Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Private Alexander Martin





Alexander Martin was born on 15 October 1890 at Killycolpy, County Tyrone, fifth son of nailer and farmer James Martin and his wife Sarah (nee Ruddel). His mother died before his third birthday and by 1901 Alexander and his brother George were living with their aunt Annie Straghan at India Street, Belfast. Alexander was still with his aunt in 1911, by then working as a warehouse assistant.

He was a member of the South Belfast UVF and prior to enlistment was working for Belfast firm Messrs Renwick, Robinson & Co.

Martin enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 25 May 1915 (No.1610).

At the end of December 1916 he was one of forty North Irish Horsemen who transferred to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (No.40651). They embarked for France on 9 January 1917 and were posted to the 10th Battalion, joining it at Ploegsteert Wood on the Ypres front.

On 20 November 1917 the 10th Battalion saw action during the first day of the Battle of Cambrai. Their first objective, the spoil heap on the left of the Canal du Nord, was taken with relative ease. Following this they worked their way forward along the German trenches, clearing dugouts and taking a large number of prisoners. By 10.00 am they had reached the Demicourt–Flesquières road. Their casualties had been light, but included Private Martin, killed in action.

Martin has no known grave, and is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, Nord, France, Panel 6.


One of Martin's brothers was wounded in action on 16 August 1917 during Third Ypres. Another served in the Royal Navy.




Images of memorial kindly provided by Steve Rogers, Project Co-ordinator of the The War Graves Photographic Project, www.twgpp.org. Image of Private Martin and some of the above information sourced from Friends of the Somme, Mid Ulster Branch, www.cookstownwardead.co.uk.