Martin Nicholas Cousens

From Our Contribution

Martin Nicholas Cousens
Cousens Martin Nicholas 1.jpg
Sunday Times 3 Dec 1916, page 6.
Personal Information
Date of Birth not known
"not known" contains an extrinsic dash or other characters that are invalid for a date interpretation.
Place of Birth Rutherglen, Victoria
Death 4 Jan 1942
Place of Death Beverley, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 23 years, 10 months
Description 5'6½" (1.69m) tall ; 120 lbs
54.431 kg
; dark complexion ; brown eyes ; black hair
Occupation PMG staff member
Religion Church of England
Address Jarrahdale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr William Edward Cousens
Military Information
Reg Number 15584
Date of Enlistment 5 Apr 1916
Rank Sapper
Unit/Formation Australian Corps of Signals - 4th Division
transferred to 3rd Division May 1917
transferred to Australian Corps Signal Company.
Date of Embarkation 10 Oct 1916 ‒ 2 Dec 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A23 Suffolk
Date of Return 18 Jul 1919 ‒ 29 Aug 1919
Ship Returned On HMT Takada
Fate Returned to Australia
Monument Jarrahdale Honour Roll
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

Electoral Roll entry - 1916 Northam, postal employee.

Engagement - Private M.N. Cousens, of Jarrahdale, and Olive G. Moir, daughter of Mr and Mrs John Moir of Cape Riche.[1]

War Service

Within a month of joining the Blackboy Hill camp, Martin was allocated to the 5th reinforcement draft for the 51st Battalion. However at the end of May 1916 he was sent to Signals School, and as a result on 1 Jul 1916 he was reallocated to the 6th reinforcement draft for the 4th Division Signals Company.

On arrival in England he was posted to the Infantry Draft Depot before being transferred to No.7 Camp Perham Downs on 1 Feb 1917. He was granted leave from 19-23 Feb 1917 before proceeding overseas to France on 24 Apr 1917 through Folkestone. In France on 4 May 1917 he was taken on the strength of the 3rd Division Signal Company at Abbeville.

On 6 Mar 1918 he was on the move again, this time to the Australian Corps Signal Company. Martin was granted furlough to England between 12-29 Jul 1918, and then granted Paris leave from 9-22 Nov 1918. Martin remained with the Corps HQ until he returned home

Post War

Martin married Olive Georgina Moir in the Plantagenet district during 1920. Olive Georgina died in 1967 aged 75 in the Plantagenet district.

Mr. Cousens, the new postmaster, thanked the chairman and those present for their welcome. From what he had seen of Esperance he felt confident Mrs. Cousens and himself would be prepared to put in the five years here.[2]

In 1924 Martin wrote to military authorities from the Albany Post Office. Electoral Roll entries - 1925 at Gray street, Albany, a telegraphist; 1936 - 1942 Dalwallinu, postmaster. Despite the Electoral Roll entry for 1942, Martin had been in Beverley since 1938.

POSTMASTER FOUND SHOT. BEVERLEY. Jan. 5.-The death occurred in tragic circumstances yesterday of Mr. Martin Nickless Cousens (49), postmaster, of Beverley, whose body was discovered at the rear of his office with a bullet wound in the head and a 0.22 calibre rifle nearby. A note signified his intention to take his own life as a result of worry and ill-health. The late Mr. Cousens came to Beverley four years ago from Dalwallinu, but he had served the Postal Department in many centres throughout the State. He served for three years with the A.I.F. in the last war and at the time of his death he was an active member of the local branch of the R.S.L. and of the Home Guard.[3]

The death occurred in tragic circumstances on Sunday of Mr Martin Nickless Cousens, who for the past four years has occupied the position of postmaster at Beverley. His body with a bullet wound in the head and a 22 calibre rifle adjacent was found about 4 o'clock in the "afternoon at the rear of the post office building and a note found later indicated that deceased, as a result of worry and overwork, bed intended to take his own life.

The late Mr Cousens was 49 years of age and came to Beverley four years ago from Dalwallinu but previous to the latter appointment had served the Postal Department in many centres throughout the State including a number of Great Southern towns. Last year he was ordered away on sick leave and was absent from Beverley for some months. His health was improved on his return but in recent months he has again suffered ill health.

Deceased served three years with the A.I.F. in the last war and his experiences during that period were possibly in a measure responsible for the sickness he has suffered in recent years. Current war developments also gave him great concern and allied to this were the worries resulting from over work at the office where for periods of late he has been understaffed. Since coming to Beverley the late Mr Cousens has been popular with all. He was a keen member of the local branch of the R.S.L. and actively associated with the Home Guard movement. An always obliging official the news of his sudden death came as a shock to his many friends throughout the district and much sympathy is felt for his bereaved wife and family of whom a father (residing at Jarrahdale), four brothers (Ruben - Sydney, Bert - Harvey, Jeff - Norseman, James - Pemberton) and two sisters (Mrs Judd - West Murray, and Mrs Cambell - Boulder) survive him.

The funeral took place at the Anglican Cemetery on Monday afternoon the Rev J L Brown officiating and Mr E. T. Fairhead carrying out the arrangements. Members of the R.S.L, and Home Guard were well represented at the graveside and the pall-bearers were drawn from the ranks of the former organisation. After the rites of the Church had been concluded Mr F Bremner, of the Home Guard unit, sounded the "Last Post" over the grave.

An inquest into the circumstances of deceased's passing will be held at the Court House, Beverley on a date to be fixed.[4]


Buried Beverley Anglican Cemetery.

  1. Sunday Times 4 Jun 1916, page 1
  2. Kalgoorlie Miner 1 Feb 1921
  3. The West Australian 6 Jan 1942, page 2.
  4. The Beverley Times 9 Jan 1942 page 3.

External Links