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Stewart MARTIN


Rank Reg/Ser No DOB Enlisted Discharge/Death Board
Sgt 15741 26y6m 13/03/16 24/10/19 1

Staff Sergeant Stewart Martin (1889 – 1952)

Stewart Martin was a 26 years old clerk in the Australian Mutual Provident Society (AMP) when he enlisted in the 1st AIF in March 1916.

He was placed in the Australian Army Medical Corps (AAMC) and soon after arrival in the UK, was attached to the branch of the Assistant Director of Medical Services (ADMS) for AIF depots in the UK.  Stewart’s contribution in the headquarters was commended very highly by the depots ADMS in December 1918.

After the war Stewart resumed his career in AMP, and was married by the Rev Norman Millar in 1925 in Saint Andrew’s (then Presbyterian, now Uniting) Church in the Brisbane CBD. He died in 1952, aged 62.

Family background

Stewart was born on 25 November 1889 in Clifton Street, Petrie Terrace into the large family of James Stewart Martin, a contractor/master builder from Dundee, Scotland and Margaret Reid nee Miller.  The family worshipped at Saint Andrew’s Church and lived in Camperdown, Musgrave Road, Red Hill.

One of Stewart’s older brothers, Andrew also served in the 1st AIF and is listed on the Honour Boards in Saint Andrew’s.

Early life and enlistment

After attending the Brisbane Grammar School 1904-1906 and playing in the First XV in his final year, Stewart joined AMP, a non-profit life insurance company and mutual society.  He had a placement in Rockhampton around 1913, but by 1915 was based back in Brisbane.

When Stewart enlisted in Brisbane on 13 March 1916 he was 176.5cm tall, weighed 71.7kg, and had a fair complexion, blue eyes and fair hair.  Placed as a Private in reinforcements for the AAMC, he was made a provisional Corporal in May and then provisional Sergeant in August.

Stewart embarked on 27 October 1916 in Brisbane on HMAT Marathon A74, and during the voyage was a VO (voyage only) Sergeant. He disembarked in Plymouth on 9 January 1917.

Service

On 20 January 1917 Stewart was attached for duty with the ADMS Branch in Bhurtpore Barracks, Tidsworth - the headquarters for AIF Depots in the UK.  The depots themselves were spread out on the Salisbury Plain and included facilities such as those at Codford, Hurdcott, Grantham, Lark Hill and Sutton Veny.

It didn’t take long for Stewart to become an NCO again – he was promoted Corporal in April 1917, and also began acting as a Sergeant.  In July 1918 he was made an acting Staff Sergeant and formally promoted to that rank in November 1918.

In December 1918 the ADMS provided a list of his NCOs who should be formally recognised for their contribution, and Stewart’s service record has a notation ‘Brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War for Valuable Service rendered in connection with the War’.

Stewart’s final contribution was in relation to demobilisation, being attached to the unit organising that huge exercise, from 4 March 1919.  He himself left in July and arrived back in Australia on 5 September 1919 aboard HT Ulysses.  He was formally discharged on 24 October 1919.

Post war

Upon his return Stewart returned to his employment with AMP and his connection to St Andrew’s Church.  It was in Saint Andrew’s on 19 May 1925 that he married Gertrude Amy Comer Parkinson, a typiste, whose parents were Robert Harold Parkinson, a farmer and Henrietta Mary Ann Upjohn nee Brooke.

The couple made their home in Hamson Terrace, Wavell Heights and had two daughters (June and Nova).

Stewart passed away in Hamson Terrace on 17 July 1952, aged 62, and was cremated at Mt Thompson with Presbyterian rites.


Select bibliography
• Australian electoral rolls.
• Australian War Memorial – embarkation roll.
• Brisbane Grammar School - Annals 1869-1922, Golden Book.
• National Archives of Australia - service record.
• Queensland births, marriages and deaths registers.
• Blainey, Geoffrey A history of the AMP 1848-1998 (Allan and Unwin, NSW, 1999)
• Faraday, Bruce Douglas Half the battle: the administration and higher organisation of the AIF 1914-1918 (PhD thesis, 1997, University of NSW).
• Brisbane Telegraph. 18 July 1952 p6.

Written by Ian Carnell, Buderim, November 2016

 

 

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