PRIVATE WILFRED JOHN MARTIN
SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE REGIMENT
10TH MAY 1918 AGE 19
BURIED: BELLACOURT MILITARY CEMETERY, RIVIERE, FRANCE
William and Amy Martin had seven children, five sons and two daughters. Herbert William was the oldest. A warehouseman in London where the family lived, he volunteered in September 1914 and went to France with the 23rd Battalion London Regiment on 14 March 1915. He was killed in action just over two months later in the Battle of Festubert. He was 28. His body was never identified and he's consequently commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial.
Alan Stewart, at the age of 15 working as a junior clerk, volunteered in November 1914. He served with the Royal Engineers and was present in Gallipoli from the landing at Suvla Bay on 25 April 1915 to the evacuation in December. He served in France with the 29th Divisional Signal Company and was wounded at Merris on 12 April 1918. He died in hospital at Wimereux a month later, the day after his younger brother, Wilfred John, serving with the 2nd Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment had been killed in action near Arras.
Wilfred, who had volunteered in February 1915 when he was only 16, served in Dublin during the 1916 rising. He went to France on 31 March 1918 and was dead within six weeks. He was 19.
Both Wilfred and Alan have the same inscription, signed for by their father. The single adjective giving it a simple, affecting poignancy.