Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Brigadier William Strelley Martin and LtCol Thomas Partington Martin

William Strelley Martin was born in Lesmahagow, Lanark on 19 December 1888
During his university days he was on the  unattached list for the Territorial Forces Cadets being  Colour Sergeant and then 2nd  Lieutenant with the Infantry Unit of the Glasgow University contingent of the Senior Division of the Officers Training Corps 13/12/1910
After graduating with an MA in 1908 he started studying towards his medical degree and graduated MB Ch B in 1914 his military records show that he entered the Royal Army Medical Corps in the early days of the War – Oct 1914.  Serving  in France and Belgium throughout the war he was awarded the Military Cross “for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in leading his bearers during seven days operations through the most intense shelling with infinite resource and regardless for personal safety it was due to his masterly organisation and example that the wounded were collected so promptly” Supplement to the London Gazette 6/4/1918. Martin himself was wounded during this period.

William Strelley Martin

After returning from WWI Strelley Martin served in India from 1922 1934. He returned to India in 1937 and became A.D.M.S. Delhi district. After returning to the UK  at the conclusion of WWII he was appointed a senior member of the medical branch of the Allied Control Commission in Germany. In 1950 he became A.D.M.S. to the Highlands District before retiring in 1953.

The photos in this story appear on the IWM Lives of the First World War site.  Attempts have been made to contact the original owners for permission.

His promotion to Honorary Brigadier was the culmination of his career having been promoted as follows
1938-10-29      Lieutenant-Colonel
1942-08-22      Acting Colonel
1943-02-22      Temporary Colonel
1943-12-07      Acting Brigadier
1944-02-29      Reverted to Temporary Colonel
1946-05-25      Acting Brigadier
1946-08-30      Temporary Brigadier
1951-08-19      Reverted to Lieutenant-Colonel
1951-09-26      Temporary Colonel
1953-10-29      Granted the Honorary rank of Brigadier
After an long Career spanning two war William had a chest full of medals

His service from the beginning of WWII is as follows
1937-1938 Assistant Director of Hygiene & Pathology Western Command, India
1938-1939 Deputy Assistant Director of Hygiene West India District
1939-1942 Assistant Director of Hygiene Southern Command, India
1942-1943 Assistant Director of Medical Services 2nd Division
1943-07-XX -1943-12-XX     Assistant Director of Medical Services Lahore District
1943-12-XX-1944-02-XX      Director Medical Services 11th Army Group
1944-1946 Assistant Director of Medical Services Delhi District
1946 -1947 Principal Medical Officer Public Health Branch, British Element, Allied Control Commission Germany
1947-1951Public Health Advisor to the Military Government British Zone, Germany
1951-1953 Assistant Director of Medical Services Highland District
1953-10-29  Retired

In his obituary in the British Medical Journal in 24/2/1962  a friend and colleague A C.J writes
“Strelley Martin was a prominent member of the student union in 1909 when he first attended Glasgow University but my recollection of him as a little tenant in the Glasgow University Offices Training Corps particularly during our inspection by Lord Roberts about 1910 or 11. He was always a keen soldier.”
Strelley Martin died in 1961 Douglas, Lanarkshire.

This brave man was my second cousin 2x removed . I traced him because of the Strelley component of his name. His grandmother was my 2x great Grand Aunt Georgina Grace Greasley Strelley 

His brother too is remembered for his service in WWI and possibly part into WWII. Thomas Partington Martin b 24/7/1890 was the second son of son of William and Alice Martin LesmahagowMy experience is that there are few records of the Royal Army Military Corps (burnt collection?) He was a Lt Colonel  service number 110419. during WWI and appears to have been a successful business merchant who died in Kensington England in 1974. Happy to hear from someone who has more to tell.
Unfortunately their cousins didn't fare so well. Watch for more Martin stories.

Pte John Tennent Killed in Action 6/8/14 service no :Ply/13224

It's unbelievable that the war was barely 30 hours old and 150 Naval personnel  were dead. John Tennent Born 4/1/1887 at Oatlands Glasgow was amongst them.

He was a member of the Royal Marine Light Infantry and was killed as a result of enemy action when the HMS Amphion was sunk on 6/8/1914. HMS Amphion was an Active-class scout cruiser of the Royal Navy. 

She was  launched on 4 December 1911and was  the first ship of the Royal Navy to be sunk during an attack in 1914 during WW1.Her loss sent shockwaves through the country.
This clip is shared from the BBC commemorating 100 years since the sinking of the Amphion

 Her loss sent shockwaves through the country.
The Scout cruiser had previously chased down  the Königin Luise which had been disguised and tossing packages overboard The managed to sink it with 46 survivors from the crew of 100.

Wikipedia includes this about the sinking of the Amphion.
"Amphion continued with the search without further incident until 03:30 of 6 August, when she began the return course to Harwich. Unfortunately the allocated course ran very close to where Königin Luise had laid her mines. 

At 06:30, Amphion struck a mine that had been previously laid by Königin Luise. A sheet of flame enveloped the bridge which incapacitated her captain. Except for one man, all the forecastle gun crews were killed and many of the bridge occupants were badly burnt. As the hands were at breakfast, many were killed or suffocated in the forward messdecks. As soon as he recovered consciousness, the captain ran to the engine room to stop the engines, which were still going at revolutions for 20 knots (23 mph; 37 km/h). As all the forepart was on fire, it proved impossible to reach the bridge or to flood the fore magazine. The ship's back appeared to be broken and she was already settling by the bows.

The escorting destroyers closed in and took off Amphion's crew and the few rescued German survivors. Though her engines were stopped, her momentum carried her back into the minefield and at 07:03, just three minutes after the last boatload of survivors were taken off, she again struck the same row of mines. The fore magazine exploded, with debris striking the rescue boats and destroyers. One of Amphion's shells burst on the deck of Lark, killing two of Amphion's men and a German prisoner rescued from the cruiser. Amphion then rapidly sank within 15 minutes of the explosion. Around 150 British sailors were killed in the sinking, as well as 18 of the crew rescued from Königin Luise."

His body was never recovered. The site in the North Sea is now a protected war grave.

His mother was Margaret who lived at 75 Weir St Sth Side Glasgow.

I believe this man was a relative of mine - but cannot confirm his birth date as yet  He was a 3X removed first cousin. My Great Aunty Jessie  Kerr (Gallagher) (Rayner) lived with the family before she left for Australia. Even if he isn't a relative.... Lest We Forget.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

John Christian Steinle- A mother thanks the heavens for defective eyesight

Louisa Steinle was newly widowed when the war began . Her second son William who was working on the Minneapolis had died in a torpedoing in March 1916. Later that year John Christian Steinle enlisted in the RAMC (Woking) on 19/10/16. After what would have been a worrying time for Louisa he was  discharged on 21/4/18.
After 2 years and 6 days he was deemed no longer physically fit due to defective eyesight and discharged under Sect 392 (XVI).
He received the Silver War Badge and did not serve overseas.
His mother was spared of more heartache as his four younger brothers were too young to enlist.