Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJune 14, 1871
Place of BirthPortsmouth, Hampshire
Marital StatusMarried
Next of KinEdith Constance May Martin, wife, Suite 8, Monte Casino Court, Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trade / CallingClerk
Service Details
Regimental Number216122
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion4th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Railway Troops
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentWinnipeg, Manitoba
Address at Enlistment574 Banning Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 11, 1916
Age at Enlistment44
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathNovember 14, 1950
Age at Death79
Buried AtBrookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Martin, Edwin Charles

Edwin Charles Martin was born on 14 June 1871 in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. His father Charles William Martin was born in Wolverhampton in Staffordshire while his mother Mary Clark was from St Helier in the Jersey Channel Islands. The couple married on 21 August 1870 in Portsea, Hampshire. Edwin was their first born child, followed by Martha (abt 1875), George (abt 1879), and Agnes Virginia (1881), all in Portsmouth. Charles joined the Royal Navy in 1876 and served on a number of ships as a stoker until discharged in December of 1887. To make ends meet, Mary worked as a laundress. For a time the family lived with Mary’s parents in Portsea but by the time of the 1901 census had moved to Colchester, Essex where Charles found work as an iron moulder.

With occupation given as painter, Edwin joined the Royal Artillery at Hilsea on 21 January 1889. He served in India from 1 October 1890 to July 1895, then in Gibraltar for close to two years, home from 6 January 1897 to 10 March 1900, and then in South Africa from 11 March 1900 to 5 January 1902. In the early years of his service his rank was given as Driver while in the latter as Gunner.

On 11 September 1897, in Portsea, Hampshire, Edwin married Edith Constance Mary Day. Birth registered during the third quarter of 1872 in Colchester, Edith was the daughter of James Clarke Day and Eliza Cheek, her parents marrying in 1872 in Colchester. With Edwin in South Africa, at the time of the 1901 census Edith and daughter Gertrude Ellen (b 1899 in Portsea Island) were living with Edwin’s parents in Colchester. Also with the family was two year old Dorothy Polley who Charles and Mary would later adopt. Edwin and Edith gave birth to two more children, Donald Geoffrey in 1903 and Charles William in 1906, both in St Albans in Hertfordshire.

Edwin immigrated to Canada in 1907, arriving in Quebec on the Lake Champlain on 19 May. His occupation was given as painter on the passenger list, and destination as Winnipeg, Manitoba. Edith, the children, Edwin’s mother Mary, and sisters Agnes and Dorothy arrived in Quebec on 15 May 1909 aboard the Sardinian, on their way to Kenora in northwestern Ontario. At the time of the 1911 Canada census for Kenora, Edwin was working as a clerk in a railway office. His father Charles died in the next year in Kenora and is interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.

Moving to Winnipeg, by the 1916 census Edwin was working as a salesman in a bakery, also listed as at Camp Sewell on the census. He had enlisted with the 100th Battalion on 11 January 1916 in Winnipeg, occupation given as clerk and his wife Edith in Winnipeg as next of kin. Arriving in England on 25 September 1916 aboard the Olympic, Edwin was appointed as Acting Battery Quartermaster Sergeant at Witley the same day. In January of 1917 he was transferred to the 11th Reserve Battalion at Shorncliffe, reverting to ranks. By June he was transferred to the 27th Battalion for duty overseas. Once overseas, Edwin spent two months with the 2nd Canadian Entrenching Battalion, appointed Acting Sergeant, then reverting to rank of Private when joining the 27th Battalion on 15 September 1917. In January of 1918 he was awarded on Good Conduct Badge. In February of 1918 Edwin was first hospitalized at the No 18 General Hospital in Camiers on the 5th, transferred to the No 6 Convalescent Depot in Etaples on the 20th, and then on to the No 14 Convalescent Depot in Trouville the next day, diagnosis Myalgia Lumbar. In late March he was discharged to Base Depot in Etaples and transferred to the Canadian Labour Pool (medical class B2) in early April. Edwin was then transferred to the 4th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops in late May. He was granted a two week leave on 23 July. With the end of the war Edwin returned to England on 25 December 1918 and was briefly hospitalized at the No 9 General Hospital, Kinmel Park from 26 January to 1 February with myalgia lumbar. Edwin arrived back in Canada at Halifax on 17 February 1919 aboard the Princess Julian. He was discharged from service on demobilization on 19 March 1919 in Winnipeg.

At the time of the 1921 census, Edwin, Edith, and son Charles were residing in Blanshard, Manitoba, living with or next door neighbours to Edwin’s sister Agnes and her husband William Cunningham and family. At the time Edwin was not working. Moving back to Winnipeg, according to his obituary he worked as a painter and decorator and latterly as the caretaker at Alliance Tabernacle Church.

Edwin died on 30 November 1950 in Deer Lodge Hospital in Winnipeg. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Edith, daughter Gertrude (William) Robinson and sons Donald and Charles of Winnipeg, and brother George back in England. He was predeceased by his father, mother Mary (1933, Winnipeg), sister Martha, and sister Agnes Cunningham (1924, Blanshard). Edith later died on 5 October 1965. Edwin and Edith are interred in Brookside Cemetery in Winnipeg.

By Judy Stockham


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