SECTION 14

JOHN BLACKWELL MARTIN (2) (1861- 1919) and REBECCA PERKINS (1857 - 1924)

John Blackwell Martin was the fifth child and third son of John Blackwell Martin and Elizabeth Goodwin and was born on the 20 June 1861.He was named after his father and was the second to carry this name. His wife Rebecca was born in 1857. They married in 1885. He was the Parish Clerk and Verger and also a bellringer at St Mary's, Higham Ferrers for many years and was a true and devout churchman and a great friend of the Rev H K Fry.

He lived at Hindstyle before moving to No 2 Wharf Road, Higham Ferrers (now No. 3). John Blackwell died on the 13 February 1919 and Rebecca on the 23 August 1924 and both are buried in Higham Ferrers Cemetery. There were five children, Amos, William, Owen, John Blackwell (3) and Mary Elizabeth.

1881 census records him at 44 High Street, Higham Ferrers, aged 19, born Deanshanger, an apprentice currier, living with his parents.

1891 census records him at Hind Stile with wife Rebecca, (aged 33) sons Amos, William, and Rowland (Owen??) and also his wifes sister Sarah Perkins, a boot closer.

Rebecca Martin with Amos (standing), from the left - Owen, John & William.

From "Down Memory Lane" possibly from St Mary's Church, Higham Ferrers.

" It is so easy to forget faithful service to the church, even when it stares you in the face. Take a look, sometime, on the wall beyond the choir stalls. there you will find a plaque to the memory of John Blackwell Martin A faithful servant of God and of His house John was Bill Martin's grandfather, and a great and valued servant to Higham church. Recently the sermon preached by the Vicar the Sunday after his funeral came to light. I publishing some sections from it, we pay tribute not only to a servant of the past, but to all those many unsung servants of our church whose quiet and tireless work makes, and St Mary's not only a gem of architecture, but a beacon of spirituality. "Jack" Martin, as he preferred to be called, ... loved his Church with no ordinary affection. I don't mean the building only, though he loved that, every stone of it, but he was a convinced and devout Churchman to the backbone......... few realise the extent of his devotion; the hours he spent early and late, Saturdays and Sundays, of his own leisure time, in and about the Church, but especially in the winter, that others might meet there in comfort for worship. No matter what extra services might occur, Jack was there and had everything ready......... He was a Chorister of 40 years standing and ..... one of the most regular at Practice no less than at Service. Nor shall we be unmindful of him when we go forth in procession in the Church or beyond it, or again at early Celebrations .... He usually rang the Sanctus Bell at the Consecration, and till recently he took his monthly turn at serving at the Altar ... he saw what was needed and did it ... an honest workman with a record of over 40 years with the same first ... For many years he had done great service in the ringing world ... Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of the Lord.

The plaque reads: IN MEMORIAM JOHN BLACKWELL MARTIN Clerk, 1900 - 1919 Born Deanshanger, June 20th, 1861 Entered into rest, Sunday, Feb. 9th, 1919 R.I.P.

1901 Census at Hind Style, High St, Higham Ferrers, John Martin, head, aged 39, born Deanshanger Northants, Leather Currier, Rebecca, wife, aged 43, born Higham Ferrers, Amos, son, aged 15, born Higham Ferrers, Shoe Clicker, William, son, aged12, born Higham Ferrers, Owen, son, aged 10, born Higham Ferrers, John, son, aged 6, born Higham Ferrers, Mary, daughter, aged 2, born Higham Ferrers.

1911 census

MARTIN, JOHN BLACKWELL HEAD MARRIED M 49 LEATHER CURRIER NORTHANTS DEANSHANGER
MARTIN, REBECCA WIFE MARRIED 26 F 53 NORTHANTS HIGHAM FERRERS
MARTIN, AMOS SON SINGLE M 25 BOOT AND SHOE CLICKER NORTHANTS HIGHAM FERRERS
MARTIN, WILLIAM SON SINGLE M 22 BOOT AND SHOE CLICKER NORTHANTS HIGHAM FERRERS
MARTIN, OWEN SON SINGLE M 20 BOOT AND SHOE CLICKER NORTHANTS HIGHAM FERRERS
MARTIN, JOHN BLACKWELL SON SINGLE M 16 LEATHER CURRIER NORTHANTS HIGHAM FERRERS
MARTIN, MARY ELIZABETH DAUGHTER F 12 SCHOOL NORTHANTS HIGHAM FERRERS

AMOS MARTIN (1886 - 1921)

Amos Martin, the first child and son of John Blackwell Martin and Rebecca Perkins was born on the 11 April 1886, and died on the 4 December 1921 and is buried in the Higham Ferrers Cemetery.

The obituary for Amos dated 4 December 1921

THE DEATH occurred at Northampton Hospital on Sunday from an internal complaint, of Mr. Amos Martin, aged 35, eldest son of Mrs. and the late Mr. J. B. Martin, of 2 Wharf-road, Higham Ferrers. Deceased had not been well for a considerable time, and had had to leave off work (as a clicker at Messrs. Charles Parker's) about three weeks ago, being taken early last week to the county hospital. There, everything that surgical and medical skill and nursing attention could do was bestowed upon him, but without success.

Deceased will be greatly missed at St. Mary's Church, with which he had been actively associated from boyhood as a scholar, chorister, Sunday school teacher, and C.L.B. member.

The funeral took place on Wednesday at St. Mary's Church and the Cemetery, conducted by the Rev. F. Richardson, Vicar of Cudworth, formerly Curate of Higham Ferrers, assisted by the Rev. G. Frisby (Curate).

The mourners were Mrs. J. B. Martin (mother), Mr. W. Martin (brother); Miss Winnie Horne (fiancee), Mr. O. Martin (brother); Mr. J. Martin (brother), Mrs. Thompson (sister); Mrs. O. Martin (sister-in-law), Mr. W. G. Thompson (brother-in-law); Mr. and Mrs. A. Martin (uncle), Mr. Dennis Martin (cousin); Mr. H. Martin (uncle), and Miss Horne (friend).
An early celebration of the Holy Communion had been held at the Church for the members of the family and relatives. At the funeral, the cortege was met by Mr. A. King, carrying the Cross, and after a short service at the Church the cortege proceeded to the Cemetery headed by the Cross-bearer.

There were present at the service all the members of the clicking department of Messrs. Charles Parker's, and included amongst the many townspeople both at the church and at the graveside were representatives of the Church. The bearers (from the factory) were Messrs. E. Kilsby, snr., W. Pettit, A. Pettit, John Randall, A. C. Allen, and W. Bates. The many beautiful wreaths included the following tribute from the clicking department of Messrs. Chas. Parker's factory: "From his fellow-workers in reverent homage to a splendid personality."

Mrs. J. B. Martin (mother), Miss W. Horne, and the brothers and sisters of the late Mr. Amos Martin desire to offer their heartfelt thanks to all who have sent written or verbal messages of sympathy during Mr. Martin's illness and with them in their heavy bereavement; also for the beautiful floral tokens. It is impossible to thank each one individually. Will all kindly accept this acknowledgment? It would appear Amos was engaged to be married at the time of his death as Miss Winnie Horne (fiance) was present at his funeral.

1911 Census

MARTIN, JOHN BLACKWELL HEAD MARRIED M 49 LEATHER CURRIER NORTHANTS DEANSHANGER
MARTIN, REBECCA WIFE MARRIED 26 F 53 NORTHANTS HIGHAM FERRERS
MARTIN, AMOS SON SINGLE M 25 BOOT AND SHOE CLICKER NORTHANTS HIGHAM FERRERS
MARTIN, WILLIAM SON SINGLE M 22 BOOT AND SHOE CLICKER NORTHANTS HIGHAM FERRERS
MARTIN, OWEN SON SINGLE M 20 BOOT AND SHOE CLICKER NORTHANTS HIGHAM FERRERS
MARTIN, JOHN BLACKWELL SON SINGLE M 16 LEATHER CURRIER NORTHANTS HIGHAM FERRERS
MARTIN, MARY ELIZABETH DAUGHTER F 12 SCHOOL NORTHANTS HIGHAM FERRERS

 

WILLIAM MARTIN (1889 - 1948)

William, the second son of John Blackwell Martin and Rebecca Perkins was born on the 27 January 1889 and died on the 28 January 1948 in Higham Ferrers and like Amos is buried in the same cemetery. He married Ethel Sophia Short and there was one son, Albert William, he later married May Rice.

ALBERT WILLIAM (BILL) MARTIN (1915 - 2003) and MARJORIE EVELYN PALMER (1920 - )

Albert William (Bill) Martin, the only son of William and Ethel Short was born at 108 Harborough Road, Rushden on the 19th February 1915. At the early age of three, he spent the first part of his education at the National School, High street, Rushden, he cannot remember those bygone days. All that he can remember of his mother, was that on Feb 13th 1919 the front door was knocked, his mother went to the door and all he can hear her saying was, - Bill, its your brother Jack, your Grandfather has died suddenly from a heart attack, a few days after, my mother died on Feb. 24th 1919, a traumatic and sad time for my father. It also meant leaving Harborough Road and going to live with his Father and Grandmother at Higham Ferrers.

Winnie Horn, his godmother was a teacher at Higham Schools, she introduced him to the commencement of a new education and satisfactory progress was made. Winnie was a good friend of his Uncle Moss, who was organist at St Mary's Church, they never married. Sat for the 11 Plus at the age of ten but failed, was accepted however at the Rushden Intermediate School, was most successful, always finishing in the first three or four, and his last year at school did very well, he was asked to have three weeks from school and join the Assistant Surveyor in a survey project at the Higham Ferrers Park at Rushden, he did so well at this, his headmaster asked him to stay at school for an extra year and study to join the Rushden Surveyors team, he had a map and drawing in the school hall for many years.

However his stepmother thought he should leave school and have a wage packet. This was probably a bad mistake. Was most prominent in sport and led the school teams at cricket and football, winning many trophies. However at the age of ten his father remarried again, unfortunately it proved to be a most unhappy period for young Bill, he and his stepmother did not get on well, his heart was still at Harborough Road, and one night he packed his bags to go and live at Rushden, with his Grandmother Short and Auntie Cora, his father however persuaded him to stay at Higham Ferrers, this he did, but it caused many unhappy times.

However sport and the outdoor life prevailed and he played cricket for Higham Ferrers at a very early age, also joined the St Mary's Church bellringing team, following the tradition set by his Grandfather John Blackwell Martin, a plaque was fixed many years ago, next to J.B's seat in the choir stalls and which Bill often sits in on Sunday mornings. Started work at the age of 14 and was apprenticed to a heating engineer and plumber, studied at night school and did very well, he was highly thought of in his trade, but was always looking to start his own business.

Then came 1938, the building trade went flat and he was offered a job at Rushden Gas Co., for an extra 2d per hour, a lot of money those days. In 1939 the war broke out and he intended to join the marines with his friend, much to his disgust he was graded 3 and told by the chairman of the board to go home and do his firewatching. When Bill said he had a clean driving licence surely he could join the Service Corps or even be an ambulance driver, his reply was, I am here to do a job, not to grant favours.

Had many tough times with the Gas Co., was first on the scene when a bomb wrecked the towns gas supply. Was at the bombing of a row of terraced houses which caused many deaths and destruction. He thought it was about time something was done about finding a wife. He had known Marjorie for a few years and decided that she was the girl for him. Marjorie had been born on the 27 December 1920. Marjorie was then one of the famous Code Breakers at Bletchley Park (Read Enigma by Harris) and living at Wolverton, too far away to go courting.

They were married on her birthday December 27th 1943. St. Marys Church bells for the first time since the outbreak of the war, were rung to celebrate the wedding. Lived with Marjorie's auntie for six weeks, until Bills birthday, February 19th 1944 and then moved into their own house, semi detached, which cost 375, a big mortgage and responsibility those days.

Jacqueline was born at Harborough Road 11th February 1946.

It was then agreed to start their own business, he incorporated a friend and good tradesman who he had worked with for many years, and so Pentlow & Martin was formed with Marjorie as secretary.

Hilary was born on the 6th July 1950.

His sporting days, as he thought, were over and he had to concentrate on his family and business. Within a few years we were employing about 20 men and although not competing with Wimpey he had formed quite a good little business. Page 19 Marjorie could see things were getting a little too much for him, and to his delight bought him a set of Golf Clubs, he was accepted as a member of the local club and after a short time was winning a lot of games and competitions.

He twice had to refuse the captaincy of the club owing to ill health. He had more pleasure from Golf than any of his many sports. Decided to shut down our business in 1979, but not before he had built our own house in Wood Street. Unfortunately had to have a major heart operation in 1987 at the London Heart Hospital and at the age of 72 was advised to pack up his golf clubs. However not before he had won quite a few matches and competitions, had the pleasure of holing out in one, at the 16th hole at Ashridge Park, 166 yards with a six iron.

Then came bowls, took to the game quite well. Won the veterans league at Wellingborough and Rushden. Once again he had to resign owing to ill health, not before he was offered the captaincy of the bowls club, which again he had to refuse, a great pity for he had lots of pleasure from the game and at 80 years old, decided that enough was enough. Bills philosophy in life, was if you work hard you are entitled to play hard, he was a good example of this thinking.

He was a good sportsman, who always played the game, he made many friends, one of whom he manages to go out with and have a couple of jars twice a week, not too bad for two 81 year olds, who went to school together 75 years ago. Bill, after a long period of illness died on 25 May 2003 and after a well attended service at St Mary's, Higham Ferrers was buried in the Cemetery on 2 June 2003.

JAQUELINE MARTIN (1946 - )

Jacqueline Martin, the eldest daughter of William Albert Martin and Marjorie Evelyn Palmer was born on the 11 February 1946 at Higham Ferrers. Jaqueline still lives in Higham Ferrers.

HILARY MARTIN (1950 - )

Hilary Martin, the youngest daughter of Albert William Martin and Marjorie Evelyn Palmer was born on the 6th July 1950 and married Geofrey Ronald Atkin at St Mary's, Higham Ferrers on 17 February 1973. They live in Bollington, near Macclesfield, Cheshire. There are two daughters, Joanna Mary Atkin, born 2 August 1975, and Louise Elizabeth Atkin, born 13 November 1977.

OWEN MARTIN (1891 - 1957)

Owen Martin, the third son of John Blackwell Martin and Rebecca Perkins was born at Hindstyle on the 12 April 1891 and married Margaret Felce. Owen died in September 1957. There were three children, Douglas, Vivien and Geoffrey.

DOUGLAS MARTIN (1917 - Abt 1942), VIVIEN MARTIN and GEOFREY MARTIN (1925 - Abt 1944)

Douglas Martin was born in 1917 and christened on 27 May of that year, of Vivien there are no details other than she married W. Mcowen, and Geoffrey was born on the 26 April 1925 and died on HMS Theseus on 21 May 1946, aged 21. Currently (June 2003) there are no futher details. His death is recorded on the Portsmouth Navy Memorial on Southsea Common, Panel 90, Column 3.

JOHN BLACKWELL MARTIN (3) (JACK) (1885 - 1962) and DOROTHY FULLER (Abt 1895 - 1996)

John Blackwell, (Jack) Martin the fourth son and fourth child of John Blackwell Martin and Rebecca Perkins was born on the 10 March 1895 and is the third to carry this name. He served in the Royal Navy as a Bandmaster. He married Dorothy Fuller, born about 1895, there were no children. He died on 9 June 1962, Dorothy on the 2 December 1996, aged 101

MARY ELIZABETH MARTIN (1898 - 1962) and W. THOMPSON

Mary Elizabeth Martin, the fifth child and only daughter of John Blackwell Martin and Rebecca Perkins was born on the 24 May 1898, she married W. Thompson and had one daughter, Dorothy. She died on 10 February 1962. Dorothy was initially married to E Johnson, who was killed on active service, and she later married R. Blackwell, the Mayor of Higham Ferrers. There are no children recorded.

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