Unit: 2nd Battalion
Service Number: 7881873
Date of Death: 24 November 1941 – Killed in Action
Age: 29 years
Grave / Panel Ref.: Panel 23.
Reuben Fallier Woods Marriott was born 23rd July 1912 at Knipton Houses, Lincolnshire, the home of his widowed grandmother, Martha (née Woods) Marriott.
He was the son of Jane Marriott (She never married and the name of Reuben’s father is unknown.). Jane’s older brother was Henry Marriott (Scaffolder) (see Footnote below). Reuben had two older brothers, George (born 31st October 1904) and Bertie, born on 13th July 1906, (see Footnote below), and a younger brother, Arthur, born on 4th January 1915.
In the March quarter 1938 Reuben married Rhoda Parker (pictured right in later life), probably in the Village, at All Saint’s Church.
They initially lived at the home of Rhoda’s parents at 60 Newfield Road, Ruskington. They had one son, Michael, born 26th January 1940.
When she died on 15th July 1991 at 8 Greenfield Road, Sleaford, Rhoda’s cremated remains were buried, on 19th August, with her father, George Berry Parker, in Sleaford Cemetery, Plot Number WBNP079.
Reuben was commemorated on their Grave, as is Illa, who died on 14th September 1976.
When the Second World War began on 3rd September 1939 the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, R.A.C. was stationed at Farnborough, Hampshire as part of 1st Heavy Armoured Brigade, 1st Armoured Division. It fought as part of the BEF during the Fall of France in May 1940 serving with 3rd and 5th Royal Tank Regiment, in the 1st Heavy Armoured Brigade.
After being evacuated at Dunkirk it was re-equipped and sailed to the Middle East and joined 4th Armoured Brigade in November 1940, taking part in the British offensive in late 1940 which re-captured Sidi Barrani from the Italians in late 1940.
Along with the rest of 7th Armoured Division, the famous “Desert Rats“, it was re-equipping in the Nile Delta when Rommel attacked in April 1941 and in November 1941 it was part of 7th Armoured Brigade ready for the ‘Operation Crusader’ battles.
On the day Reuben was killed, 24th November 1941, the History describes the action of that day:
” On 24 Nov, German and Italian tanks sped for Sidi Omar, splitting the British XXX Corps. Pressing on, Rommel ordered further advances on 25 Nov toward Sidi Azeiz, but the column was discovered and attacked by Allied aircraft. At Sidi Omar, the German 5th Panzer Regiment attacked positions manned by troops of the Indian 7th Brigade, which fought off the repeated assaults with the help of their 25-pounder artillery; at the end of the day, the German 5th Panzer Regiment found itself exhausted. ”
On the same day 64 other British soldiers were killed in action. 34, including Reuben, have no known grave and are Commemorated with him on the Alamein Memorial.
A Plaque on the Memorial is dedicated to the 8th Army (The Desert Rats)
Footnote: Reuben’s uncle, Private 27095 Henry MARRIOTT, enlisted in the 6th Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment, aged 39 years 210 days. He served in France with the BEF from 14th – 24th October 1916, when he was wounded.
Footnote: Reuben’s older brother, Private 4967751 Bertie MARRIOTT, served with the 1/5th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) in World War 2. He died as a Prisoner of War on 24th August 1945, aged 39.
- I am grateful to ‘The War Graves Photographic Project’ for the photos of Reuben’s name on the Alamein Memorial
- The National Archives; Kew, London, England; 1939 Register; Reference: RG 101/6383H