Frederick James Martin

Family story contributed by Linda Davies

Frederick James Martin was born on the 12 of July 1881 in the beautiful and hilly village of Coldharbour, near Dorking, Surrey.  He grew up there, attended school and began his work life as a gardener’s assistant. He was the oldest son of James and Edith (nee Etheridge) Martin and had four brothers and one sister. He was named after his grandfather and father, James and his great-grandfather, Frederick. Gardening was the family trade and Frederick worked as a gardener at Broome Hall, Coldharbour. Sometime after 1901, he moved to Lindfield, Sussex. He met Jeanie Farquharson, a Scottish girl from Ballanter, Aberdeenshire. They married at St. Matthews Church, Redhill, Surrey on 10 April 1907. Their son, Harvey James Martin was born 6 March 1908 at Snowflakes, Walstead, Lindfield, Sussex and his father was working as a gardener. They were still there in 1911, living in the Walstead Cottages. Frederick was 33 when World War One started and most likely did not need to sign up, but chose to do so. Frederick enlisted as a private in the Royal Sussex Regiment (3019) and later was in the 8th Battalion, The Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent) Regiment where his regimental number was G/7345. His brother, Herbert John Martin was in the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment. While Frederick was away, his wife and son moved to Brancaster House, Brancaster, King’s Lynn, Norfolk.  He died on 4 August 1918 at age 37. He was awarded the Victory Medal and Star. Frederick is buried in the Cambrai East Military Cemetery France (Grave reference VII.A.8.) and is memorialized on the Coldharbour WW1 Memorial. Two of his cousins, Horace John Longhurst and William Sidney Longhurst, sons of Frederick’s aunt, Amelia Martin Longhurst, are remembered on the same memorial in Coldharbour.

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