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
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
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 Lesmahagow. My 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.