Herbert Martin

Herbert Martin (1884-1917) during WWI
Above: Herbert Martin. Photo: Andrew Martin.

Herbert Martin was the sixth of the twelve children of James Martin and his wife Sarah Elizabeth Giddings of Little Downham, Cambridgeshire, England.

Herbert married Daisy Burnell of Littleport, Cambridgeshire and together they had four sons, the first two of which appear in the baptism register of a Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Ely. During this time, they are noted as living in 4th Drove, Little Downham.

Herbert enlisted as a Private of the 7th Battalion of The Northamptonshire Regiment but was tragically killed on his way home at the end of the First World War in a train accident in France. His name is featured on the Little Downham war memorial and was until recently also on a stone in the cemetery, along with his sister Emma Jane Martin and her husband John William Goodge.

Herbert is named in the Cambridge Regiment's instalment in St. George's Chapel in Ely Cathedral, where it lists the names of the brave who died during the two world wars.

His death left widow Daisy with four children, the oldest being 7 years. A couple of years after Herbert's death, she re-married Reuben Shelton and had a further three children.

Herbert owned a Horse and Cart which was used by "Taylors" the Bakery after his death, to deliver bread around the remote fenland.

Life Events


  • 1st May 1884 in Little Downham Fen, Little Downham, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • 1st June 1884 at the Ely Wesleyan Methodist Church, Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.



  • Sydney James Martin (1910-1977) married Mima Joyce Sparrow (1913-1999)
  • Herbert George Martin (1911-1985) married Ada Butcher (1893-1968), and later to Olive Eunice Payton (1920-1983).
  • Percy Martin (1914-1991) married Edna Olga Newman (1916-1986), and later to Irene Elizabeth Mary Powell (1926-2008).
  • Cyril William Martin (1916-2006) married Margaret Barrett (1921-2016)

Census and Residence

  • 1891: 6yrs, Railway House, A Furlong Drove, Little Downham, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • 1901: 16yrs, A Furlong Drove, Little Downham, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • 1911: 26yrs, Fourth Drove, Little Downham, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • 1901: Horseman
  • 1908-1911: Labourer

Military History

  • WW1: Private (#36352) for the Suffolk Regiment
  • WW1: Private (#40572) for the 7th Battalion of the Northamptonshire Regiment


  • 17th October 1917 in a railway accident at Boulogne, Pas-de-Calais, France, aged 33 years.


  • Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.


  • Little Downham War Memorial, St. Leonard's Churchyard, Little Downham, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • St. George's Chapel, Ely Cathedral, Ely, Cambridgeshire, England.
  • A stone bearing his name stood until recently in Little Downham Cemetery. It included his sister Emma, and brother-in-law John William Goodge - all of whom died in 1917.

Return to top

Search for your ancestors

© 1998, Andrew Martin. Terms of Use