Philip Moses Marks was born in the United States, the son of British-born author and art critic Montague Marks and grandson of David Marks, England’s first Reform rabbi, minister of the West London Synagogue. His mother Agnes’ family were also illustrious — his maternal aunt was the poet Emma Lazarus whose sonnet ‘The New Colossus’ is engraved on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.
Marks was in Ashburnham House from September 1902 to Easter 1905. We do not know much about his time at school, except that he was frequently tanned (beaten) by monitors in his House for misdemeanours. We do not know what he did between leaving school and the outbreak of war, although he did get married in 1911 to Cynthia Dow White. In 1914 he joined the 17th (Empire) Battalion Royal Fusiliers. By June 1915 he was attached to the 4th Battalion, The Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex Regiment) and went out to the Western Front. He was killed in action at Hooge in Flanders on 29th September 1915.