Every Name A Story Content

Martin, T., Pte., 1918
On the Vis-en-Artois Memorial to the Missing is the name of 63310 Private Thomas Martin serving with the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry who died 02/09/1918.

Pauline Priano has submitted the following:-

Thomas Martin was born 1891 at Waldridge, Chester le Street, County Durham, one of 10 children of whom only 6 survived, 3 boys and 3 girls. His father Alfred Martin native of Barrow Farm, Suffolk, born 1865 worked as a miner and migrated to the north east with his parents and siblings after 1881, marrying Mary Ann Dodds of Lumley, County Durham in 1884 and setting up home in Waldridge. Early 1900 they were living at William Street and by 1911, Thomas now 20 years old, still living with his family at 14 Red Row Ushaw Terrace, Ushaw Moor, was working along with his elder brother as a putter at the colliery. Thomas married Mary Ellen Vickers during the 2nd quarter of 1914 in the district of Easington, a native of Hawthorn, born 1893. Their first child Margaret Ann was born December 1914 and died during December also, they went on to have another little girl in 1916 who they also named Margaret Ann, followed by a son Thomas Martin in 1918.

Thomas Martin enlisted at Newcastle upon Tyne, November 14th 1914 and was assigned as Private 900 to the 24th Battalion (Tyneside Irish) Northumberland Fusiliers. The 24th along with the 25th/26/27th Service Battalions were moved to Wolsingham, March 1915 together they formed the 103rd Brigade, 34th Division. Taken over by the War Office, August 27th 1915, moved to Salisbury Plain at the end of the month they crossed to France in January 1916. The 34th Division took part in the Battles of the Somme 1916, Battle of Arras and Third Battle of Ypres 1917. During his service he was transferred to the 2nd/4th Battalion, Kingís Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, as Private 63310, when on February 26th 1918 the 24th/26th and 27th Battalions Northumberland Fusiliers were disbanded.

The Spring Offensive of the German Army on the Western Front began March 21st 1918, when it concluded in July a counter attack was ordered by the Allied supreme commander Ferdinand Foch known as the Advance to Victory. Private 63310 Thomas Martin Kingís Own Yorkshire Light Infantry was killed in action, September 2nd 1918, during the advance in Picardy and Artois between the Somme and Loos, he was 27 years old. Private Martin has no known grave, his name is one of 9000 inscribed on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial to the Missing, commemorating the forces of Great Britain, South Africa, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. His widow received all monies due to him, a pension and his awards of the British War Medal and Service Medal.

Their daughter Margaret Ann died aged 62 in 1988 at Rotherham and son Thomas in Egypt whilst on active service during WW2 as Private 7617392 Royal Army Ordinance Corp, September 2nd 1942. He is interred at Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery, 12 kilometres from the Egypt-Libya border, grave 7. C. 7. He was 27 years old and left a widow Florence Gladys nee Dilgert of Camden, London whom he married in December 1938 at Hampstead, London and a son Thomas F. Martin. His wife had the following additional words inscribed on his military headstone, it reads, I Have Fought The Good Fight, I Have Finished My Course, I Have Kept The Faith.

Mary Ellen Martin nee Vickers remarried in 1923 to John Robson of Easington giving birth to a son John George in 1925. John George was, aged 25 years, a casualty of the Easington Mining Disaster, May 29th 1951, when an explosion caused by firedamp propagated by coal dust being ignited by sparks from cutter picks striking pyrites, ripped through the mine, lives lost 83. John George Robson is buried at Easington Colliery Cemetery and his name appears on the colliery disaster memorial. He left the sum of 941 pounds 7 shillings and 2 pence to his widow Florence nee Stoker of 3 East View Home Hill, Easington and three children, Mary aged 5, John aged 3 and Georgina age 0 born 2nd quarter of 1951 either just prior or after the mine disaster.

Mary Ellen Robson (previously Martin nee Vickers) died in 1952 aged 59 years.

In Godís safe keeping. Rest In Peace.

Thomas Martin is remembered at Hawthorn on H119.01 at Easington Colliery on E52.01 where his son Thomas is listed in the fallen for 1939 -1945 and E52.03

The CWGC entry for Private Martin 1942
The CWGC entry for Private Martin 1918

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk