John Henry Martin (1896–1970)


Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) 4002
3/5th Batallion & 1/5th Batalions
17th & 10th Batallions

Derbyshire Courier 6 October 1917

Newspeper photo of John Henry Martin

John was born in 1897 and worked as a ganger in the coal mines. He enlisted in February 1915, and was posted to France the following November. He suffered greatly during the war. Frostbite in 1916 resulted in some toes being amputated, and later, when operating a Lewis gun in the trenches, he was wounded by a shell, resulting in a leg being amputated and other life-changing injuries. He was discharged in 1919.

He married Kate Hemstock at Swanwick Baptist Chapel in 1922. His older brother Alfred Bertram Martin (also on the Roll of Honour) married Kate's older sister Hannah Hemstock at Riddings Chapel in 1920.

Photo courtesy Sue Martin and Amanda Yoxall

John Henry Martin with his wife Kate Hemstock

John Henry Martin with Kate Henstock at the wedding of his older brother Alfred 1920
They married later in 1922

[Family Notes: Prunella Bradshaw]
Here is his account to the Medical Board of how he was injured :-
"I was wounded whilst firing a gun in the front line trenches. A shell burst wounding me in both legs, left hand and face on 27/3/1918. I was taken to CCS the same day where my right leg was amputated."
John Martin suffered greatly during the war. He had his right leg amputated, lost toes and fingers, had trench foot and frost bite plus wounds to his wrist, side, face and left leg.

Medal Roll Index Card
He was awarded the Victory, British War and 15 Star medals
He was also awarded the Silver War Badge.
Entered France 11 November 1915

Silver War Badge Record
71571, Pte, MARTIN John; Badge B76038; Enlisted 22 February 1915; Discharged 6 January 1919; wounds; aged 22; served abroad.

Service Record
Enlisted at Somercotes aged 18. A Wesleyan (also recorded as C of E). Next of kin was his father at 7 Mill Yard, Somercotes. Height 5ft 7½ Worked for the Butterley Company as a miner.

11/11/15 Entered France.
07/04/16 To hospital at Alnwick aged eighteen with Trench Feet.
16/08/16 Northern General Hospital, Lincoln – hammer toe; toes removed.
13/09/16 Discharged from hospital.
30/09/16 Hospital via H.S. Newhaven with Trench Feet.
20/10/16 Discharged from hospital
10/11/17 Embarked for Rouen and joined 1/6th Sherwood Foresters.
11/02/17 New regimental number 71526 and assigned 17th Batallion Forester.
20/07/17 To hospital with gun-shot wound to his left wrist (17th Notts & Derbys).
08/02/18 Posted to 10th Batallion Foresters.
28/03/18 In hospital with gun-shot wounds to legs, hands and face.
13/04/18 Aged 21 had right leg amputated at the Canadian Clearing Station, two fingers left hand amputated; gun-shot wound to right side and neck, problems with left thigh and leg. He had 70 days of treatment. To be transferred to Roehampton.
03/01/19 Limb fitted.
06/01/19 Discharged.

During his various treatments he was at Victoria Auxiliary Hospital, Stratford; Lancaster House Red Cross Hospital for limbless soldiers and sailors. On one record sheet his rank is Corporal although Private on all other records. His character was recorded as very good. A note stated: whilst operating Lewis Gun in trenches was wounded by shell; both legs, left hand and face. Has also suffered from frostbite in 1916 resulting in amputation of third toe of left foot.

John Martin's brother Alfred Martin is also on the Roll of Honour.


1901: Crich Common

Forename Surname Relationship Age Information Where born
Alfred Martin Head 33 Stone cutter Crich
Catherine Martin wife 34   Crich
Alfred B Martin son 8   Matlock Bank
Ida Martin daughter 7   Crich
Hannah M Martin daughter 5   Crich
John H Martin son 4   Crich
Constance Martin daughter 2   Crich

RG13 piece 3231 folio 18 page 27

1911: Mill Yard, Somercotes

Forename Surname Relationship Age Information Where born
Alfred Martin Head 43 Dutaller coal mine Crich
Katherine Martin wife 44   Crich
Alfred Burtram Martin son 18 Labourer coal mine Matlock
John Henry Martin son 14 Ganger coal mine Crich
Constance Martin daughter 12 School Crich
Sarah Emma Martin daughter 9 School Crich
Kathleen Martin daughter 7 School Crich
Elizabeth Martin daughter 3   Crich

RG14PN20993 RG78PN1252 RD436 SD5 ED5 SN237

1939 Register: Newlands Farm, Alfreton
John H Martin b.10 December 1896; DD depot at Somecotes, ARP storekeeper
Kate Martin b.23 September 1900
Jack Martin b.28 January 1923; builders joiners apprentice
Jean Margaret Willgoose (Martin) b.19 February 1932; school
Rex Martin b.23 July 1927; school