Private John Martin


John Martin was born on 9 February 1891 in Avenue Road, Lurgan, County Armagh, the second of nine children of clerk (later commission agent) James Martin and his wife Sarah Jane (née Archer). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living in Ann Street, Lurgan, with his parents and his seven surviving siblings, and working as a linen manufacturer's assistant.

Martin enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 29 April and 1 May 1915 (No.1503 – later Corps of Hussars No.71409). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France sometime between 1916 and 1918, possibly with E Squadron on 11 January 1916.

In May 1916 E Squadron came together with A and D Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps until February-March 1918, when the regiment was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Martin remained with the regiment until the end of the war. During the Advance to Victory offensive in the last months of 1918 he was gassed. This occurred sometime between 21 August and late September.

On 3 February 1919 Martin was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.