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A.E. Martin

Rank: Lance Corporal

Lifetime: 1887-1917

Reference: 55067

Lance Corporal AE Martin of the 138th Company of the Machine Guns Corps (Infantry) was killed in action on 5 May 1917. He was the son of Robert Martin of Richmond Road, Kingston and Hampton Wick. He is buried at Noeux-les- Mines Communal Cemetery.

He is not commemorated on the Hampton Wick War Memorial as his connection with the village was via his father who had predeceased him.

His obituary in The Surrey Comet dated 19 May 1917 contains some biographical information on Lance Corporal Martin. He was born in about 1887 and educated at Tiffin Boys School. According to his obituary, he lived for many years in Latchmere Road with his parents Robert and Alice Martin. After he left school he was employed by a City firm who sent him to Cairo for a few years. When he returned from Egypt he went into business with his brother in Manchester. He married Edith Constance Fisher of New Malden and the couple had a daughter.

He enlisted in the Queen Victoria Rifles under the Derby Scheme but was subsequently transferred to the Machine Gun Corps and was sent to France in February 1916. According to a friend of Lance Corporal Martin, he had just been sent behind the line for an aircraft gun course and it was while he was taking part in firing at an aeroplane that two German shells burst close to him. He was mortally wounded and died the next day without regaining consciousness.

His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Saunders, commented : “When he joined the company he generously insisted on giving up his lance stripe in order that he might not take undue precedence before men with greater war experience. But even so I had marked him out for early promotion. His death leaves a big gap in the section.” His wife must have remarried because on his Commonwealth War Graves entry she is referred to as Edith Constance Montague (formerly Martin) of “Gulval”, Westbury Rd, New Malden, Surrey.

Lance Corporal Martin is commemorated on the war memorial at Tiffins Boys’ School.

The first phase of this Project is to gather information about the men commemorated on the Hampton Wick War Memorial who fought in the Great War, also known as World War I, WWI or the First World War.

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