No. 7047144, 1 Maritime Regiment, Royal Artillery
Died of disease contracted in service on Wednesday 20 June 1945 (aged 29)
Bangor Cemetery, Co. Down (Section 3 K Grave 26)
Bangor and District War Memorial
First Bangor Presbyterian Church
Edward Martin was born on 29 March 1916 in Bangor Demesne and he was the youngest son of James and Jane Martin (nee Ferguson) who were married on 26 March 1897 in Newtownards Registrar’s Office. James Martin from Castle Street, Bangor was a son of James Martin, a labourer. Jane Ferguson from Ballymaconnell, Bangor was a daughter of William Ferguson, a labourer.
James Martin worked as an agricultural labourer and he and his family lived in the townlands of Ballymaconnell and Ballymagee before moving to Clandeboye Cottages, Bangor.
James and Jane Martin (nee Ferguson) had ten children:
William (born 26 May 1897 in Ballymaconnell)
John (born 13 February 1899 in Ballymagee)
Francis (Frank, born 9 September 1901 in Ballymagee)
James McFerran (born 24 May 1903 in Ballymagee)
Ruth (born 20 June 1906 in Ballymaconnell)
Alice (born 29 May 1908 in Ballymagee)
Samuel (born 24 July 1910 in Ballymagee)
Campbell (born 2 July 1912 in Ballymagee)
Mary Elizabeth (Molly, born 19 May 1914 in Bangor Demesne)
Edward (born 29 March 1916 in Bangor Demesne)
Edward Martin worked as a gardener on the Clandeboye Estate, he joined the Royal Irish Fusiliers in 1940 and was transferred to the Royal Maritime Artillery. He served as a ship’s gunner in many parts of the world including the Malta convoys and the landings in North Africa in 1942 (Operation Torch) during which he served aboard RMS Orion. A former passenger liner, RMS Orion made two voyages to North Africa carrying more than 5,000 troops each time. It was while he was serving on a tanker off the west coast of Africa that Edward Martin contracted pulmonary tuberculosis – the illness from which he died on 20 June 1945 in the Abbey Sanitorium (known as ‘The Abbey’) in Whiteabbey. His brother William was with him when he died.
Full military honours were accorded at his funeral to Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor on Friday 22 June 1945. His coffin, draped with the Union Jack, was conveyed to the cemetery on a gun-carriage and the escort party was furnished by the Artillery at Grey Point Fort, Helen’s Bay.
Two of Edward Martin’s brothers also served during the Second World War – Sergeant Campbell Martin MM served with the Royal Ulster Rifles and Bombardier Samuel Martin served with the Royal Artillery. Campbell Martin attended Edward’s funeral, along with their brothers William, John, Frank and James and their brothers-in-law John Jackson and Logan Gray. William Martin had served with the Royal Irish Rifles during the First World War and survived.
Lance Bombardier Edward Martin (No. 7047144) is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial and in First Bangor Presbyterian Church.
Edward’s sister Ruth died on 18 May 1928 (aged 21); his brother Campbell died on 15 August 1951 (aged 39); his brother William died 7 August 1953 (aged 56); his mother Jane died on 15 February 1955 (aged 78); his father James died on 2 March 1960 (aged 87) and his brother Samuel died on 6 April 1986 (aged 75).