News from 1930: Death of Commodore Marshall


Mark Baber

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The New York Times, 29 May 1930

CAPTAIN MARSHALL OF MAJESTIC DIES
---
Commodore of White Star Fleet Succumbs In Southampton as His Ship Leaves
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BEGAN ON SAILING VESSEL
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Had Commanded All of Important Liners of His Company---Aide-de-Camp to
King

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Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES
---
LONDON, May 28---Almost simultaneously with the sailing of the Majestic
from Southampton for New York today, Captain William Marshall, commodore
of the White Star fleet, who had been the Majestic's commander since
1928, died at his home in the Channel port at the age of 57 years.

Since he had been appointed commodore in January, Captain Marshall had
made only two trips across the Atlantic, owing to illness.

Widely known to transatlantic travelers, he had commanded all of the
important White Star liners, including the Teutonic, Megantic, Cedric
and Olympic. He held the unique distinction of having served in White
Star sailing ships as an apprentice. Four years ago he was made aide de
camp to the King.
**********
Seemed Well a Week Ago

The news of Commodore Marshall's death came as a shock to Captain E. R.
White, master of the Olympic, and his officers, as they had seen him
driving his car in Southampton just before sailing a week ago.

"I talked with the commodore," said Captain White, "and had never seen
him look better. He told me he expected to go back to the Majestic on
June 18."

In answer to a cable from a friend in New York inquiring about his
health, Commodore Marshall recently wired: "Much appreciate your cable.
All going well." He was feeling poorly on his last homeward trip, two
months ago.

The flags on the Olympic and the Baltic were lowered to half-mast, and
also on the Panama-Pacific liner California, the Atlantic Transport
liner Minnekahda and the White Star piers.

An Excellent War Record

The commodore had an excellent war record. The Distinguished Service
Order was conferred on him in July, 1916, for his services in the
Auxiliary Patrol, which were of a dangerous nature.

In June, 1917, he was promoted to acting captain in the Royal Naval
Reserve, and three years later a bar was added to his D. S. O.

After hostilities ceased, he had command of the Teutonic and later the
Megantic, Cedric, Vedic, Arabic, Cretic and Celtic. He was master of the
Olympic from 1925 until October, 1928, when he was appointed to the
Majestic.

Commodore in Naval Reserve

When in 1926 he became aide de camp to King George, he was also promoted
to the rank of commodore in the Royal Naval Reserve on the active list,
being the first to receive that appointment. On April 10, 1928, he went
on the retired list after reaching 55.

Commodore Marshall was born on April 10, 1873, at Bolton, England. He
served his apprenticeship in the White Star sailing vessels after being
in the cadet ship Conway for two years. After being third and second
mates of the clipper Copley, be obtained his extra certificate as a
master and entered the company's steamship service as fourth officer of
the Cevic, which finally became his first command.

He would have received knighthood from the King in the next naval list
of honors.

Commodore Marshall is survived by a widow and three sons, one of whom is
in the merchant marine service.

-30-
 

Mark Baber

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The New York Times, 30 May 1930

SEA BURIAL FOR MARSHALL
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Services for White Star Commodore Off Southampton Today

---
Commodore William Marshall of the White Star fleet, commander of the
Majestic and aide de camp to King George of England, will be buried at
sea today at noon, in accordance with his wish, a cablegram received
yesterday by the International Mercantile Marine said. He died Wednesday
at Southampton after spending forty years at sea. The commodore will be
buried from the deck of a destroyer of the British Navy, near
Southampton, off the Nab, at the edge of the Channel through which he
had taken White Star ships for many years. A destroyer is been ordered
to Southampton by Admiral of the Fleet Sir Rogers Keyes, commander of
the naval base at Portsmouth.

-30-
 

Mark Baber

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The New York Times, 31 May 1930

MARSHALL HAS SEA BURIAL
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White Star Commodore's Body Committed to Sailor's Grave

---
Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES
---
SOUTHAMPTON, England, May 30---The body of Commodore William Marshall of
the White Star fleet, commander of the Majestic, was committed to a
sailor's grave today. The mercantile marine, which he had served so
well, provided a guard of honor, and the Royal Navy a destroyer, on
which the coffin was conveyed a few miles off the Isle of Wight, where
it slipped overboard.

The King and Queen sent to Mrs. Marshall a telegram of sympathy, saying
they well remembered Captain Marshall, who was appointed Aide-de-Camp to
the King four years ago.

-30-
 

Mark Baber

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The Times, 29 May 1930

COMMODORE MARSHALL
---
Commodore William Marshal, D.S.O., C.B., Captain of the Majestic and
Commodore of the Fleet of the White Star Line, died at Southampton
yesterday after several weeks' illness at the age of 55.

From the Conway he joined the White Star sailing ship Copley, and after
his promotion to first mate was appointed to the Cevic in 1899 as fourth
officer. In the South African War he served in the Britannic (Transport
62) as third officer, and became sub-lieutenant, R.N.R., in 1900. He
took gunnery and torpedo courses in the Excellent and the Vernon, and
served for a year as lieutenant in H.M.S. Collingwood. In 1908 he was
made chief officer, and in 1911 was promoted to the rank of commander in
the White Star Line. Since then he had commanded all the more important
ships in the company's service, including the Teutonic, Megantic,
Cedric, and Olympic. He was appointed Commodore of the Fleet last
January, a rank which had lapsed since the retirement of Sir Bertram
Hayes in 1924.

On the outbreak of the Great War Marshall was in command of the Afric,
outward bound to Australia; on arrival she was taken over as a transport
and returned under convoy with the first contingent of the Australian
Expeditionary Force. On the voyage home the German raider Emden was
defeated by H.M.S. Sydney, one of the escort. In October, 1914, Marshall
was appointed commander, R.N.R., and in the following January was placed
in command of an armed patrol vessel. In July, 1916, he was one of seven
officers of the Auxiliary Patrol who were awarded the D.S.O. for having
"carried out their duties under extremely arduous and hazardous
conditions of weather and exposure to enemy attack and mines with marked
zeal, gallantry, and success." A bar to his D.S.O. was added in January,
1918. He also held the Royal Naval Reserve Decoration. He was promoted
to captain, R.N.R., in 1917, and to commodore, R.N.R., in 1927. He was
created C.B. in 1925 and R.N.R. Aide-de-Camp to the King in 1926. He
married a daughter of Mr. W. B. M'Grath, of Putney, and had three sons.

The funeral service will be at Highfield Church, Southampton, to-morrow,
and a destroyer will be placed at the disposal of the family for his
burial at sea with naval honours.

-30-
 
Jun 18, 2016
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THIS FRAMED PICTURE WAS GIVEN TO MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER AFTER COMMODORE WILLIAM MARSHALL WAS BURIED AT SEA FROM HMS TRUANT ITS BEEN SIGNED BY VARIOUS PEOPLE COULD ANYONE IDENTIFY THE SIGNATURES.
Thanks!

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Pham

Member
Nov 14, 2020
4
0
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THIS FRAMED PICTURE WAS GIVEN TO MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER AFTER COMMODORE WILLIAM MARSHALL WAS BURIED AT SEA FROM HMS TRUANT ITS BEEN SIGNED BY VARIOUS PEOPLE COULD ANYONE IDENTIFY THE SIGNATURES.
Thanks!

View attachment 1809

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Joshep
I would be very interest to connect
William Marshall is connected to my family from Bolton and is of particular interest as I was one of the last cadets at HMS conway
I would love to find out more about the man
Best regards
Peter Hamer
[email protected]
 

Pham

Member
Nov 14, 2020
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1
Thanks Mark
I have that one plus a copy of New York Times front page of the death
I’m very interested if the family have any history of his time at HMS Conway
 

Pham

Member
Nov 14, 2020
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Hi Joseph
this is a picture we have of William as a cadet at HMS Conway. I ve just had a copy sent to me of his final report off the Conway in 1891 which includes later additions of his his ships and commands
 

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