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Alfred Arthur Martin

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Alfred Arthur Martin
Martin Alfred Arthur centre.jpg
Alfred seated Photo courtesy Rob Richings
Martin Alfred Arthur and Florence Symonds.jpg
Wedding photo Alfred and Florence Simmonds courtesy Rob Richings
Personal Information
Date of Birth 9 Oct 1895
Place of Birth Dartford, Kent, England
Death June Qtr 1972
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Place of Death Hove, Sussex, England
Age at Enlistment 19 years, 9 months
Description 5' 6½" (1.69m) tall ; 134 lbs
60.781 kg
; dark complexion ; brown eyes ; dark hair
Occupation Butcher
Religion Church of England
Address Cardup via Beenup, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Lewis Arthur Martin
Military Information
Reg Number 3141
Date of Enlistment 12 Jul 1915
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 16th Battalion, 10th Reinforcement, transferred to the 48th Battalion 7 Platoon B Company / 12th Brigade, 4th Division
Date of Embarkation 13 Oct 1915 ‒ ?
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Ship Embarked On HMAT A32 Themistocles Fremantle to Port Suez
Date of Return 28 Feb 1919 ‒ 7 Apr 1919
Ship Returned On HMAT A68 Anchises Devonport to Albany
Fate Wounded in Action 13 Aug 1916 Mouquet Farm
Returned to Australia
Monument Armadale War Memorial (Beenup panel)
Armadale and Districts Roll of Honour
Medals 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal



Pre War

War Service

Three days after entering camp. Alfred was allocated to the 10th reinforcement draft for the 16th Battalion. After three months training at Blackboy Hill camp he travelled with them to Egypt.

Following more training on arrival in Egypt, he was taken on strength by the 16th Battalion on 5 Feb 1916 at Moascar, before becoming one of the initial members of the 48th Battalion on 3 Mar 1916 at Tel-el-Kebir. On 17 Mar 1916 he was seen by the 12th Australian Field Ambulance before being admitted to the 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital later that day, rejoining his unit on 30 Mar 1916. The 48th trained in the Serapeum area before manning front line trenches at Habieta 12 miles (20 km) east of the canal for a brief time before embarking on the HMT Caledonia at Alexandria on 2 Jun 1916 for Marseilles in southern France, disembarking on 9 Jun 1916.

Their early experience of front line duty on the Western Front was in the "nursery area" around Fleurbaix before moving to the Somme where on 8 Aug 1916 they relieved the 27th Battalion in the trenches near the Windmill on the Bapaume road at Poziéres. During the night of 5 Aug 1916, and until noon on 7 Aug 1916 they suffered very heavy casualties from continuous heavy shelling by the enemy [104 killed, 418 wounded and 76 missing]. Then on 8 Jun 1916 they faced an enemy counter attack.

Having had a rest in Sausage valley during the 9th and 10th, they moved back into the front line at 6am on 12 Aug 1916 and were again heavily shelled on 13 Aug 1916. This was when Alfred received his injuries - shrapnel wounds to his left thigh and right shin. Alfred was treated by the 7th Australian Field Ambulance and sent on to a casualty clearing station before being assessed for treatment options.

He was evacuated to UK on HMHS Panama from Le Havre on 18 Aug 1916, and admitted next day to the 1st London General Hospital at St Gabriel's College, Cormont road, Camberwell. Alfred was discharged from this hospital on 9 Oct 1916. While rehabilitating with the No. 4 Command Depot at Wareham, Alfred had a couple of AWOL episodes. The first was from 9:00am 12 Feb 1917 until 6:00pm 15 Feb 1917 for which he was awarded 96 hours detention and loss of 8 day's pay. The second absence was from 14 - 18 Mar 1917 for which he was awarded 7 day's Filed Punishment No. 2 (see notes) and the loss of 12 day's pay. Alf proceeded overseas to France through Folkestone on 29 Apr 1917 and returned to his unit in France on 3 May 1917 at Millencourt a training area west of Albert.

On 14 Jun 1917 he was admitted to the 13th General Hospital in Boulogne and evacuated to England aboard the HMHS St David on 23 Jun 1917 suffering from appendicitis. Admitted to the General Military Hospital Eastern Command at Edmonton on 23 Jun 1917 he was released on 17 Aug 1917, and following some furlough from 17 - 31 Aug 1917 he reported to No. 1 Command Depot at Perham Downs who sent him on to the No 3 Command Depot at Hurdcott 6 Sep 1917. Reclassified several times as his health improved, on 29 Sep 1917 he was sent to the Overseas training Brigade at the Sandhill camp at Longbridge Deverill to prepare for France. While there he was charged with "Being out of Bounds at Codford on 6 Oct 1917, for which he forfeited 1 day's pay. He proceeded overseas to France again on 20 Oct 1917 and rejoined his unit on 2 Nov 1917. This time they were near Ypres having come from the battle for Passchendaele Ridge.

His next hospital visit, was via the 13th Australian Field Ambulance on 2 Feb 1918 where he was given preliminary treatment for Trench Feet. On 5 Feb 1918 he was admitted to the 8th Stationary Hospital in Wimereux before being evacuated on 12 Feb 1918 to the Southwark Military Hospital in East Dulwich. Alfred was in the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital from 20 - 22 Mar 1918 undergoing assessment, before furlough from 22 Mar to 5 Apr 1918, after which he reported to No. 3 Command Depot at Hurdcott 40 minutes late. Charged with AWOL, he was admonished. On 16 May 1918 he was transferred to the Overseas Training Battalion at Longbridge Deverill and again returned to France through Folkestone, this time on 5 Jun 1918. He was reunited with the 48th Battalion on 7 Jun 1918 near the Somme River at Vecquemont between Amiens and Corbie.

Thus he participated in the 1918 advance up the Somme valley, remaining with them until he began the journey home by returning to England on 15 Jan 1919. In England he was at Sutton Veny's No. 1 Command Depot from 16 Jan until 7 Feb 1919 when he transferred to the 2nd Training Brigade at Codford until his berth on a ship was available.

Discharged 5th Military District 3 Jun 1919.

Alfred provided an eye witness account of the death of a fellow platoon member, Pte O. Fisher

"I saw Private Fisher hit by a shell while in the trenches at Poziéres; he was literally blown to pieces. He had some Australian sovereigns in his pocket and was just going to lend them to a friend, Private R.G. McLean, when the shell came over."
In a Red Cross report Alfred is again quoted..
" A shell came over and hit the last one of four cookhouses, causing forty-two casualties. I saw Private Bole there just before the explosion and all that could be found of him afterwards was his watch, which his brother (who is in the same battalion) took. I was slightly wounded myself at the time.."

Discharged by the 5th Military District on 3 Jun 1919.

Post War

on 21 Feb 1920 at Beenup, Alf married Florence C Simmons.

Electoral Roll entries - 1919 - 1931 Cardup, Beenup, labourer. Soon after he returned to England with Florence who was also British born.

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