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Quorn WW1 Roll of Honour - Samuel William Martin

Died 28th May 1915, aged 25
North West of Festubert, Pas de Calais, France

Early years

Samuel William Martin was born on Boxing Day in 1888, in Quorn. His parents, Henry Martin and Maria Martin (née Barnett), had married four years earlier on Christmas Day in Quorn Parish Church, and they eventually had seven children. Maria’s family had run the Blacksmith’s Arms pub on Meeting Street from the 1860s, and Maria first met Henry when he was lodging with them. Henry was a blacksmith, so he was probably working at the forge, just across the road.

Deaths in the family
Although he was a blacksmith by trade, he later took over as landlord of the pub, but tragedy struck in August 1900 when Henry Martin died aged 51. Maria carried on alone, but it was a hard time, and there was even more anguish for her, when in March 1904, Samuel’s 11 year old brother Hobill died. Just two months later Maria herself died, aged only fifty, leaving six surviving children ranging from 9 to 19 years old. Samuel was 15. It is not known exactly what happened to the younger ones, but by 1911 Samuel’s younger sister Millicent was working as a barmaid in Lymington, Hampshire and his younger brother Harry, aged 15 was a musician with the Royal Garrison Artillery in Portsmouth.

Emigrating to Canada and joining up
Within a few years and before the war started, Henry and Maria’s two eldest sons, John Henry Martin and Samuel William Martin decided to seek their fortunes in Canada. This was a time when many people were emigrating to the new world and in Quorn, Canada seemed to be the most popular destination. Once war broke out, some emigrants returned to England to join the British Forces, but others did the same as Samuel and John, and enlisted into the Canadian Army. Samuel joined the Canadian Infantry, 7th Battalion in November 1914. He was described as 5 feet 9 inches tall and his occupation at the time was recorded as a teamster, which meant he was the driver of a team of horses which were used for hauling.

Killed in action
Samuel had been involved in the war for less than 7 months, when he was shot in the back on the battlefield in France and died the next day. He is buried in Hinges Military Cemetery, France. Despite having moved away, the village had not forgotten the Martin boys and Samuel is remembered on Quorn War Memorial.

1) The Blacksmith’s Arms Pub on the right, with the blacksmiths forge and workshop on the left.
2) Posters from the time; firstly encouraging emigration to Canada and then encouraging men in Canada to enlist.

 view larger image
 missing information Missing information: Can anyone provide a photograph of Samuel Martin?
Please email us at: team2021@quornmuseum.com
 Submitted on: 2020-01-13
 Submitted by: Sue Templeman
 Artefact ID: 2294
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page or just on its own.

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