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.
1914 (Mons) Star
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.
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,
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.
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
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
TO GO DIRECT TO THE MARTIN SECTION CLICK ON