Martin, Richard Charles (1896-1915)

Richard Charles Martin was born in Strood in the first quarter of 1896. He was the son of Charles and Mary Martin and brother to Ada, Edith and Mabel.

The 1901 Census shows the family living at 63 Frindsbury Road, Strood. Charles, the father, is listed as a bricklayer’s labourer, who was born in Wateringbury. Richard’s mother stated her place of birth as Hare Street, Hertfordshire.

Richard may have been influenced by the early recruitment campaigns as he enlisted into the Royal Field Artillery on 29th August 1914 in Chatham and took the rank of Gunner.  His service number was 94764. His occupation was given as a waiter.

However, he was listed amongst the deserters in the Police Gazette in January 1915, having gone absent from Aldershot. Whether this was the realisation that the war did not end at Christmas or because his 19th birthday was fast approaching, which would lead to an overseas posting.

Richard did return to the Royal Field Artillery and was posted. He arrived in France on the 13th May 1915. He spent 62 days in France, accidentally drowning on 12th July 1915.  He is remembered at Hinges Military Cemetery.

His personal effects totalled just over £3 and were claimed by his mother Mary.

Sources: accessed 04.12.2016

England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1919

UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 [database on-line].

National Army Museum; Chelsea, London, England; Soldiers’ Effects Records, 1901-60; NAM Accession Number: 1991-02-333; Record Number Ranges: 166001-167500a; Reference: 63

1901 England Census [database on-line]. Class: RG13; Piece: 720; Folio: 100; Page: 17

The National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls; Class: WO 329; Piece Number: 2543:

British Army, deserters and absentees in Police Gazette 1914-1919 Transcription  Accessed 4.12.2016,%20R%20C  accessed 4.12.2016


Jayne Fenton, 2016

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