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Leonard Stephen Marr was born on the 13th January 1890 in Tirril just north of Ullswater. His father, Thomas Linton Marr was born in Patterdale (recorded as Marrs) in 1864, the son of Ann Pattinson. By 1881 Thomas was living with his mother and grandfather at 8 High Cottages in Glenridding. There was no sign of his father and Ann and the children were recorded under her maiden name, Pattinson. However by the time Thomas married in 1889 he was back to Thomas Linton Marr. He married Jane Potts from Matterdale. By the time Leonard, their first child, was born, Thomas was working as a Lead Miner and the family were living in Blowick in Patterdale alongside the family to Robert Slee and John Slee.
By 1901 Leonard and his family had moved to 4 Middle Rake in Glenridding. His father was now working as a Lead Ore Smelter at Greenside and he now had two younger brothers, Ernest William Marr, born in July 1893, and Sydney (born August 1900). A daughter Henrietta Francesca had sadly died in infancy in 1898.
After attending Patterdale School with his brothers Leonard started working alongside his father at Greenside Mine. By 1911 his younger brother Ernest was also working there as a “Stationary Engineman below Ground”, which meant that he was working one of the winding machines at the mine. At this point the family was living at “Number 8 Glenridding”.
In 1913 Leonard and Ernest decided to emigrate to America, and in May arrived aboard the SS Mauretania, from Liverpool in New York. It appears that Leonard settled initially in Idaho, as it was here that on the 3rd July 1917 he married Naomi Esther Crawford, a 33 year old divorcee. Less than a month before Leonard had been part of America’s First Selective Draft of conscripts for the US Army on 5th June 1917. At that time Leonard was still classified as an “alien” (in other words he had not been granted US citizenship) and was working as a “mine foreman” in Mullan Idaho. In terms of his war service the only clue we have is from the Glenridding Village Hall Roll of Honour, where he is listed a Corporal, we assume in the “Americans Brigade” like his brother. We have so far found no evidence of his war time service but it is possible that after his initial training he transferred to Europe as part of the American Expeditionary Force under General Pershing. We do know he was granted US citizenship in November 1918, probably whilst in the Army.
After the war Leonard returned to America and by 1920 he and Naomi were living in Detroit, Wayne County Michigan, where Leonard was working as a foreman in the auto manufacturing industry. Ten years later, in 1930, they were living in Livonia, Wayne County and Leonard was still working as a foreman. We know little of their life there as we are reliant on what public records exist online, such as local census returns. The only other information we have for them at this time is sadly their divorce papers, filed for on the 25th March 1935. The divorce suit had been applied for by Leonard against Esther on the grounds of desertion. She had contested the claim but the divorce was granted on 2nd April 1937. From this we also know that Leonard and Esther had no children.
By the time of the Second World War we believe that Leonard had married again, to a “Mary”. We can only surmise this from his 1942 WW2 Draft papers, where he is listed as living at 18685 Murray Hill, Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, and working at the Ford Motor Company in Dearborm Michigan. On this form his next of kin is shown as Mrs Mary Marr, living at the same address. Mary was 20 years younger than Leonard and together they had a daughter, JoAnne Mary, who was born on May 22nd 1938. By now Leonard was 52 and unlikely to have taken any active part in the war. After that unfortunately we do not yet have any further information about Leonard until his death aged 82, in December 1972 in Westland, Wayne, Michigan. Mary died in February 1991.
In terms of the rest of his family, the story of his younger brother Ernest William Marr, is told below. In fact the family all ended up living in America. It looks from the records we have seen as if Ernest (and possibly Sydney) returned home to the UK in 1919 and travelled back to America aboard the SS Aquitania, arriving in New York on the 24th July 1920. Also on board ship were his father and mother, Thomas and Jane, and younger brother Sydney. They were heading to Detroit, Michigan, presumably to see Leonard and Naomi.
It appears that when he arrived in Detroit Thomas starting working alongside his son at the “Henry Ford Works” (Ford Motor Company), where he continued to work until his death in 1923. His obituary appeared in The Herald back in Cumbria and from this we know that when the First World War broke out he had moved from Greenside to work at the Vickers factory ion Barrow. We are unsure when his wife Jane died. Thomas is remembered on the gravestone of his mother, Ann who had died in 1909, in Patterdale Churchyard, alongside his brothers Lancelot Pattinson Marr (who died in South Africa in March 1902), And William Pattinson, who died in 1945 aged 84.
As above Sydney may well have been in America at the end of the first world war as we have seen copies of a draft form which could well be his although he registered after his brothers in December 1918 (due to his age). We do know that he married Margaret in the 1920s and by 1940 they was living at 1581 Milton Street, Ferndale, Oakland, Michigan, with their daughter Shirley Mae, and Sydney was working as a Stock Clerk. We are not sure what happened to Sydney and his family after that.
If you can add anything to the story of Leonard or his family please contact us.
Corporal Leonard Stephen Marr
American Expeditionary Force (AEF) US Army
Born 13th January 1890 Tirril. Died 17th December 1972 aged 82 in Wayne, Michigan. USA
Son of Thomas Linton and Jane (nee Potts) Marr, of Blowick, Patterdale & 4 Middle Rake Glenridding
Husband of Naomi Crawford from Idaho USA, and Mary Marr of Michigan USA
Father of Joannie Marr (born 1939)
The application made for a Veterans Headstone by Ernest’s wife Mary after he died which gives details of his service in World War One.
4902201 American Expeditionary Force (AEF) US Army
Born 16th July 1893 Patterdale. Died 25th March 1954. Michigan, aged 60.
Son of Thomas Linton and Jane (nee Potts) Marr, of Blowick, Patterdale & 4 Middle Rake Glenridding
Husband of Mary P Marr from Detroit, Michigan
Father of Gladys I Marr (born 1930)
Ernest William Marr was born on the 16th July 1893 in Patterdale. He was the second son of Thomas Linton Marr and Jane Potts. More information on his family background is given above in the story of his elder brother Leonard Stephen Marr. After leaving Patterdale School Ernest starting working at Greenside Mine alongside his father and elder brother Leonard. By 1911, 17 year old Ernest was a “Stationary Engineman below Ground”, which meant that he was working one of the winding machines at the mine. At this point the family was living at “Number 8 Glenridding”.
In 1913 Ernest joined his elder brother Leonard in the decision to emigrate to America. They set sail aboard the SS Mauretania from Liverpool bound for New York arriving on the 17th May 1913. It is likely that Ernest was initially alongside his brother but we know that he must have travelled back to England at some point as we have found his on the passenger list departing from Liverpool on the 30th December 1916 to New York aboard the SS St Paul. Accompanying him was his younger brother Sydney. Ernest too was then part of the First Draft on the 5th June 1917, but his place of registration was we believe Benton in Wisconsin, rather than Idaho like his elder brother Leonard. It is possible that he was in Benton alongside two other men from the Dale who had moved there before the war, Jimmy Bowman and Joe Graham. Jimmy and Joe were the same age as his brother Leonard and all would have been at school together in Patterdale so it is quite likely that having made the big step of moving to America they all met up again.
When he enlisted we believe that Ernest was sent to Camp Grant in Illinois, where during his training he served with 12th Company, 161st Depot Brigade. Established in 1917, Camp Grant saw its first "selected men" or draftees arrive in September of that year. It was primarily a location for training infantry and became one of the largest military training facilities during World War I. We also know that on the 26th September 1918 he was granted US Citizenship, whilst at the Syracuse Recruit Camp in New York. Further than this we do not have any more details of his service. Again the Glenridding Village Hall lists him underneath his brother, as a Lance Corporal. We do have a form (see below) completed at the time of his death which proves he had served in the military, but unfortunately it is impossible to decipher which regiment he joined after training, and also whether he served in France. It also lists his rank as a private rather than a Lance Corporal. On this form it also shows his service dates as being from the 30th August 1918 to the 17th January 1919, which might imply that he did not serve overseas -
After he left the Army we believe Ernest returned to Detroit with his brother Leonard. On the 1st April 1919 he applied for a US Passport so that could return to England. This states that he needs to return to England temporarily to “help sick parents”, and gives the address of his parents as being Barrow in Furness. He duly sailed for England, quite probably with younger brother Sydney, and as recounted in the story of Leonard above, he travelled back to America aboard the SS Aquitania, arriving in New York on the 24th July 1920 with his father and mother, Thomas and Jane, Sydney. They headed to Detroit, Michigan, presumably to see Leonard and Naomi. It appears that Ernest then got a job alongside his father and brother working for Ford Motor Company in Detroit.
By 1930 Ernest was still working in the car plant in Detroit and by now had married Mary P Marr. The couple also had a young daughter, Gladys. We have so far been unable to trace the family in the 1940 census but in 1942, like his brothers Leonard and Sydney, Ernest also filled in his US Army registration card. From this we know that he was living at 1017 Adeline Drive, Detroit Michigan and working for the Detroit Gear and machine Company in Wayne Michigan. Oddly on the form he does not give Mary as his “next of kin” (or as it is called on the US draft forms the “name and address of person who will always know your address”). Instead he lists a Hans Thorsen, from 19361 Hershey. We will probably never know why this is. From then we have no more information on Ernest until his death on the 25th March 1954. When he died his widow Mary P Marr, still living at 1017 Adeline Drive, applied for Ernest to have a US Veterans Headstone. This was duly approved and is what marks his grave at the Roseland Park Cemetery in Michigan. He is also commemorated alongside his brother Leonard. We believe his wife Mary died on the 4th January 1985 at the age of 84, still living in Detroit.
In 2022 we were kindly contacting by Laura Atkinson, who provided the photos of Ernest shown here. Laura’s great grand-
If you have any further information on Ernest or his family please let us know.
The SS Maurentania-
Leonard’s draft form from 1942 showing him living in Wayne, Michigan and working at the Ford Motor Company
Camp Grant, where we believe Ernest did some of his military training in World War One.
The SS Aquitania aboard which Ernest, Sydney and their parents crossed to New York in 1920.