CFHS code : PL360
Parish : St Paul
Inscription : Sacred to the Memory of ADELAIDE the beloved wife of Captn DIGBY MARSH Royal Navy d Feb 14th 1861 aged 53 also To the Memory of their dear son HANS STEPHENSON ST VINCENT MARSH Lieunt ADJ 33rd Duke of Wellington Regt who after serving at Alma Inderman defence of the trenches on March 22nd and storming of the Redan and being posthumously recommended by Lord RAGLAN in his despatches fell in the trenches before Sebastopol June 24th 1855 aged 21 also To the Memory of Rear Admiral DIGBY MARSH d Janry 5th 1863 aged 68
Monument : Coped stone/Cruciform Coped stone
Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey
This monument is located to the west of the central path, in the parish area of St Paul. The inscription is very difficult to read.
Sacred to the Memory of ADELAIDE the beloved wife of Captn DIGBY MARSH Royal Navy died Feb 14th 1861 aged 53
Also To the Memory of their dear son HANS STEPHENSON ST VINCENT MARSH
Lieunt ADJ 33rd Duke of Wellington Regt who after serving at Alma Inderman defence of the trenches on March 22nd and storming of the Redan and being posthumously recommended by Lord Raglan in his despatches fell in the trenches before Sebastopol June 24th 1855 aged 21
Also To the Memory of Rear Admiral DIGBY MARSH
who died Janry 5th 1863 aged 68
“Thou art gone to the grave but we will not deplore thee,
Though sorrows and darkness encompass the tomb.
The Saviour has passed through its portal before thee,
And the lamp of His love is thy guide through the gloom.”
Reginald Heber (1783-1826). Heber wrote this hymn upon the death of his first child.
Adelaide Marsh (née Robley) (20 March 1807 – 14 February 1861)
Adelaide was born on at her parents’ home in Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London, she was the daughter of John Robley (1775-1821) and Caroline Blake (1777-1843), who had married in 1799 at St. Botolph’s without Aldergate. She had a few siblings: John Horatio, Fanny Anne, George and Henry, as well as illegitimate half-siblings, including Phillis Aida, Sybil and Frederick.
She married Digby Marsh and they had five children: Maria Adelaide (1830-1929), Lt Col. Willoughby Digby (1831-1924), Hans Stephenson St. Vincent (1833-1855), Rev. Horatio (1837-1868) and Rosamond (1838-1923). Digby Marsh served with the Navy and the children were born in Dublin (1830), Gloucester (1831), Penzance (1833-1837) and Rottingdean (1838). In 1851 the family were living at 21 Clifton Terrace, Brighton. Their youngest son Horatio came to study at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1859, and the whole family then moved to live at 7 Cintra Terrace, Hills Road. Adelaide died at home aged 53 years old.
Lieutenant Hans Stephenson St Vincent Marsh (November 1833 – 24 June 1855)
Hans was the second son of Digby and Adelaide and was born in Penzance. He was baptised at St. Mary’s Church, Penzance on 18 November 1833 and aged 7, was living in Rottingdean, Sussex. He was educated at Sandhurst and served as a Lieutenant and Adjutant with the 33rd Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. He fought in the Siege of Sebastopol (1854-1855) and died at the front. He was buried in Crimea, and the memorial there reads ‘Sacred to the Memory of Hans Stephenson St Vincent Marsh, Lieut and Adjutant of the 33rd Duke of Wellington’s Regiment who was killed int eh tranches on the 24th June 1855 aged 21 years’. The Gentleman’s Magazine reported ‘in the very last dispatch written by Lord Raglan his loss is lamented as that of a ‘young officer who had served throughout the campaign and was distinguished for his gallantry and devotion to the service; and his conduct on a former occasion I had the honour to bring under your Lordship’s notice”.
Rear Admiral Digby Marsh (c. 1794 – 5 January 1863)
Digby was born in Ireland and was the third son of the Rev. Jeremy Marsh, Rector of Rosenallis, Queen’s County, and his wife, Rachel, daughter of Colonel Montgomery. He joined the Navy on 10 January 1806, as an 11-year-old and by 1813 was acting Lieutenant aboard the Surveillante 29. He was wounded in the siege of St. Sebastian in August/September 1813, but his heroic service was noted by the commander of the artillery Sir Alexander Dixon. He served on the Tartar 42, off the coast of Africa from 1818-1821 and once again was noted for his leadership and bravery ‘twice preserving life under circumstances of a very trying an hazardous nature, procured him a strong recommendation to the Admiralty’. He was made Commander in January 1822 but was then not employed by the Navy until June 1833 ‘when he received a three years’ appointment in the Coast Guard’ based in Penzance. He again was posted to the Coast Guard from July 1837 to 1 January 1842 and received a gold medal from the Royal Humane Society for ‘putting off in a boat during a dark and stormy night in November 1840 and rescuing the crew of the brig Otterton of Sunderland’.
Digby was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral in April 1862 and died at home the following January. He was buried at Mill Road Cemetery on 9 January and newspapers reported his coffin was ‘borne to the grave by six sailors from Woolwich’.
The last of the Brave or Resting places of our fallen heroes in the Crimea and at Scutari by the Hon. John Colborne and Frederic Brine (published 1857)
The Gentleman’s Magazine Volume XLIV July to December 1855
A Naval Biographical Dictionary by William R. O’Byrne
By A member of the Friends of Mill Road History group, with additional information by Claire Martinsen
[If you have any information about this family, please contact us at Friendsofmillroadcemetery@gmail.com]