Bulmer & District




        Bulmer & District History Group


1914 -1918

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The name Martin is mis-spelt on the War Memorial as Marten.

James Martin was born in Belchamp Walter, and went to school there.  After leaving school he became a gardener to the Hyde-Parkers who lived at Smeetham Hall, Bulmer.  James married Mary Barrell and they lived in Smeetham Hall Lane, and they had two children, a boy and a girl.

James joined the 10th Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles (number 41332) and was killed in action at the Battle of Cambra  on the 11th December 1917.

His daughter Eva, who at the time of her fathers death was about 7 years old, has in her possession her fathers war medals, including a “Dead man’s penny” and the notification of his death.  The following letter was sent from Buckingham Palace.

“I join my grateful people in sending you this memorial for a brave life given for others in the Great War.

    George R”

Also a scroll which reads as follows:

“he or she whom this scroll commemorates was numbered amongst those who, at the call of King and Country, left all that was dear to them.  Endured hardship, faced danger and finally by the path and duty of self-sacrifice, passed out of this life of men giving up their own life that others might live in freedom.  Let those who come after, see to it that his/her name shall not be forgotten.

Sadly there is no grave for James Martin, but his name along with others appears on Pier 15 and faces A and B of the Thiepval memorial in France.  The memorial commemorates by name over 70,000 British soldiers who lost their lives in the Somme area and have no known grave.

The memorial is situated a little South of Thiepval about 8 km North East of Albert.