MARTIN, Frederick James

No.31554, Private, Frederick MARTIN
Aged 26

1st Battalion, Essex Regiment
Killed in Action on Saturday 14th April 1917

Frederick James Martin was born in Fordham on 16th October 1890 (Newmarket Q4-1890 3B:484), baptised in Soham on 9th November 1890, son of Robert and Alice Eliza MARTIN (née DRAKE)of Fordham Moor, Fordham.

1891 census...Aged 6 months, he was at Moor Cottage, Fordham with his father Robert MARTIN [30] farm labourer; his mother Alice E. [23], sister Eliza [3] and brother Robert [1]. Except for Frederick, all were born in Soham.

1901 census... Aged 10, he was at Carter Street, Fordham with his parents (father now horsekeeper); sisters Eliza and Joanna [2] born Fordham; brothers Robert, Ernest [8], James [6] and Arthur [4] the new boys all born in Fordham.

1911 census...Aged 20, a farm labourer, he was at Shaw's Cottage, East Fen Common, Soham with his parents, brothers Robert, Ernie, James, Arthur (all farm labourers), and Walter [10]; sisters Joanna, Francis [8], Lily [6] and Alice [3]. Every member of the family is now recorded as born in Soham. One sibling had died.

CWGC has him married to Alice but no marriage details have been found.

Enlisted in Bury St Edmunds.
The battalion war diary is very brief for the 14th:-
Monchy le Preux- Attacked German line at 5:30 am - Casualties 17 Officers 644 other ranks. Remainder of battalion went into caves in Arras at 8 pm.

Very short considering the casualties, but that was probably why, the officer writing the report no doubt had other things to do that were deemed more urgent.
The Essex lost 191 men killed that day, only 10 have identified graves. They had gone into action with 31 officers and 892 other ranks, 203 of the missing were later confirmed to be prisoners of war. The Newfoundlanders reported 487 casualties out of 591 officers and men employed.

Local press report:-
Information has also been received that Pte,Fred Martin, of the Essex Regt., has been missing since April 14. Pte.Martin, who has been in France about seven months, is the second son of Mr.Robert Martin, of East Fen Common. He has four brothers serving in H.M.Forces, two being in France, one in Salonica, and the other in H.M.S.Menace.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Frederick Martin is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, Faubourg d'Amiens , bay 7

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details