Regiment: 4th Provisional Company of the Royal Engineers
Died: 7 April 1916
East Budleigh Memorial Cross, East Budleigh Memorial Tablet
Other Memorial: Ford Pitt Military Cemetery [Google]
PDF Download: MORRISH Bernard
Bernard was the son of WR (Robert) and Sarah Ann Morrish of Church House, East Budleigh.
The 1911 census records show him as a bricklayer, and his father as a sexton, or caretaker, at the village’s All Saints Church.
Sapper 153742 Morrish served with the 4th Provisional Company of the Royal Engineers, and died on 7 April 1916 at Chatham. The Royal School of Military Engineering is still today based in Chatham.
The website SussexHistoryForum notes a report in the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette of April 14, 1916, as saying: “News has been received of the death, at Chatham, from spotted fever, of Bernard Morrish of the Royal Engineers. It is less than a month ago that he joined the Army. He was esteemed by all who knew him, as he was a singularly quiet, well-behaved young man, and of an obliging disposition. His parents have the sympathy of all their friends in their bereavement. Deceased was interred at Chatham. His father, who has been in bad health for some time, was unable to attend the funeral. Steps are being taken by the parishioners to erect a tombstone to deceased’s memory.”
“Spotted fever” could perhaps be either meningitis or a typhoid illness, probably the former. Records indicate a small number of men also died of the illness in Chatham at about the same time, so perhaps there was a small outbreak of the disease.
Sapper Morrish is buried in the Ford Pitt Military Cemetery in Kent, and is also remembered with honour on East Budleigh’s memorials.
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