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John Alfred Martin

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The son of Edwin and Emily Jane Martin, The Stables, Kingston Bagpuize House, Kingston Bagpuize.

John Alfred Martin was the son of Edwin and Emily Jane Bestley.

Edwin was born in Longworth the son of Charles Esau Martin who in turn had been born in Highworth, Wiltshire in 1840.

Charles and his wife Sophia are living in Longworth village in 1871 but by 1881 they are living on the Faringdon road, a couple of doors from the old Post Office near School Lane, Kingston Bagpuize. Edwin found work at Kingston House as a Stableman, living at the Old Stable House, and in his later years, worked at the house as a gardener.

On 1st August 1896 Edwin and Emily Jane Bestley married at Holy Trinity Church, Oxford. The witnesses of this wedding were their fathers, Esau Martin, and John Bestley. Further witnesses were William Noaks, Lucy Martin [who was Edwin's sister] and a friend Emily Jane Wigmore.

They returned from Oxford to settle down to married life in Kingston Bagpuize and in April 1899 their first child was born, a boy called Cecil James Martin. Their second child, Edwin Jeffries Martin was born in 1901, followed by their third son John Alfred Martin in 1902. Their family grew and by 1917 they had had four girls and another three boys.

In December 1936, John was married in Abingdon to Margaret Alice Skipp and they probably came back to Kingston to live at the Martin family home so John could return to his work at Kingston House.

In 1939, at the outbreak of war Edwin and Emily's third son, John Alfred Martin joined the Royal Artillery and became a Warrant Officer.

He was later mentioned in dispatches [see The London Gazette, 20th December 1940.]

In September 1939 the Martin family is shown on the 1939 Register to be living at The Lodge, Kingston Bagpuize and whilst John Alfred Martin is not there, his wife Margaret Martin is. It is most likely that this absence was due to his war service.

After service in France, John met his death on the 14th October 1940 aged 38 years, in a fatal road crash on his motor-cycle at Leysdown Road Sheppey, Kent. He died from an embolus, as a result of a fractured skull . The Coroner returned a verdict of ‘Accidental Death’. 

GRO Reference: 1940  D Quarter in SHEPPEY  Volume 02A  Page 3375

He lies in the churchyard here, in Kingston Bagpuize.

John Alfred Martin's grave

Debt of Honour War Graves Commission
In Memory of Warrant Officer Class II
115 Field Regt., Royal Artillery who died age 38 on Monday 14 October 1940.

He was the Son of Edwin and Emily Jane Martin of Kingston Bagpuize and husband of Margaret Alice Martin nee Skipp, of Peckham, London. He is remembered with honour at St John the Baptist Church, Kingston Bagpuize graveyard and on the Memorial stones at Memorial Crescent, Kingston Bagpuize.

Source: Kent Messenger 9th November 1940; Kingston Bagpuize Burial Register;

Further Research

John's two brothers also joined up. Cecil James Martin who signed up to the army on 14 May 1917 but was found medically unfit on 22 June 1917 and returned home. Also Edward Jeffries Martin who on 20 September 1916 became a sailor on joining the Royal Navy. He appears to have survived.







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