Frederick W. Marshall

No. 13031 Frederick William Marshall.

Photograph in a collection of photographs and service records maintained by Dr. Nathaniel Royal Perkins.  During World I, Dr. Perkins was employed by the draft registration board to examine young men for the draft.  During this job, he befriended many servicemen and kept track of their military service during the war.  Dr. Perkins died in 1922, and his widow, Clara, donated the collection to the Dorchester Historical Society in 1924.

Frederick William Marshall, sometimes known as Fred, was born on May 27, 1891, in Hyde Park. His parents, Julius Edwin and Emma Jeanne (Twombly), were from Clinton County, New York. They had six other children: Isabella born in 1883, Napoleon in 1885, Pearl in 1887, Annie in 1890, Emma in 1898, and Eva in 1901. By 1900, the family lived Milton. Over the next two decades they moved regularly within the town, living first on Highland Street, then moving to Artwill Street in 1910, to Lincoln Street in 1914, and to 59 Pleasant Street by 1916. In Milton, Julius worked at the G.H. Bent Company cracker factory at 7 Pleasant Street. We don’t believe Frederick had a Dorchester connection and we were unable to determine why he was included in Dr. Perkins’s collection.

In 1908, Frederick graduated from Milton’s Consolidated High School. In 1910, he was a house carpenter. In 1912, he appeared in the Milton directory as a clerk. By 1914, he was a streetcar conductor.

During the First World War, Frederick served as a Wagoneer in Battery B, 55th Artillery, Coast Artillery Corps (CAC), 31st Heavy Artillery Brigade. The CAC manned coastal and harbor fixed artillery instillations and minefields. On the battlefield, the CAC was responsible for manned heavy artillery. As a Wagoner, Frederick drove animal-drawn transport, maintained wagons, and cared for the animals that pulled the vehicles.

The 55th Artillery was organized in December 1917. Frederick served in the 55th throughout the “entire career” of the unit. He was probably already in the Coast Artillery prior to formation of the 55th, as eight preexisting Coast Defense companies formed the unit. The regimental history explained that many men volunteered for the Coast Artillery thinking the coast would be the first active front for American troops. Battery B was stationed at Fort Andrews on Peddocks Island in Boston Harbor.

The 55th sailed for France on March 25, 1918, leaving from New York on the RMS Mauretania, landing in Liverpool on April 2. Five days later, they sailed from Southampton to Le Havre on the steamer HMS Antrim. They took a train through France to Clermont Ferrand in the Auvergne region, where they trained. When their heavy artillery guns arrived, Battery B named theirs “Madeline,” “Lt. Reed,” “Roaring Bertha,” and “Boston Baby,” christening them with champagne.

In August, they participated in the Aisne-Marne offensive, attached to Sixth French Army. Battery B was stationed east of Arcis-le-Ponsart, “about eight miles from their targets” and about “five miles from the German front lines.” On August 14, the battery sustained their first casualty in action when a man was hit by a shell near a machine gun. Later, “a German plane was forced down immediately in front of Bat. B’s position” and the aviators were taken prisoner. When the battery’s pet kitten was injured by a shell-fragment, they gave the cat the official honor of a wound chevron, or uniform patch, drawn “with indelible ink on puss’ shoulder, and were doubly proud of their mascot.”

In September, they were part of the Meuse-Argonne offensive, now operating as part of the U.S. First Army. The 55th was in action for all 47 continuous days of the engagement. They were tasked with “silencing and destroying the enemy artillery” and “harassing and interdiction fire on the enemy’s lines of communication.”

When the Armistice was signed, Battery B found they had fired 7,170 rounds, the most of any battalion in the 55th. CAC Artillery units were prioritized for early return to the United States, so they could resume defending the coast. After almost a month in the overcrowded Camp Pontazen in Brest, France, the 55th sailed, leaving on January 10, 1919, on the HMS Cretic. They arrived in New York on January 22. From there, the 55th went first to Camp Mills, Mineola, Long Island for delousing, then performed a short stint as Coast Defense on Long Island Sound around New London, Connecticut. Frederick was discharged in early February. A band at South Station received him and other returning Boston-area 55th soldiers, and there was a reception for them on the Boston Common.

Frederick returned to 59 Pleasant Street and his job as a street car conductor. In the 1920s, he was active with the Carmen’s Union. According to the 1920 census, his other siblings were no longer living in the family home. Frederick’s sister, Isabelle, died in 1914 and his brother, Napoleon, in 1918. His parents had boarders living with them: a young man, Edward Hurley, who was also a streetcar conductor, as well as two small children, Edward and Anna Lamphier

In November 1921, Frederick married Rose A. Gately of 41 Clifford Street in Roxbury, the station receiver at the Milton car barn. They were married at St. John’s Church on Blue Hill Avenue in Roxbury by Reverend James F. Grimes. Frederick’s best man was Battery B Private James F. Driscoll of 289 Reedsdale Road, Milton.

Frederick and Rose’s daughter Rosemary was born in 1922 in Pelham. In 1924, they purchased two and a half acres of land on Oak Street in Randolph, from James Gately. William Junior was born in Brockton in 1926. That year, the Randolph directory listed Frederick as an operator for the Boston Elevated Railway, living at 189 Oak Street in North Randolph. Their youngest daughter, Helen, was born in 1928.

In 1930, the census reported Frederick as raising poultry. In 1937, the Boston directory once again listed him working for the Boston Elevated; the 1940 census reported he was a bus driver out of Mattapan Square, making $1,800 a year. He appears in directories as a Boston Elevated operator through the mid-1950s. In 1950, the Randolph directory listed Frederick, Rose, and daughter Rosemary residing at 15 Cole Terrace. At the end of his life, he lived at 106 Oak Street.

Frederick died on June 23, 1967. A Solemn High Mass of Requiem was celebrated at St. Bernadette’s Church in North Randolph. His wife died shortly after him, passing on August 23, 1967. Frederick was a member of the Boston Carmen’s Post Veterans of a Foreign War Number 3400.

Researched and written by Camille Arbogast.


Birth Record, Massachusetts Vital Records, 1840–1911. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts;

Family Tree;

Federal Census 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940;

Boston, Milton, Randolph Directories, various years;

72 Annual Town Report of Milton Mass for the Year Ending December 31, 1908, Compiled by the Auditors. Boston: Poole Printing, 1909;

Cutler, Frederick Morse. The 55th Artillery (C.A.C) in the American Expeditionary Forces, France, 1918. Worcester, MA: Commonwealth Press, 1920;

Lists of Outgoing & Incoming Passengers, 1917-1938. Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985, The National Archives at College Park, Maryland;

“Carmen’s Union Names Convention Delegates,” Boston Globe, 16 July 1929: 11;

“Miss Rose A. Gately Weds Overseas Veteran,” Boston Globe, 25 Nov 1921: 8:

Deed, 14 February 1924, Gately to Marshall, Oak St, Randolph;

United States, Selective Service System. Selective Service Registration Cards, World War II: Fourth Registration. Records of the Selective Service System, Record Group Number 147. National Archives and Records Administration;

Deaths, Boston Globe, 24 June 1967: 22;

Deaths, Boston Globe, 24 August 1967: 42;


Posted on

April 6, 2022

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