My family had associations with Devoran and more particularly the Carnon Mine area going back to before 1900. We were quite a big family. There was father, William Marshall, mother, Leah, and five children, Richard, William, Jonathan, Leah and me, the baby of the family. Father was born in Perranarworthal but the rest of us were all born in Kea Parish. Father was a Coal Porter. I believe his job was taking coal from the ships that docked at Point and Devoran around the area for domestic purposes rather than taking it to the mines.
Before I got married we all lived at Bleak House between Carnon Mine and Devoran but after I got married in 1902 to Eveline Louisa Pearce, we got our own cottage just down the road at Carnon Mine.
We had five children of our own within a few years, Florrie, who was actually born before we got married, William Edwin, 1904, Elsie Louisa, 1906, Bertram John, 1908 and Leah Vera born in 1909.
When the war came, I joined up like so many others and in 1915 I was in the Army Service Corps as Private SS/14236 of the 18th Labour Corps. We were not front line troops but did a lot of work behind the lines, making roads and railways, working with supplies and ammunition and a whole lot of other work to keep the front line troops supplied and ready for action.
On the morning of 28th July 1915 we left Avonmouth on the RMS Royal Edward, with a total of 1,367 officers and men aboard, bound for the Gallipoli Campaign. Our sister ship the RMS Royal George had left Devonport the day before. Our last sight of Cornwall was when we passed The Lizard on the evening of that same day.
There were a lot of Cornishmen on board, including at least thirty from Falmouth and Penryn and we all said they could have saved a lot of time if they had called in to Falmouth to pick us up instead of taking us all the way to Avonmouth!
Written by Bob Richards for the 1st July centenary 2016 in Devoran Village Hall.
Read more about Edwin Marshall and the other names on the Devoran War Memorial: