SECTION 10

GUY STANILAUS MARTIN (1895 - 1918)

 

Guy Stanilaus Martin, MM, was the second son of William Martin and Sarah Elizabeth Abbott, he was born on the 28 June 1895 in Singapore and on his parents return from Singapore he was educated at the Bedford Modern School along with his brothers. It seems that he wanted to make the Army his career. He joined the Signals Dept. of the Royal Engineers on the 11th August 1913, and served in Ireland from November 1913 until August 1914 when he went to France with the original Expeditionary Force in August of that year. The principal actions that he was engaged in.

Mons August 1914
Le Cateau August 1914
Crossing River Marne September 1914
Aisne River September 1914
La Basse October 1914
First Battle of Ypres November 1914
Hill 60 near Ypres April 1915
Second Battle of Ypres April 1915
Somme July 1916
Lens and Vimy Ridge April 1917
Operations on Oppy Wood June 1917
Third Battle of Ypres September 1917
Defence of the Piave (Italy) January 1918
Defence of Hazebrouck & Nieppe Forest April 1918
Operations at Plate Bacque River June 1918
Series of operations 13 August 1918
Killed in Action - Battle of Bapaume 25 August 1918

 

Honours:-

Military Medal

1914 (Mons) Star

Victory Medal

General War Medal

 

 

He had been promoted to Corporal and recommended for the DCM and also for a Commission in the RFA, and was undergoing official training for the latter when he was killed.

 

Buried in Military Cemetery, Aichet - le - Grande, Plot 3 Row C Grave 19 Beryl and I visited his grave in the summer of 1996, it is in a small Military Cemetery near the village of Aichet-le-Grande in France and was well maintained and tidy, there must be many hundreds of soldiers buried there following the Battle of Bapaume and others engagements.

His obituary from the Rushden Echo dated Friday September 20th 1918 :

Mr and Mrs William Martin "Maydencroft", Ampthill, have received news that their second son, Corpl. Guy S Martin MM, Royal Engineers, was killed by shell concussion on August 25th at Bapaume. From an account given to his parents by his closest friend Sergt. H R H Francis RE, who visited them at the request of the Commanding Officer both Martin and his horse got the full force of the explosion and were killed instantaneously.

Corpl Martin at the time was in fact a cadet of the Regular Army, having been recommended for a permanent commission in the RFA and was undergoing a months training. As a RE signaller he had been attached to the RFA for a long time. He was born at Singapore in 1895, was educated at Bedford Modern School, where he won his First XV Rugby colours, and for three years represented his house at gymnastics.

He enlisted in the R E Signal Service in 1913, at eighteen years of age, went to France immediately war broke out, passed safely through many battles, went to Italy last November, returning to France four months later. He was a holder of the Mons (1914) Star, and the Military Medal, and had been recommended for the DCM. The late Corporal Martin was well known in Higham Ferrers, being a grandson of the late Mr J B Martin, formerly Sanitary Inspector at Rushden.

He came to Higham at the age of three years, passed through the Board School as a scholar and also St Mary's Church Schools previous to his going to reside at Bedford.

 

 

His name is also listed on the Alemeda War Memorial in Ampthill, Beds.

 

 

Ampthill Parish Church, the Memorial has been recently restored in 2014.

 

From the Singapore Roll of Honour:  Martin, GS

THE BOOK:   Forgotten Names Recalled-Stories from the Singapore Cenotaph
by
Rosemary Lim
The book launch was on the August 3, knowing nothing of the stories of the names of the 124 names etched on this memorial. It is indeed amazing that the author, Rosemary Lim is able to compile the stories of 112 of this people and launch this book 100 years after the start of the Great War ( World War I ).
Rosemary was in touch with me to get information on Guy S Martin MM

The History of the Singapore Cenotaph
The foundation stone was laid by the then Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Straits Settlement Sir Laurence Nunns Gulliemard in the presence of M.Clemenceau, Prime Minister of France and Minister of War, 1917-1919 on November 15, 1920. The design is a replica of the Cenotaph of the one in Whitehall, London and was built using local granite with 5 steps leading to monument bearing the dates 1914-1918. The architect of the memorial was  Mr Denis Santry of Messrs. Swan and Mclaren and the local contractor, Mr. Soh Mah Eng who expedited it's construction in time for its official unveiling by the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII who abdicated the throne) in March 31, 1922. Armistice Day is observed year on November 11, dawn at 7:30 am.

 

See the link below for more information regarding Guy's name on other War Memorials:

http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Bedfordshire/AmpthillStAndrewsRollofHonour.html

http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Bedfordshire/AmpthillPark_WW1_M.html

http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Overseas/SingaporeCenotaph.html
 
MARTIN, MM Guy Stanislaus

Acting 2nd Corporal 25002, 5th Divison Signal Company, Royal Engineers. Killed in action Sunday 25th August 1918 in France & Flanders. Age 23. Born Singapore (Straits Settlements), enlisted Chatham, resident Ampthill. Second Son of William and Sarah Elizabeth Martin, of "Maydencroft," Ampthill. Educated at Bedford Modern School. Awarded Military Medal. Buried in ACHIET-LE-GRAND COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, Pas de Calais, France. Grave III. C. 19.

1901 Census Sarah Marten (Martin) Town Yard, Higham Ferrers, wife, aged 34, born Northants Daventry, Max Marten (Martin), son, aged 8, born Singapore LL (SS), Guy Marten (Martin) son, aged 5, born Singapore LL (SS) Vivian Marten (Martin) son, aged 2, born Higham Ferrers & Alice Stimpson, relative, aged 17, born Higham Ferrers, Shoe Machinist.
William being in Singapore at that time.

1911 Census
William Martin, Head, 60, Married, Retired Gaoler, Straights Settlements, born Falcut, Northants - married for 19 years.
Sarah Elizabeth, Wife, Married, 44, no occupation, born Daventry, Northants
Guy Stanislaus, Son, Single, 15, School, born Singapore, Straights Settlements
Reginald Vivian, Son, Single, 12, School, born Higham Ferrers, Northants.

St Andrews Roll of Honour

Acting 2nd Corporal 25002, 5th Divison, Signal Company, Royal Engineers. Killed in action Sunday 25th August 1918 in France & Flanders. Age 23. Born Singapore (Straits Settlements), enlisted Chatham, resident Ampthill. Second Son of William and Sarah Elizabeth Martin, of "Maydencroft," Ampthill. Educated at Bedford Modern School. Awarded Military Medal. Buried in ACHIET-LE-GRAND COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, Pas de Calais, France. Grave III. C. 19. See also Singapore Cenotaph and Bedford Modern School.

Singapore Cenotaph

Acting 2nd Corporal 25002, 5th Divison Signal Company, Royal Engineers. Killed in action Sunday 25th August 1918 in France & Flanders. Age 23. Born Singapore (Straits Settlements), enlisted Chatham, resident Ampthill. Second Son of William and Sarah Elizabeth Martin, of "Maydencroft," Ampthill. Educated at Bedford Modern School. Awarded Military Medal. Buried in ACHIET-LE-GRAND COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, Pas de Calais, France. Grave III. C. 19. See also Ampthill, Bedfordshire and Bedford Modern School.

This link may be of interest about Achiet-le-Grande in WW1 http://www.achiet-le-grand.org/index.htm

 

There is a name inscribed at Houghton House, a few miles from Ampthill " Spr Yeates Spr Martin Signals 1916" might just have been done by GSM if home on leave in 1916. Houghton House is situated off the B530 north of Ampthill to the east of the road. See above re names on War Memorials as he was certainly in the Signals

Royal Engineeers

6th Division

This peacetime Division of the pre-war army was quartered in Ireland and England at the outbreak of war, and was ordered on mobilisation to concentrate near Cambridge.

The 5th Division in 1914-1918

The history of 5th Division

This Division was part of the original British Expeditionary Force and remained on the Western Front until late 1917 when it moved to Italy. It took part in most of the major actions, including:

 

1914

The Battle of Mons and subsequent retreat, including the Action of Elouges

The Battle of Le Cateau and the Affair of Crepy-en-Valois

The Battle of the Marne

The Battle of the Aisne

The Battles of La Bassee and Messines 1914

The First Battle of Ypres

1915

The Second Battle of Ypres and the Capture of Hill 60

In late 1915, many units were switched for those of 32nd Division, a newly arrived volunteer formation. The idea was to strengthen ("stiffen" in the jargon of the time) the inexperienced Division buy mixing in some regular army troops; even though by now many of the pre-war regulars had gone and the regular battalions themselves were often largely composed of new recruits.

1916

March 1916 saw a move, with 5th Division taking over a section of front line between St Laurent Blangy and the southern edge of Vimy Ridge, in front of Arras. This was a lively time, with many trench raids, sniping and mining activities in the front lines. When the Franco-British offensive opened on the Somme on 1 July 1916, the 5th Division was enjoying a period of rest and re-fit and was in GHQ Reserve. However, this restful time was not destined to last:

The Attacks on High Wood*

The Battle of Guillemont*

The Battle of Flers-Courcelette*

The Battle of Morval*

The Battle of Le Transloy*

The battles marked * are phases of the Battles of the Somme 1916

By 5 October 1916 the Division had left the Somme and was holding a quieter line near Festubert. There was a constant threat from enemy artillery and sniper fire, but in comparison with the Somme it was a relatively tranquil period that lasted until March 1917.

1917

The Battle of Vimy**

The Attack on La Coulotte**

The Third Battle of the Scarpe** including the Capture by the Division of Oppy Wood

The battles marked ** are phases of the Battles of Arras 1917

On 7 September 1917 the Division was relieved and moved out of the line for a period, being sent next to join the great offensive in Flanders

The Battle of Polygon Wood***

The Battle of Broodseinde***

The Battle of Poelcapelle***

The Second Battle of Passchendaele***

The battles marked *** are phases of the Third Battle of Ypres

A major change now occurred with 5th Division being one of five British formations selected to be moved to Italy. This was a strategic and political move agreed by the British Government at the request of the Allied Supreme War Council, as an effort to stiffen Italian resistance to enemy attack after a recent disaster at Caporetto. Many diaries at this time, by men who had witnessed slaughter in the floods of Passchendaele, talk of the move and Italy as being "like another world". Much work was done preparing to move into the mountainous area of the Brenta, but eventually the Division was instead moved to the line along the River Piave, taking up positions in late January 1918. Unfortunately this pleasant period was not to last, for the Division was recalled hurriedly to France, once the enemy had made an attack in overwhelming strength on 21 March.

1918

The Battle of Hazebrouck+ in which the battalion fought in the Defence of Nieppe Forest

The battle marked + is a phase of the Battles of the Lys

On 14 August 1918 the Division was withdrawn for rest and placed in GHQ Reserve. Two weeks later it entered into what became a series of complex, endless, overlapping Allied attacks that forced the German Army into retreat.

Fighting through Albert (back on the old and devastated Somme ground of 1916), to Irles, Beugny, Havrincourt, Gonnelieu and the River Selle, and finally into Valenciennes and the River Sambre, the Division was in more or less continuous action until late October 1918.

The Battle of Albert+

The Battle of Bapaume+

The Battle of Drocourt-Queant+

The battles marked + are phases of the Second Battles of the Somme 1918

5th Divisional Signals Company.

 

The Royal Engineers provided communications for 5th Division.


The 5th Division arrived in France with the BEF in mid August 1914.
They were in action in The Battle of Mons and the subsequent retreat, The Battle of Le Cateau, The Battle of the Marne, The Battle of the Aisne, The Battles of La Bassee and Messines and The First Battle of Ypres. In 1915 they were in action at The Second Battle of Ypres and the Capture of Hill 60. In autumn 1915, many units were exchanged with units from the newly arrived volunteer 32nd Division, to stiffen the inexperienced Division with regular army troops. In March 1916 5th Division took over a section of front line between St Laurent Blangy and the southern edge of Vimy Ridge, near Arras. They moved south in July to reinforce The Somme and were in action at, High Wood, The Battle of Guillemont, The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval and The Battle of Le Transloy. In October they moved to Festubertand remained there until March 1917 when they moved in preparation for the Battles of Arras. On 7 September 1917 the 5th Division moved out of the line for a period of rest before, being sent to Flanders where they were in action during the Third Battle of Ypres. 5th Division was sent to Italy and took up positions in the line along the River Piave in late January 1918. They were recalled to France to assist with the German Advance in late March 1918 and were in action during the Battles of the Lys. On the 14th of August 1918 the 5th Division was withdrawn for two weeks rest. Then moved to The Somme where they were more or less in continuous action over the old battlegrounds until late October 1918 and saw action in the Battles of the Hindenburg Line and the Final Advance in Picardy. At the Armistice they were in the area of Le Quesnoy and moved to Belgium to the area around Namur and Wavre in December and demobilization began.

 

My grateful thanks to John Hele, who has just produced a book (August 2014) giving the details of Guy and those who were also killed in WW1 from Ampthill, Bedfordshire, the book is published by the Ampthill History Forum:
www.ampthillhistory.co.uk

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