Private 12847 George Henry Martin

Killed in Action Gallipoli on Sunday, 8th August 1915, age 18.
Commemorated on Panel 134 to 136 of Helles Memorial, Turkey.

7th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 33rd Brigade of 11th Division.

Son of Mr & Mrs John Martin, of 22, Bloomfield Rd., Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.

First landed Balkans, 21st July 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library, and St. John's memorials.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/688363/

Genealogical Data

Birth of George Henry Martin registered September Qtr 1895 in Dudley.

1901 Census
20 Workhouse Lane, Tipton, Staffs.
John Martin (34, Coal Miner, born Wolverhampton), his wife Emily (31, born Tipton), and their 5 children: Emily (11, born Tipton), John (8, born Tipton), William (6, born Tipton), George (4, born Tipton), and Agnes (7 months, born Tipton).

1911 Census
15 Hipkins Street, Bloomfield, Tipton, Staffs.
John Martin (44, Coal Miner, born Wolverhampton), his wife Emily (45, born Tipton), and 6 of their 7 surviving children of 13: John (16, Labourer on Pit Mound, born Tipton), William (15, Moulder for Engineer, born Tipton), George (14, Moulder for Engineer, born Tipton), Agnes (10, born Tipton), Job (3, born Tipton), and Laura (1, born Tipton).

Personal Data

George is commemorated on St. John's Memorial as just G. Martin.

Action resulting in his death

On August 6th the 7th South Staffs took part in the landings at 'B' beach Suvla Bay, two days later the 7th South Staffs took part in an attack on Chocolate and Scimitar Hill which went disastrously wrong. The 'History of the 7th South Staffs' reports 400 casualties, this is highly likely as 10 men were killed on the 8th August, and 121 on the 9th August. George Martin was one of 2 Tipton men killed on the 8th August, neither has known grave and are commemorated on the Helles Memorial.

A short extract from the 7th South Staffs War Diary of the events of the 8/9th August written by the Second in command of the 7th South Staffs Lt-Colonel A. Tool:
"Most of that night, the 8/9th, we spent in very slowly working our way back to the 33rd Brigade rendezvous. It was not really a very long way, but the dense scrub necessitated "snake" formation, and every time there was a check, which was very often, men dropped down asleep, and had to be kicked up by the officers.

As far as I can remember we were quite punctual at our rendezvous with the 6/Lincolns on our left, but the Borderers, who should have been on our right, were not in sight, and we were sent off and told that they would join in, which they did later on.

The right of the S.Staffs was to direct the 33rd Brigade on the line "Summit of Scimitar Hill - "W" Hill, and Col. Daukes ordered me to go forward with the leading troops and see that direction was accurately kept. To my horror I saw the companies starting to advance in the column of route, but I quickly ran up and shook them out into artillery formation, We had almost reached Scimitar Hill, the Borderers having come into place, when a Subaltern I was walking beside lit a cigarette and promptly dropped with a bullet in his forehead.

A moment later a Lincoln officer ran up to me and reported that Captain Martin, commanding the company I was with at the moment, was killed and that the Turks were just the other side of Chocolate Hill."

Following information taken from History of the Seventh South Staffordshire Regiment (Ashcroft):
9th August 1915
"At 06.00 we reached Hill 70 and at once came under murderous shrapnel and rifle fire. Every single officer in A & D companies (firing line) and in 'B' company (supporting line) were either killed or wounded in the first 10 minutes. At about 08.00 support arrived from the 10th Division, but even with their assistance no headway could be made. About 10.00 our line began to give way owing to the fact the scrub had caught fire, the Turks aided by this were working around our left. This flanking movement was checked by reinforcements of Dublins and Queens.

The battalion behaved magnificently but were overwhelmed by an enemy who had every position of advantage. On the 10th August, the losses in killed and wounded were computed to be well over 400. For three days, the Staffords and Borderers held an old Turkish communication trench running on to Chocolate Hill, and were then relieved by the 32nd Brigade."

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald November 10th 1917
Mr and Mrs John Martin, 22 Bloomfield Road, Princes End, have now lost their second son in the Great War, leaving them with two out of four.
The first to lay down his life for his country was George Henry Martin, who at the age of 18 was killed in the Dardanelles. He had only just turned 17 at the outbreak of war, and immediately joined the 7th South Staffs, he met his death on August 8th 1915. He had been employed by Messrs T.E. Salter Ltd.
An elder brother, William Henry Martin, aged 21, who was a collier at Harewood & Clark's Horseley Colliery, joined the army in February 1916 in the 3rd Worcesters, and had quite an adventurous time. On July 8th of the same year, in the course of the first big "push" on the Somme, he was wounded and buried by a shell. He was brought to a Birmingham hospital, and then to Dudley Guest Hospital, and back again to Birmingham. After a short time in a Yorkshire camp he returned to France on March 1st 1917, and at the end of April he was back in England, as an inmate of a Bristol Hospital, after being shot through the right leg. He recovered, and was sent out to France again on September 7th. He was killed on October 19th.
In a letter to the mother, Captain T. Cyril Haris (Pedmore, Stourbridge) writes:- "It is with deepest regret that I write to inform you that your son was killed in an attack made by the battalion. Your son had only lately re-joined us, and I can tell you how much he will be missed by us all. In battle he showed himself determined and utterly devoid of fear. By his death, the company has lost a very gallant soldier."
The two deceased brothers both learned moulding and fitting at T.E. Salter Ltd. The father and elder brother both work at Bloomsmithies Colliery. The two lads were much esteemed by their family. The older brother had written home several times since his last return to France, and his communications were cheery and optimistic."