52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

52 Ancestors #15 Wilfred Palmer Marr

Last week, my ancestor of the week was my mum, Edith Jean Marr. This week my ancestor of the week is her father, Wilfred Palmer Marr.

On my mum’s birth certificate, it shows that her father Wilfred was 29 years old, and had been born in Myrtleford (Victoria, Australia). As mum was born in 1922, this indicated a birth year of 1893. I had earlier spoken to a distant cousin, who had told me Wilfred had been born 19 December 1962. I then did a search of the Birth Indexes for Victoria (which were available on microfiche at my local library), and found an entry for Wilfred Palmer Marr, born in Myrtleford, registration number 06168 of 1893. I later applied for his birth certificate which confirmed he had been born 19 December 1892 at Myrtleford, and he was the son of Henry Palmer Marr, a railway employee, and Mary Marr, formerly Reeves.

From family stories, I had heard that Wilfred had served in the War, and later suffered illnesses brought on by this service. At that time, I wasn’t sure if he served in the First World War or Second. The service records for the First World War are available at the National Archives of Australia website, and I found that he had served in the First World War.

Wilfred had enlisted on 11 January 1916. His service record showed his occupation at the time was fitter, and his next of kin was his father Henry Palmer Marr, of 58 Lothian Street North Melbourne.

Wilfred Palmer Marr
My grandfather, Wilfred Palmer Marr

His service record shows that he was wounded in action in France on 3 September 1916. He had suffered a gunshot wound to the right forearm, which had fractured the radius. On the 5 September 1916 he embarked on the HS “St David” at Boulogne for England and he was admitted to the Eastern General Cemetery Cambridge on 5 September 1916. The service record shows that he wound was still discharging on 5 December 1916, nearly dry on 7 March 1917 and nearly healed 7 April 1917. He returned to France on 17 November 1917.

His service record also showed that on 2 February 917 he had been absent from tattoo until 7.30 am on 3 February 1917. For this, he forfeited 1 day’s pay. While on leave in 1918 he went on trial in a civil court in North London for being drunk and incapable. He was given a fine of 5/2, which he paid. On 4 December 1918 he was charged with the offence of neglecting to obey a lawful command given by his senior officer in the execution of his duty. The penalty for this was that he forfeited 7 days’ pay. He returned to Australia on the “Durham”, departing Liverpool, England on 22 May 1919.

Mum’s birth certificate had shown that Wilfred married Edith Meriden Docwra on 8 May 1922 at Baxter. I was given mum’s birth certificate by my Aunty Margaret (mum’s sister). At the same time, Aunty Margaret also gave me other certificates for the Marr family, which included Wilfred and Edith’s marriage certificate. This certificate confirmed the date and place of marriage from mum’s birth certificate. It also showed that at the time of his marriage, Wilfred was living at Baxter, and was a farmer. His occupation on mum’s birth certificate was greengrocer.

Also included in the group of certificates from Aunty Margaret was Wilfred’s death certificate. This certificate showed Wilfred died 22nd January 1955 at Mount Royal in Parkville, Victoria, Australia. His death certificate lists his occupation as fitter, and shows his residence at the time of his death was Mount Royal. The cause of death was heart failure, and he had suffered from myocarditis for some months. The other illnesses on the death certificate were arteriosclerosis some years, paraplegia some years, peri-urethral abscess, and urinary fistula 2 years.