Thomas William Marstella
- Born: 14 Mar 1894, Tenterfield, New South Wales, Australia
- Died: 1915, Gallipoli, , Çanakkale, Turkey at age 21
Thomas enlisted with the Australian Imperial Force on the 19th March 1915 in Queensland. He was 21 years of age and a Miner, born in Tenterfield. He was described as 5 feet 8 inches tall, 130 lbs, chest 31 1/2 - 34 inches, Dark complexion, Brown eyes and Medium Brown hair. His religion was Anglican. He had a scar on the left side of his forehead and two scars toward the middle of his left leg one on the shin, and the other just to one side of it.
He was assigned to the 15th Battalion, 6th Reinforcements, Service Number 2166, rank Private.
Thomas joined his Battallion on the Gallipoli Peninsula on the 2nd August 1915. Within a week he had been Killed in Action, on the 9th August 1915. Initially he had been reported as "Wounded in Action". The AIF sent a telegram to his step-mother to this effect on the 14th September, 1915. As late as 24th October 1915 the AIF was writing to his brother, in response to pleas for information, indicating this, but without being able to specify a Hospital. In fact the letter states that "The nature of his wound is not at present known here. He is not reported as seriously wounded and Egypt advises in the absence of further reports, it is to be assumed all such cases are progressing satsifactorily." This does indicate a high level of confusion and a lack of knowledge of casualties on the part of the local AIF authorities. From May to August, the 15th battalion was heavily involved in establishing and defending the front line of the ANZAC beachhead. His death (and perhaps that of many others) was subject to a Court of Enquiry held at Serapeum 6-8-28/4/16 and was confirmed in Alexandria on the 17th May 1916.
His personal belongings were sent to his stepmother at Water St, Red Hill, Brisbane on the 27th April 1918 after being incorrectly sent to the Redcliffe Hotel on the 15th February, 1918. An Inventory of his effects was compiled vis: "Ex Kit Store No. 12 Book, Set of Brushes inCase, handkerchief, Letters.
In 1920 The Base Records Office wrote to Mrs Marstella a standard letter indicating that the AIF had been unable to find "any trace of of the last resting place" of Thomas. This was clearly a template letter seeking any evidence the family may have had about the locality of their loved ones such as letters. Mrs Marstella, by now Mrs Roberts, replied with a letter and the notation Lone Pine 8 Aug 1915. A subsequent notation, presumably by the Base Records Office, says "Killed 9.8.15 Sari Bahr. Galliopoli"
He is remembered at the Lone Pine Memorial.
Private Thomas Marstella was awarded the 1914/15 Star No. 12492, The British War medal No. 14068 and the Victory medal No. 14011. His Memorial Scroll was No. 309259 24.8.21 and his Memorial Plaque No. 309259 27.3.22. On 17.3.26 he was registered on the Lone Pine Memorial
His medals were sent to his brother Frederick as the eldest surviving 'blood' relative. This was a requirement under the Deceased Soldiers Estates Act of 1918. In 1922 his step-mother received a Memorial Plaque and King's Message in relation to Thomas.