumsden, Aberdeenshire, it is assumed that his first wife may have died or they divorced.
There is currently no record of him being remembered on any particular memorial.
Links to Additional Information
Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Marshall Merson
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- Medal Index Card
- 1891 Census
- 1901 Census
- Register of Soldiers Effects
- U.K. Soldiers Died in the Great War
- Aberdeen University Roll of Service
- Medal Roll Royal Scots Fusiliers – Victory and British War Medals
- Moray, Scotland, Local Heritage Index 1632-2014
- London Gazette dated 17 August 1915