Sir Percival Scrope Marling VC CB DL

b. 06/03/1861 Stroud, Gloucestershire. d. 29/05/1936 Stroud, Gloucestershire.

Sir Percival Scrope Marling (1861-1936) was the eldest son of Sir William Henry Marling, Baronet, of Stanley Park, Stroud, Gloucestershire, born on 6th March 1861. He was educated at Harrow and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. On 11th August 1880, he was gazetted as a Second Lieutenant into the 3rd Battalion, 60th Rifles, and served with that regiment throughout the First Boer War of 1880-1881, being present at Sir George Colley’s disastrous attack on Laing’s Nek, and the severe conflict on the Ingogo River.

Sir Percival S Marling

Having been promoted to Lieutenant in July 1882, he participated in fighting around Alexandria, the affair at Tel-el-Mahuta, the battle at Kassassin, and the Battle of Tel-el-Kebir, for which he received the Egyptian Campaign medal with clasp and the Khedive’s Star. In 1884, Lieutenant Marling served with the Mounted Infantry in the Sudan Expedition, and was again heavily involved in the Battle of El Teb on 29th February 1884, the relief of Takar, the Battle of Tamai and the action at Tamanib. For his gallant conduct he was mentioned in despatches twice, received two more clasps to his campaign medal, and was awarded the Victoria Cross (London Gazette, 21st May 1884).

On 13th March 1884 at the Battle of Tamai, he risked his life to save that of a Private in the Royal Sussex Regiment who had been shot. The Private fell off the Lieutenant’s horse as soon as he was put up front, so, although the enemy were getting close, Marling carried the man to safety.

He was presented with his VC by GOC Egypt, General Sir F C A Stephenson in Cairo in July 1884. Later in 1884 and the early part of 1885, he took part with the Camel Corps in the Nile Expedition for the relief of General Gordon, and was present in the fighting in the Bayuda Desert. In October 1885, he was made a local Captain, and given the command of a company of Mounted Infantry in Egypt, which he commanded until 1887.

In 1889, he proceeded to India with the 18th Hussars, and, except for a year, when he was Adjutant of the West Somerset Yeomanry, he served in India until 1895. On 12th August 1896, Captain Marling received his majority. In 1896, he was selected for the command of the Regimental Depot at Canterbury, a post he held until 1898. The now Colonel Marling married on 18th May 1890 to Beatrice Caroline, eldest daughter of F H Beaumont, JP, DL, CA of Buckland Court, Surrey.

In June 1899, he rejoined his regiment in Africa, and was present with the 18th Hussars at the Battle of Talana Hill, the retirement from Dundee to Ladysmith, the action at Lombard’s Kop, the defence of Ladysmith, including the reconnaissance of 8th December. In June 1900, he was invalided home with enteric fever, but returned to South Africa again in February 1901.  He commanded his regiment in the field until May 1902, during operations in the Transvaal, the Orange River Colony, and the Zulu Frontier of Natal, and was twice mentioned in despatches, awarded the CB, and the Queen’s Medal with five clasps, and the King’s Medal with two clasps.

In 1905, he was promoted to Brevet Colonel, and given command of the York Garrison and District. In 1909, he was made a temporary Brigadier-General in South Africa, and retired in 1910 owing to injuries received by his horse falling on him whilst on duty. In 1914, he volunteered for active service, and went to France in September 1914, and served at the front on the Headquarters Staff, Indian Army Corps, until 1915, when he was invalided home with congestion of the lungs. He had been awarded the Mons Star of 1914. He then retired to his estate in Gloucestershire, where he became a JP and the Deputy Lieutenant. He was also a County Councillor.

Marling died on 29th March 1936, aged 75, at his family home of Stanley Park in Stroud. He was buried in the family vault at All Saints Church, Selsley, Gloucestershire. His medals are part of the Ashcroft Collection and displayed at the Imperial War Museum.