3rd Monouthshires, 83rd Brigade, 28th Division

Charles Herbert George Martin - The Son and Heir of The Hill, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, South Wale

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Introduction

This research was undertaken into the life and military career of Lieutenant C H G Martin because of the strong links I once had with The Hill, in Abergavenny, Gwent, South Wales.

I lived and worked in the magnificent house, once Lieutenant Martin's home, which lies at the foot of the Deri Mountain and now on the edge of the National Park. At present it is a short-term residential college belonging to Gwent Tertiary College.

Having the position of Staff Tutor I was on duty in the College, June 1989, when the 'Western Front Association' herd its Annual International Seminar there. After participating in the weekend lectures and meeting the members attending, I was so fascinated and inspired by what I heard regarding the Great War, I joined the Association the following day.

Nothing was known in College about any member of the past families having had connections with the Great War until I began my research. There is no evidence of Charles Martin in documents or photographs in the College's achieves. During the course of my duties I was requested to write to Canon Barnard of Rustingtou, West Sussex, a member of the Martin family who had visited The Hill early in 1993. During a conversation with the Principal about the Martin family he had mentioned Lieutenant Martin of the 3rd Monmouths. He was told about my interest in the Western Front Association and because of our correspondence he fired my interest in his cousin.

I requested from him any snippet of information, or photographs, about his family but unfortunately he told me in a letter, 'was born just after the first World War and my mother, I think, was devastated by his death and never spoke of him - at any rate not to me'

Encouraged by other WFA members to continue my research, the story of Lieutenant Martin began to unfold and what follows in the text is an account of his life and his military involvement with the 3rd Monmouths in the Great War.

What has emerged is a story of an ordinary, gentle academic, short in stature, slight of build, with dark hair and small moustache. A citizen of Abergavenny, brave and well respected, described when he died as 'an officer beloved by his own men ..... ' my people' as he always called them', a keen Machine Gunner and a valiant Officer of the 3rd Mons.

It is because of the WFA Seminar having being presented in The Hill College for so many years that I felt members who knew the house and its location, would be interested in learning about the life of Lieutenant. Martin and his Great War military career.

Those who have visited this stylish house, still with its original features of carved oak, plaster and stone, will have lingered in what once was his library, sat in his lounge and admired the magnificent views of his gardens and specimen trees and even slept in his private rooms.

The following research shows Lieutenant Martin's story to be a simple one, nothing spectacular, no heroics and daring deeds, no medal winning manoeuvres, for he was on The Western Front, like thousands of other Welsh soldiers, doing a job that he believed had to be done.

Ted King

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