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Person Details
Bermondsey London
Known as Sidney, he was born in about 1890, the son of Francis James Martin and Mary Ann Martin (née Pittway). The 1891 census records the place of birth of Sidney's father, Francis James Martin, as Stourbridge, Worcester, but the 1901 Census records this as Ireland and a Francis James Martin, b. 25 November 1857, was baptised on the 29th of that month in Castlebar, Mayo, Ireland. Sidney's mother, Mary Ann Pittway, was born in Evesham, Worcester, in 1860 (birth registered J/A/S Evesham, Worcester). Francis and Mary Ann were married in 1881 (marriage registered J/F/M Nottingham). Francis and Mary Ann have not yet been traced on the 1881 Census but entries on subsequent census include the names of ten children whose names vary on these census, Mary Ann b. Nottingham, Lilian b. Nottingham, Francis James b. 1885 Nottingham (O/N/D Nottingham), George Leonard [Leonard] b. 1887 Nottingham (J/A/S Nottingham), John b. Nottingham, Leonard Augustus Sidney [Sidney] b. abt. 1890 Bermondsey, Bernard b. 25 September 1892 (Bermondsey), Catherine Gladys [Gladys] b. 1894 Bermondsey (O/N/D Southwark London), Frances Beatrice Miriam b. 1897 Bermondsey (J/F/M Southwark London) and Marie Victoria [Victoria] b. 9 January 1901 Bermondsey (J/F/M Southwark London). However, the eldest child, Mary Ann, is listed on the 1891 Census as 9 years old and then Lilian, aged 19, appears for the first time on the 1901 Census suggesting that this is one and the same child; no birth record has yet been found in either name. The third son, John, who appears only on the 1891 Census at the age of 2, probably died young as Sidney, who was born after John, was described in the notice of his death in the local paper as his father's 'third son'. In 1891 Francis James (33) a leather dresser, and his wife Mary Ann (30) were living at 15 Stevens Place, Bermondsey, with their five children, Mary Ann (9), Francis (5), Leonard (3), John (2) and Augustus [Sidney] (5 months). Also in the household was a domestic servant, Lily Holmes. The family was still living in Bermondsey ten years later in 1901 but had moved to 80 Southwark Park Road. Eight children were in the household on the night of the census: Lilian (19), Francis (16), Leonard (13), Sidney (10), Bernard (8), Gladys (6), Frances (4) and Victoria (3 months). The siblings' eldest brother, Francis James, joined the army on 25 August 1902 (service number 11089, Royal Garrison Artillery) and served in Bermuda and Halifax, Nova Scotia, before transferring to the Army Reserve, in either 1905 or 1907, then mobilized on 5 August 1914. He served until discharged 'no longer physically fit for war service' on 20 December 1918, and was awarded a pension with effect from 21 December. His address at the time was 43 Constance Street, New Basford, Nottingham. When Francis James joined the army in London he named his father and his brothers, Leonard, Sidney and Bernard, as next of kin but said that their addresses were 'not known'. He also gave the name of an uncle, George Biddle, of 20 Parkers Row, Bermondsey. Sidney's parents moved back to Nottingham after the 1901 Census as his mother's death was registered in Nottingham in 1906 (J/A/S); she was 47 years old. His father married his second wife, Catherine Tracey, in 1909 (marriage registered J/A/S Nottingham). Sidney's younger brother, Bernard, may have died in 1909 as there is a record of a Bernard Martin b. abt 1892 who died in 1909 at the age of 17 (O/N/D Nottingham, buried Northern Cemetery Bulwell). Catherine Martin (56), was living at 53 Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham, at the time of the 1911 Census; she was described as a coal dealer (employer). Sidney's three youngest sisters, Catherine Gladys (16) a clerk, Frances Beatrice Miriam (14) and Marie Victoria (10), were in the home on the night of the census, but their father was absent. Sidney was in the army at the time of the census and serving in India. The family was still living at this address when Sidney died in 1914. Sidney's father died aged 59 on 18 February 1917 (J/A/S Nottingham) and was buried on 22 February 1917 (Nottingham General Cemetery). His stepmother, Catherine, died on 20 March 1926; she was then living at 45 Bridlington-street Hyson Green. Sidney's older brother Francis died in 1923. His army record has a note that a 'Mrs EE Martin (or Smedley)' of New Basford, Nottingham, wrote to the army after Francis' death explaining that she was not married to Francis but asking if his children were entitled to any money. As they were not legally married there was no entitlement. Sidney's sister, Catherine Gladys, may have married in 1918 as there is a record of a marriage of a Catherine G Martin (J/A/S Nottingham, spouse Greenwell). Frances Martin married John Attenborough Woodhead in 1922. John had served in the war (122826, Royal Garrison Artillery) and died in 1950. Frances died aged 55 in 1952 (death registered December Nottingham). The youngest sibling, Marie Victoria [Victoria], died unmarried aged 69 in 1970 (death registered December Nottingham).
He was an iron turner when he joined the army. He was serving in India with the army in 1911.
10 Oct 1914
2750508 - CWGC Website
He enlisted in Nottingham.
2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
In 1911 Martin was serving in India with 1st Bn Sherwood Foresters. Presumably he left the army between 1911 and August 1914 and then was called up as a Reservist on the outbreak of war. The 1st Bn still being in India, Martin went into 2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters. He disembarked with the British Expeditionary Force on 8 September 1914 and was wounded in action a month later. He was evacuated to England and died of his wounds in the 2nd West General Hospital Manchester on 10 October. His body was returned to Nottingham and he was buried with full military honours in Nottingham General Cemetery on 13 October. He qualified for the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
Nottingham Evening Post (‘Deaths’), 12 October 1914, ‘Martin. On October 10th, at the Military Hospital, Manchester, of his wounds, Private Sidney Martin, of the Sherwood Foresters, third son of FJ Martin, 53 Gregory-boulevard. RIP. Interment Tuesday, Derby-road Cemetery, 2.30pm.’ (britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 13 October 1914: ‘Died for his country. Military funeral in Nottingham. Full military honours were accorded this afternoon in Nottingham to a young soldier, named Sidney Martin, who succumbed to wounds whilst fighting with the British Expeditionary Force in France. Martin was a private in the 1st Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters, and with other comrades wounded in one of the desperate battles in which his battalion were engaged, was taken to the military hospital in Manchester, where he died on Saturday. In accordance with the wishes of the relatives, the body was conveyed to Nottingham yesterday, and was interred in the General Cemetery, where thousands of people assembled to pay a tribute of respect to one who had fallen in the service of his King and country. The funeral procession started from the residence of the deceased soldier’s father, (Mr FJ Martin), 53 Gregory-boulevard, the coffin – which was covered with the Union Jack and wreaths consisting of floral designs in which the Allies’ colours were worked – being placed on a gun carriage drawn by six black Belgian horses. These were ridden by members of the Notts. Royal Horse Artillery, and the South Notts. Hussars under Regimental-Sergeant Major Fisher, furnished the firing and bearer parties. Several wounded soldiers from the General Hospital and representatives of the Robin Hoods also attended, including Captain WS Marshall, from the Derby-road Territorial Headquarters. Hundreds of people lined the route to the cemetery, and amongst those who gathered at the graveside were a number of the Sherwood Foresters home on furlough from India. The mourners were all relatives of the deceased, with the exception of his chum, who was wounded in the same engagement, and still had his arm in a sling. It is interesting to recall that one of his brothers is also in the army. The service was conducted by the Rev. Father McIroy, of St Barnabus Cathedral, and when he had concluded the reading of the committal sentences, the firing party fired three volleys, and a bugler of the South Notts. Hussars sounded the ‘Last Post’. It was a deeply impressive spectacle, and the thought of a young life sacrificed in battle brought tears to the eyes of hundreds who gathered round the grave.’ (britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Registers of Soldiers' Effects: His stepmother, Catherine, and brother Leonard G. were each made an award for expenses 'incurred in connection with deceased's funeral' and a payment was also make to R Clower & Sons Undertakers in settlement of a claim. Additional payments were also made to his stepmother and Leonard. Nottingham Evening Post (Deaths), 21 February 1917: ‘Martin. On February 18th, Francis James, the beloved husband of Catherine Martin (nee Tracey). RIP. Requiem mass at St Mary’s, Hyson Green, Thursday at 11am, funeral General Cemetery, Derby-road, 12 noon.’ (britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
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