680020 CPL. F. MARTIN. R.F.A.

 

Frederick Martin was born in Walton Le Dale on 7 May 1890 and baptised at St Leonard’s on 21 May.  His family lived at Prospect Terrace, Victoria Road.  His father was Joseph Martin (b. 1866 in Walton Le Dale), a powerloom overlooker.  His mother was Catherine Sheedy (b. 1868 in Halifax).  The Sheedys moved to Walton Le Dale just after Catherine was born.  Joseph and Catherine were married in 1888 and they had four children: James (b. 1888), then Fred, then Jane (b. 1892) and finally Walter (1899-1906).  In 1911, Fred was living with his parents and siblings at 56 Prospect Terrace, Walton Le Dale.

 

Before the War, Fred must have joined the Royal Field Artillery Territorials in Bamber Bridge.  His initial service number was 294, and this was changed to 680020 in 1917.  Given that Fred had some pre-War experience he was posted to 276 Brigade (West Lancashire Brigade) which came under orders of 55th (West Lancashire) Division.  He landed in France with his Division on 29 September 1915.  Fred was promoted to Corporal.

 

55th (West Lancashire) Division fought at Guillemont and Ginchy (on the Somme) in September 1916, suffering severe losses especially at Guillemont.  They also fought at Flers-Courcelette and Morval later that month, and then in October 1916 they were moved to the Ypres Salient, at the time a relatively quieter part of the front.  Although there were no major engagements in early 1917, there was constant harassment, shelling and raids. 

 

In January 1917, 55th Division were first in reserve at Houtkerque, on the French/Belgian border, and then, on 25 January, they were moved up to support the defence of Ypres.  In March 1917, 276 Brigade were engaged in the bombardment of St. Julien (Sint Juliaan) in retaliation for German shelling of St Jean.  5 men from 276 Brigade were killed during the period 3-9 March.  Fred was wounded in action and subsequently died on 4 March 1917 at No2 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station near Lijssenthoek in Belgium.  He was 26 years old.

 

Rank:  Corporal

Service No:  680020

Date of Death:  04/03/1917

Age:  26

Regiment/Service:  Royal Field Artillery, 276th Bde

Grave Reference:  XI. B. 19.

Cemetery:  LIJSSENTHOEK MILITARY CEMETERY

Additional Information:  Son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Martin, of 56 Prospect Terrace, Walton-le-Dale, Preston.

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