James Lewis Martin

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MARTIN, James Lewis

Service no: 476/1830 [1]

Place of birth: Orange, 1887

Address: 27 Sale Street, Orange

Occupation: Farmer

Next of kin: Ellen Martin (mother), 27 Sale Street, Orange, later William Street, Orange East

Date of enlistment: 21 January 1915

Place of enlistment: Melbourne, VIC

Age at enlistment: 27

Fate: Assigned to 12th Regiment 21 January 1915. Embarked HMAT Suevic A29, Sydney, 13 June 1915. Transferred to 6th Light Horse 29 August 1915. Admitted to 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station 31 August 1915. Returned to Australia 25 September 1915. Embarked HMAT A64 Demosthenes, Melbourne, 29 October 1915. Joined 29th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcements 14 December 1915. Transferred to 46th Battalion 6 March 1916. Proceeded to France 8 June 1916. Wounded in action, France, suffering a gunshot wound to the back 12 August 1916. Transferred to 1st Eastern General Hospital, Cambridge, England, 17 August 1916. Hospitalised with mumps 20 February 1917. Transferred to 65th Battalion 23 March 1917. Admitted to Wareham Military Hospital, England, with a fractured arm 20 April 1917. Rejoined unit in France 15 May 1917. Re-assigned to 46th Battalion 29 May 1917. Transferred to 61st Battalion 23 June 1917. Re-assigned to 46th Battalion July 1917. Promoted to Lance Corporal 22 July 1917. Promoted to Corporal 16 August 1917. Promoted to Sergeant 21 October 1917. Hospitalised in France 3 March 1918. Discharged to duty 6 April 1918. Killed in action.

Date of death: 11 July 1918

Buried: Vaux Cemetery, France, 23 July 1918. His body was later exhumed and reburied at Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, France, Plot VIII, Row E, Grave 4

James Lewis Martin was born in Orange in 1887. James was the youngest of twelve children born to Thomas Martin and his wife Ellen (nee Stephens). Thomas, a native of Galway, had come to the colony in the 1860s and settled in the Forest Reefs area. The family later moved to Sale Street in Orange.

James enlisted in Melbourne in January 1915, aged 27, and was assigned to the 12th Battalion as a private. He embarked from Sydney in June, however ill-heath saw him return to Australia just three months later. Private Martin re-embarked from Melbourne in October 1915, joining the 29th Battalion.

In March 1916 James was re-assigned to the 46th Battalion, and he proceeded to France three months later. James sustained a gunshot wound in his back in August 1916, which saw him hospitalised in England. He was hospitalised a second time, in February the following year, with mumps. In April 1917 he was hospitalised again, this time with a fractured arm.

James was promoted to Lance Corporal in July 1917, Corporal the following month, then Sergeant in October 1917. Sergeant Martin was killed in action on 11 July 1918, aged 30. He is buried at Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery in France.

James’ father, Thomas, died in August 1918. Before issuing Sergeant Martin’s’ war medals, the Army Base Records Office requested that the Orange Inspector of Police interview James’ mother, Ellen. Once she had testified that her husband was deceased and that James was unmarried and had no children Ellen was issued with her son’s medals.

James Lewis Martin is commemorated on the World War I Roll of Honour on the southern face of the Orange Cenotaph.

Leader, 26 July 1918, p. 3.

Last great sacrifice: Sgt James Martin killed [2]

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