This is Dundee's story of those that served in the First World War, and of the people left at home
- Date of enlistment:
- Place of enlistment: Perth
- Service no: 3/3287
- Rank: Private
- Regiment/Service: Black Watch
- Unit/Ship: 2nd Battalion
- Place of Death: France
- Age at Death:
- Date of Death: 25.09.1915
- Burial Country: France
- Cemetery: Loos Memorial
- Grave/Mem Ref no: Panel 78 to 83
- Date of Birth:
- Place of Birth: Forfarshire
- Address: 120 Nethergate, Dundee
Ann Martin, 2 St Davids Lane, Dundee
More about Thomas Martin
Thomas has no known grave but is remembered on the Loos Memorial. He was the brother of Pte John Martin, 26358, 3rd Battalion Royal Scots, who survived the war. Thomas Martin was not entitled to the Silver War Badge and no mention has been located of gallantry medals or long service awards. His widow would have been entitled to a death plaque and accompanying scroll.
Enlistment & Service:- Although the papers of Thomas Martin do not exist, those of his comrades who enlisted at the same time will give us a good idea of his attestation. Thomas was No.3/3287:- No.3/3283 James Kiddie, enlisted on the 2nd of September 1914 at Perth for a period of 1 year of service or until the war had ended. He was posted to the 2nd Battalion on the 5th of December 1914 and had previous service with the Black Watch. No.3/3285 Henry Cunningham, enlisted at Perth on the 2nd of September 1914 for a period of 1 year of service or until the war had ended. He had previously served in the HLI. No.3/3286 Thomas Gagan, enlisted on the 2nd of September 1914 at Perth for a period of 1 year of service or until the war had ended. No.3/3288 Walter Brown, enlisted at Musselburgh on the 29th of August 1914 for a period of 1 year of service or until the war had ended. He had previously served in the HLI. It would probably have been around the 2nd of September before he arrived at Perth.From this data we can say:-
- Thomas Martin enlisted on or just before the 2nd of September 1914, he was part of a group of men who enlisted for a period of 1 year of service or until the war had ended.
- All of these men had previous military experience and as such were classed as a ‘Special Reserve’ who needed less training.
- Those men deemed suitable for overseas service were sent out in drafts.
Thomas Martin would have reported to Perth and would have been stationed there until he is posted to the 2nd Battalion Royal Highlanders in France, disembarking on the continent on the 22nd of April 1915. This draft of 46 men is shown as arriving with the 2nd Battalion on the 25th of April (p46 of the diary). It does not take Thomas long to be wounded – a surviving page from casualty lists shows that he was discharged back to duty after suffering a gunshot to the left foot on the 14th of May 1915. This casualty sheet is from No.4 Stationary Hospital at St. Omer.
Thomas Martin is killed in action on the 25th of September 1915 during the Loos campaign – the diary covers the assault that the 2nd Battalion Royal Highlanders (as part of the Bareilly Brigade of the Indian Corps) made on that date is covered in large detail in the diary from pages 105 to 126. The summary of the losses on page 129 shows almost 50% casualties, with 43 killed and 49 missing (mostly dead). The manner of the assault and the fact that the Battalion had to withdraw back to their own lines leaving their dead behind explains why Thomas has no known grave and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial.
Information and photo kindly supplied by Alexis Fitzgerald
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