Frederick William Martin

Royal Engineers
Date of death 
11 June 1920
Age of death 
31 Globe Road
Woodford Green
Address source 
1911 Census
Local memorial 
Cemetery / Memorial 
United Kingdom

Frederick Martin was born in Woodford during 1896, son of Henry (Builders Labourer - Road Labourer) and Elizabeth Martin. 1901: With his family at 1 Le Sade Cottage, Globe Road, Woodford Green. 1911: He was a Van Lad working for the Great Eastern Railway, living with his family at 31 Globe Road. By 1915 the family had moved to 15 Ray Lodge Road.

We know that Frederick enlisted on 16th February 1916 and was initially allocated to the Essex Regiment as Private 26250, and advanced to the rank of Corporal. He then transferred to the Royal Engineers and perhaps because of his occupation, was then allocated to their Railway Troops Department. This dealt with transportation, including rail, roads and quarries. He served overseas, probably in Europe.

Clearly his war service took a toll on his health. Records show that on 3th July 1919 he was discharged from the Army under Para. 329 of Kings Regulations due to sickness. He was no longer considered fit enough for service, and this was recognised by the award of Silver War Badge number 249880. He returned to the railways working as a Guard, and appears in the Electoral Roll for autumn 1920, living at 15 Ray Lodge Road with his parents and brother Edward Arthur. However, this was his last entry.

On 11th June 1920 he died at the Great Northern Hospital Holloway Road at the age of 25, from inflammation of the heart muscle and abnormal heartbeats, plus swelling of body tissues generally. (officially UHD aortic myocarditis - general anasarea - heart failure). He was buried on 17th June 1920 at a depth of 8ft, in what became the family plot at St Paul’s Church Woodford Bridge.

Frederick was an Army Pensioner discharged through sickness, and although he died after the war, the strong indication is that his final illness had its origins in, or had been exacerbated by his war service. His death came before the St Barnabas War Memorial was dedicated in May 1921, and so his family was able to include his name among the fallen.

It is a separate task to prove conclusively that the cause of Frederick’s death was linked to the sickness which ended his military service. If this can be done, then a case may be presented to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for his name to added to their records of war deaths, and so bring Frederick “in from the cold.”

Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian

Principal Sources:

Death Certificate

St Paul’s Church Burial Register