The AIF Project

Rupert MARTIN

Regimental number1978
Place of birthAnnandale, Sydney, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationFisherman
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation26
Height5' 7.75"
Weight145 lbs
Next of kinFriend, Edith Saul, Seven Oaks, Macleay River, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date21 November 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit nameLight Trench Mortar Battery, 8th Reinforcements
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT Osterley on 10 February 1917
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll36th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 12 October 1917
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 25), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
127
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Native of Seven Oaks, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsBrother: 2983 Pte Royal Clifton MARTIN, 30th Bn, killed in action, 16 March 1918.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 10 February 1917; disembarked Plymouth, 11 April 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 23 August 1917; taken on strength, 36th Bn, in the field, 1 September 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 12 October 1917.

Note, Red Cross File No 1720904N: 'No trace Germany. Cert. by Captain Mills. 14.10.19.'

Statement, 2126 Corporal J.P. RILEY, D Company, 36th Bn, 9 July 1918: 'At Passchendaele in the advance on the 12th. Oct. Martin was alongside me. We were in a large shell hole with 3 others, Martin was lying with his feet against me in the back of the hole. I heard an explosion and looking round saw Martin dead. A piece of shell had hit him on the tin hat. Only his fingers were damaged. I think he had been killed by the concussion. A few hours afterwards we got orders to withdraw and meanwhile I took his pocket wallet and pay-book and kept them till the next day and then looked at them. I found half a sovereign, a photo and letters. I handed these things to the CSM. The half sovereign I kept to send to the next of kin. The only address I have is Mrs. Saul, Nambucca, NSW.'

Second statement, Red Cross File No 1720812L, 1955 Pte P.D. DAVIS, D Company, 36th Bn (patient, 1st Birmingahm War Hospital, Rednall, England), 10 February 1918: 'On Oct 10/17, at Passchendaele Stunt, Pte Martin was killed by a shell, along with three others, which fell in a trench. All killed instantly. Were probably buried between Zonnebeke and Paschendaele, but as to that Informant has no definite information.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsName does not appear on Embarkation Roll.
SourcesNAA: B2455, MARTIN Rupert
Red Cross File No 1720904N
Red Cross File No 1720812L

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