A Martin Line

This is our Martin family tree. They may not be your ordinary set of Ag. Labs. and they certainly were not the landed gentry. They never really achieved much in life and never became rich or famous. They were just an ordinary bunch of ancestors, most of whom joined the British Army and moved around more than most, went overseas, met foreigners and probably killed a few. The only thing to be said for them is that they are mine.
Without them I wouldn't be here - so they weren't so bad after all!

RICHARD MARTIN and his wife Anne, arrived in Bromyard in Herefordshire sometime before 1771. Where they came from I have no idea but a Richard Martin did marry Nancy Haywood on the 6th February 1776 in Bromyard, so if they were not married before they arrived in Bromyard, this could be their marriage, as Nancy can be a form of Anne. However, if that is the marriage then a problem arises because their first son Thomas Martin (baptized 18 October 1778) was born in 1771!

Richard and Anne did in fact have three children - Thomas whose line we follow, Elizabeth who was baptized 11th April 1781 and Mary Anne baptized 28 June 1786. The daughters may have grown up to have families of their own but I have not had a chance to look into that.

THOMAS MARTIN was born in 1771, his army record states this, but he wasn't baptized until 18th October 1778. Until he was 29 he was a Mason and then he enlisted into the Grenadier Guards on the 20th May 1800 at Worcester and moved to Westminster, London.

He was a Private and in 1809, went to Walcheren in the Netherlands to fight against Napoleon's army. Unfortunately he and most of the Guards caught Malaria. The whole expedition was a complete disaster. Although 40,000 soldiers went only 106 died in combat while 4,000 died of malaria and 12,000 were so badly affected by the malaria that they never saw active service again.

He married Margaret and lived at Great Peter Street, Westminster, London, where they had a son Henry, baptized in St. Margaret's Church, Westminster on 18th May 1816. They then moved to New Tothill Street, London and Thomas was discharged from the Guards on 17th August 1817 (due to ill health acquired at Walcheren) after serving 17 years and 90 days. Their next son, George, was baptized on the 28th March 1818 also at St. Margaret's Church, Westminster.

On his discharge, the army had given him 9d to return home to Hereford. Although he hadn't been there for 18 years, he and his family used this sum of money and went back to Bromyard, Hereford, where they had their third son William, who was baptized on the
14th February 1820.

I don't yet know any more about Thomas and his wife Margaret or their youngest son Henry, or eldest son William.

GEORGE MARTIN Because George was young when the family went to Hereford, he seems to have been uncertain of where he was born. On some records he says Hereford and on others Westminster, but he is without a doubt from Westminster, London.

He enlisted in the 36th Foot on the 20th March 1835 and spent a year in the West Indies, and 3 years in North America.

Promotion came on 9th Nov 1840 to Corporal but the following year he was found guilty of being drunk by a Regimental Court Martial on the 8th October and sentenced to be reduced to Private!

George transferred to the 60th Kings Royal Rifles in October 1843 under the command of Lieutenant- Colonel The Hon. Henry Dundas, and served in the Punjaub Campaign of 1845 -1852 where he was present at the siege and capture of Mooltan, the Campaign of the Punjaub 1849, including the battle of Goojerat, the surrender of the Rajah Shere Singh and Seikh Army, the occupation of Attock and Peshwar and the expulsion of the Amir Daub Mohammed beyond the Khyber Pass, for which he gained his Punjaub campaign medal and 2 Clasps, one for Mooltan and the other for Goojerat

He returned to England on 31st October 1852, but somewhere he met and possibly married Hannah Broadhurst. They went to live in Berkshire, and whilst they were living at 4 King Street, Reading, they had a son George in August 1855. He discharged from the army on the 4th of May 1857 at Chatham and moved to 2 Mills Buildings, Watlington Street, Reading, where their second son William Martin was born on the 19th March 1860.

WILLIAM MARTIN and the family moved to Disney Street, South London some time before the 1881 Census, where his mother Hannah was the Keeper of a lodging house but his father George wasn't there - he had probably died before and so was not listed in the 1881 Census - but another child, Amy Martin had been born in 1870 in Southwark (no birth certificate has yet been found).

William enlisted on the 26th September 1876 into the 3rd Battalion of the Kings Royal Rifles - his father's old regiment. On the 11th Mar 1879 they were rushed to Durban, South Africa and he was promoted to Corporal, but reduced in 1882 (seems to be the family problem again!).

In 1882 they became the first mounted Regiment when they rode Arab horses in Alexandria, Egypt. He was discharged in the summer of 1883 and returned home to 2 Disney Street, Borough, South East London from where he wrote a letter confirming his new address and he took a job at Garton Hill, Battersea.

Several addresses later he made his way to Chiswick, London and on 18th December 1892 he married Emily Charlotte Parker (the daughter of James Parker and Ann Priscilla Parker nee Wolstenholme). They moved again to Fulham and their first son William Edward Martin was born on 13th January 1894, followed by Emily Charlotte Martin in 1985, Arthur Wellesley Martin in 1897, Harry Martin in 1900 and Amelia Margaret Martin in 1903.

ARTHUR WELLESLEY MARTIN the second son, was born on 25th October 1897 at Orchard Place, North End Road, Fulham, London and when the Great War was at its worst in 1915 he, like many other boys, lied about his age to join in with the excitement. He joined the RAMC.

Unfortunately on 1st July 1916 "the blackest day in the history of the British Army and possibly any army", he was wounded. He lost the sight in one eye and had other injuries. This was the first day of the battle of the Somme. By nightfall the British had suffered 57,470 casualties with some 21,000 men killed, most in the first 30 minutes of the attack.

He was discharged on the 2nd April 1918, after serving 2 years 181 days and went to live in Cricklewood, North London.

Now his wandering started and he had many labouring jobs and even worked in a Circus for a time but eventually he came to Peacehaven, a new bungalow town on the South Coast of Sussex and settled with his mother. The rest of his brothers and sisters had either died or moved - to the Channel Islands, Plymouth and North London.

When his mother died in 1945 he rode a pony and trap down to Plymouth to visit his sister and returned home after a few months.

A few years after his mother Emily Charlotte died, Arthur married a widow with five children. They were married on December the 7th 1948 and later, to their joy, a son Allan Martin was born.

ALLAN ARTHUR MARTIN (and now we come to the to the good bit for Allan is the most handsome, and generous of all the Martins, but perhaps I am just being modest about myself).

JAMES ALLAN CHARLES MARTIN born in 1993. Our son. This is part of his family history. This is the Martin line, to just two of his 4th Great Grand Parents (there are 62 more). My wife and I have done our part, and now it his responsibility to make sure that the memory, and the name of his forebears is carried on and on. These ancestors have fought and served in the Netherlands, West Indies, America, South Africa, Egypt and France, but they have come through all that and probably more besides, where a stray bullet, or any other mishap could have ended it all. Perhaps we will never know if this story will continue. I hope it will.

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