Sapper Gordon Martin
1st Field Company Engineers, AIF
Service Number: 6978
Born: 1895, Redfern, NSW
Died: 7 October 1916, Poperinge, Belgium
Gordon Martin was one of five children born to Robert Thompson and Elizabeth Martin in 1895 in Redfern. By about 1910 his family had moved onto 30 acres on the Lakes of Killarney estate at Londonderry. His father also leased other land where he cut the timber for income. The family however feuded for many years with the Brown family who owned a nearby farm on Richmond Road. Young Gordon was charged along with his mother with stealing property from the farm of John Brown on Richmond Road in 1911. After searching their home at Londonderry Gordon’s father was also charged with being in possession of stolen goods. Again in 1913 the family were back in court suing the Brown family for
shooting their dogs.
After completing school Martin was apprenticed as a blacksmith at Richmond where he worked for five years. He enlisted at Victoria Barracks on 21 December 1915. His neighbour Samuel Protest Brown had joined the Light Horse in 1914, fought at Gallipoli, worked as a shoeing smith and returned to Australia in 1918.
Martin embarked on the HMAT Makarini with Emu Plains local William Mullen on 1 April 1916 and arrived in Egypt on 3 May. On 28 May he was sent to England for engineers training and then by August he was in France.
On 5 September 1916 Martin joined the 7th Field Company Australian Engineers in Belgium. He died of gunshot wounds and a fractured skull at 17th Casualty Clearing Station on 7 October 1916. John Brown’s son also served in the war, returning to Australia. Martin’s family lived on in Londonderry where his father died in 1955 at the age of 91 years.
- Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium
- Honor Roll, Smith Park, Castlereagh
National Archives of Australia: B2455, MARTIN G