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  • James Martin
Person Details
Beeston, Nottingham
He was the son of Matthew and Sarah Martin of Trafalgar Road and later 30, Chapel Street (both Beeston Nottingham). He was the brother of Arthur, Frederick, Harry, Amy Lily, Dorothy and James Martin.
In 1911 he was a correspondence clerk, telephone man.
09 Aug 1915
20
688368 - CWGC Website
13903
Beeston Nottingham
Lance Corporal
9th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
James Martin enlisted on 31 August 1914 and was sent to the regimental depot. He was 20 years 347 days and 5 feet 2 inches tall. He joined the 9th Battalion on 15 September 1914 and on 26 March 1915 was made a Lance Corporal. He sailed for the Dardanelles from Liverpool on 1 July 1915. The battalion had trench experience towards the end of July at Helles on Gallipoli before the landing at Suvla on 6 August 1915. The battalion attack should have gone in immediately but Division decided that the battalion should link with the ANZAC troops and dig in. This gave the Turks a couple of days to recover and bring up new men. When the attack did go in on 9 August, the battalion gained a fair amount of ground but were stalled near Hetman Char. Men lay all around the small hill only feet from the final objective. James was killed in this action and has no known grave. Helles Memorial Panel 151 to 153
An article published on 16th September 1915 in the Hucknall Dispatch contains details of his last letter home to his parents :- “Dear Mother, Father, and All, “Hurrah.” That was the cry that went round our little rabbit warren this morning, for at last the long-looked-for mail had arrived and I, for one, was not long in devouring the contents. Some of the men are dying for a smoke, and it is funny to see them making cigarettes out of tea leaves. Oxo cubes would come in handy. We get bacon for breakfast, and that is the only meal I really enjoy, for we have bread to it. The other meals consist of biscuits, bully beef, and jam. We also get “If it” or “Long Distance” pudding, as some of them call it, “If it” goes round you get some. “If it” don’t, you don’t; but we must not grumble, for we now know it is no use. My arms, knees, and face are quite sunburnt, and I don’t know what I shall look like when I come back. We have had very few casualties considering. I have had one rather narrow escape, an explosive bullet bursting in my loophole just as I got down from it. But out here it is all narrow escapes and shaves, and we get to take no notice of them. Only yesterday a shrapnel shell burst overhead, some of the bullets dropping into our trench, and hitting the man next to me on the sole of his boot and making a hole in another’s shirt without injuring either of them.” Article published 24th June 1916 in the Notts Local News :- Pte. John Stenson was a signaller in the 9th Battalion Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment. On 9th August 1915 the Sherwood Foresters were given the task of advancing towards the 'W' Hills, across Hetman Chair at Suvla Bay. Unsure of their objective, the location or strength of the Turkish defenders, they quickly came under heavy fire. Suffering heavy casualties, they began to fall back in disorder. He described what happened in surprising detail in a letter home. "We left Frenshaw on June 30th, and arrived at Liverpool Docks next morning, when we set sail on the "Empress of Britain". Our first stop was at Malta, then Alexandria, next Lemnos Harbour, where we transhipped for Gallipoli. We landed at Cape Helles on July 21st, and we were in the trenches the same night facing the famous Atchi [Achi] Baba. I shall never forget the trenches there: it was like walking on a sponge, for they were full of dead and the stench was abominable. There were also dead on the parapet, and it was common to see hands and legs sticking out of the ground as one passed. Some of the bodies were merely covered with a bag and a layer of soil, which caused millions of flies to congregate. "When we made the memorable landing at Suvla Bay we were packed like herrings on lighters. But, except for a few bullets whizzing and occasionally striking the boat, there was very little to get excited about. Directly after jumping ashore, we extended out with fixed bayonets, and the order was given for no man to fire. We advanced inland some distance, and I saw one poor chap shot clean through the head. We then dug ourselves in till morning and stopped there all the next day. “It was afterwards stated we should have taken possession of the hills where so many lives were lost. On August 7th we advanced about a quarter of a mile with nothing doing, where we made a good trench and stayed there till next day. It was on August 9th when the next advance took place at sunrise, and I shall never forget running the wire for our last place. We were being popped at, and three of us had lucky escapes. By this time seven officers were out of action, and we went on until we came to the “first aid” dressing station. I think if ever my heart was in my mouth it was that day. The moans of the men were awful, for many were burnt to death where the grass had caught fire. “The signal officer took some men to reinforce A company, and it was about this time that Humphries, [1] Martin [2] and Turton [3] got killed. A corporal of the machine gun section, drunk and behaving in a mad manner, giving the position away, was promptly ordered to be shot by the officer, [4] and when a stretcher bearer got up to shoot him, he was shot himself. “Things were quiet the next two days, but the snipers were busy, and a shot undoubtedly meant for another man who was exposed struck me. I felt as if someone had given me a bang on the head, and I was knocked silly for the time being.” [5] [1] L/Cpl. William Dann Humpreys, 9th Battalion Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment, was killed in action on 9th August 1915. Having no known grave, he is commemorated on the Helles Memorial. [2] L/Cpl James Martin, 9th Battalion Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment, was killed in action on 9th August 1915. The 20 year-old son of Mathew and Sarah Martin, of 30 Chapel Street, Beeston, Nottingham, is commemorated on the Helles Memorial. [3] Pte. Albert Edward Turton, 9th Battalion Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment, was killed in action on 9th August 1915 and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial. He was the 19 year-old son of Herbert Turton, of 23 Middleton Street, Beeston, Nottingham. [4] Lieutenant, later Lieutenant-Colonel Albert Edward Scothern, C.M.G., D.S.O. Above articles and further information are courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.
Remembered on

Photos

  • James Martin
    From Beeston Remembers by David Hallam. Courtesy of Brian Szowkomud - James Martin
  • James martin commemorated on the Helles Memorial
    Photo courtesy of John Morse - James martin commemorated on the Helles Memorial