In memory of
Captain John Martin, M.C.
10th Gordon Highlanders
†April 9th 1917, age 28
Born on 28th November 1888 at Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, James Martin was the son of James Martin, an Edinburgh solicitor, and his wife Euphemia Martin of Greenhill Park, Edinburgh. Educated at Malvern College (House Prefect, House XI Cricket and Football( and George Watson College where he gained a reputation for cricket, football and golf and played on the Watsonian XI in 1908. He studied Law at the University of Edinburgh from 1912-1914 (played on First XV and XI and was in the Infantry OTC). Before the war he entered his father's business. In January 1917 John Martin along with another officer made preparations for a raid to be carried out on the German position. The operation which was carried out the following evening was very successful as the Germans were taken completely by surprise. Captain Martin was awarded the Military Cross for his part in the action. His citation reads, `For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He displayed marked courage and ability in organising the arrangements previous to a raid. Later, during the raid, he personally supervised the guiding of the assaulting troops`.
Extract from the Battalion’s War Diary for 9th April 1917
At 7.50 am the Btn advanced to the second objective in the altered formation laid down. This objective represented a further advance of 1000 yards, A and B Coys remained in the front line attack. Before the attack had advanced 150 yards, it was held up by machine gun fire from Railway Triangle and a redoubt on the right. This redoubt was outside our area, but Capt Martin MC seeing that the Division on our right were swinging away from the redoubt, instead of attacking it, at once organised two parties to storm it. With 2Lt A C Hay he led these parties and captured the redoubt, both Officers unfortunately being killed in doing so. Their efforts coupled with the arrival of a tank, which advanced against Railway Triangle enabled the Btn to move forward and take the second objective.