Date of Death:
Date of Death:
Text on stone:
Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment) 10th Bn.
II. C. 18.
Now he rests at peace in God’s eternal kingdom
Son of John Joseph and Agnes Mark; husband of Barbara Doreen Mark, of Lowestoft, Suffolk.
Died of wounds at the fieldhospital in the village of Meerveldhoven, where he was initially buried.
My name is Barbara, I am now 96 years old, and here are some memories of my husband James (Jimmy) Mark)
I met Jimmy at one of the dances that were held in Lowestoft during the war. He asked me to dance, and we helped to start all the others off dancing. This was in St Peter’s Church Hall, not far from where I lived then in Reeves Street. It was during the summer time and I remember that my mother, who didn’t know him then, told me I had to come in as it was getting late, he said, ‘Wouldn’t your mum be better if instead of leaving you at your door, you invited me in to meet your mum’ When I told my mum what he had said she was quite pleased. I was then 19 years old. I knew him for about a year before we got married. I was married a full year before he was sent to Holland and was sadly killed. Both my mum and dad liked him when they met him. He wasn’t at all shy and he used to come and spend some of his leave with us and he began to get to know the family. Every minute, if he could get to see me he would.
After we were married, he was moved to a base further south of Lowestoft, but still on the coast and the second front was looming. I went down to be with him for about 5 days before he got shipped out. I managed to get leave from my work in the armaments factory, and although he did not get leave, he managed to get away and meet me in the place I was staying. I remember one day we walked out in the countryside, and Jimmy who was a gardener before the war, found and dug up some snowdrops. I planted these in my mother’s garden and they flowered every spring, reminding me of him so clearly. I married for a second time when I was 41, and that was the year the snowdrops stopped flowering.
It all happened so quickly, we were getting towards the end of the war, but we didn’t realise it. We were married in the May and I left him to be shipped to the starting off point for the second front. It was all happening very quickly. We had been married a good year when he left me and I never saw him again. I remember the shock of getting the telegram to say he had been killed. I was devastated. I went up north to stay with his mum, his dad, his 4 sisters and one brother. I stayed for about 3 months. I knew his eldest sister, who joined the WAF. It was such a shock to lose him, we had only talked about when he came back. The sadness hung over my head for a long time. His eldest sister was based in Suffolk for a while and my mother and I used to see her then. But then she was moved on.
I still think of him with love and was very pleased when my niece was able to visit his grave and bring me photographs back. No one had been able to go before then, so I am glad to know what his final resting place looks like.
I am attaching some photographs for your information, one of Jimmy in his uniform, one of his mother, one of myself with three of his sisters – from left to right, me (Barbara) and his sisters Evelyn, Gwen and Mable. Also is attached a photograph of us on our wedding day, with my father, my sister Edna as my bridesmaid and her daughter Janet, the little maid in front.
Original gravesite at Meerveldhoven.