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corisande

William Farrell Martinson

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corisande

Another of the larger than life characters who served in the ADRIC. I have built up a lot of information on Martinson, but there are still many gaps. The link to the full notes is here but for those who do not do links here are the outlines of his life

  • Born China 1892
  • Dec 1914 arrives back in UK to enlist
  • serves in King Edward Horse
  • commissioned Essex Regt
  • Aug 1920 joins ADRIC
  • sometime Company commander ADRIC and later Adjutant
  • According to Irish Police records he joined the Palestine Police as Adjutant to the headquarters staff of the Palestine Police in Mar 1922.
  • 1 June 1922. He is not on the list of 51 officers transferred from the old RIC to the RUC
  • However in Sep 1922 marries in Sussex. His residence at the time was Downpatrick, Co. Down, and his occupation is given as DI Ulster Constabulary.
  • His 4 children all born in Northern Ireland
  • 1940 rejoins army
  • I cannot get any LG entries for WW2 service
  • 1948 Nov 28 Lt-Col William Farrell Martinson died in Mirpur Khas, Sind, Pakistan of chronic malaria

It appears therefore that he was appointed Adjutant in Palestine Police and either never got there or returned within months of arrival.

My knowledge of RUC records is not good enough to get anything on the web, though I suspect that the RUC are not too free with personal records for obvious reasons.

He appears to have died a Lt-Col, but I have no idea what he did in WW2

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corisande

Thanks IPT, (yikes, the post has been removed whilst I was typing a reply)

There is always more to be squeezed out than I can manage alone.

I suspect that there is a typo in that link and that the dance was in Oct 1921 not 1922. The ADRIC had left by Oct 1922, and Martinson had been pensioned out in March 1922. Maybe he met his future wife at the dance :)

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headgardener

Just reading your write-up of this man;

The 'Shanghai contingent' were members of the 'Asian Contingent' of King Edward's Horse ('C' Squadron, I think), made up of men from China (mainly Hong Kong and Shanghai, I believe). They may have recruited from other places, but these are the only 2 that I know of for certain. So I think you'll find that he may have already enlisted before returning to the U.K., and that he would have been coming back having received his orders to Mobilize. Must admit that I'm not certain about this point.

King Edward's Horse was, as you say, a Special Reserve unit. It started life as an Imperial Yeomanry unit at the time of the Boer War, and was made up of British colonials living in the UK. It later became a Special Reserve unit, and became known as 'King Edward's Horse (the King's Overseas Dominions Regiment)'. I understand that it was made up of U.K. based colonials and of expatriate Britons living in the colonies (there were African, Asian, Australasian and American Squadrons). So your man would have been part of the Shanghai contingent of the 'British Asian Squadron' (I'm pretty certain it was 'C' squadron).

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headgardener

Just found him listed on kingedwardshorse.net (it's an alphabetical listing of men who served in KEH during WW1;

William F. Martinson 860 England Cpl

France 22 April 1915.

C Squadron.

Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant 23 January 1916, 13th Essex Regiment

WW II Lt Col

Died November 1948

Note:

OCB: 17 - 23.

I'm not sure what the 'OCB' reference is in this particular case. It would usually mean Officer Cadet Battalion, but the numbers aren't right for this, and most men listed on his site have this reference against their names. Must be a source that the man who compiled the site has used, I'd guess. Maybe you could contact him and see what it relates to, and whether there are any other sources for KEH men.

I'd also guess that the reference to 'England' on the 1st line of his entry will indicate that that's where he enlisted, so the idea of the 'shanghai contingent' coming to the U.K. to join up would fit with them returning specifically to join KEH, I reckon.

Edit; assuming that he wasn't promoted 'in the field' and that he did about 3 months officer cadet training, it would place him leaving KEH in about October/November 1915, so it's likely that he only served for about 6 or 7 months in France before leaving to do his officer cadet training.

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corisande

Thanks for the input, I have updated my notes with this info. Basically it fits with what I have

There were about 88 men in the "Shanghai Contingent" on that ship from Shanghai to UK in Dec 1914. I have no idea whether they all joined King Edward Horse.

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mhifle

Hi,

On the 31 Oct 1916 Army List he is listed with the 12th Reserve Battalion

28 Nov 1917 listed with the 11th Service Battalion

28 Nov 1918 listed with the 11th Service Battalion

27 Nov 1919 listed with the 11th Service Battalion

Also found this on 17 Nov 1923 Irish Times, do not know if this is your man?

Long Army Number

Regards Mark

post-14045-0-70661300-1308527901.jpg

post-14045-0-31789100-1308530145.jpg

post-14045-0-94635100-1308532631.jpg

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corisande

Thanks Mark, that should be him in Downpatrick in 1923

The family think that he may have worked for Irish Times at some point between leaving the RUC and re-joining British Army in WW2. Does anything come up as a correspondent with Irish Times in the between war years

From what the family say, I don't think that they ever lived in Dublin, so if he did work for them, he would have been based still in Northern Ireland

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mhifle

Hi,

This is what I have found so far

Regards Mark

post-14045-0-90418400-1308561558.jpg

post-14045-0-59432500-1308561567.jpg

post-14045-0-65792900-1308561572.jpg

post-14045-0-99894900-1308561681.jpg

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corisande

Thanks Mark

I will go back to the family to see if they can work out when he left RUC. Certainly from what you have dug out so far, he appears to have been in charge of the B Specials in the Downpatrick area

Down memory lane for me too, I used to live between Crossgar ans Killyleagh mentioned in that last cutting.

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mhifle

Hi,

Looking at his Medal Card it looks like he applied for his Medals when he relinquished his commission on 4 Aug 1920.

With his address as the 'Junior Army and Navy Club, Whitehall, London'.

Regards Mark

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corisande

I got a reply from the family which says that they think that his children (born 1923 to 1930) went to school at Puckane, Co Tipp, for a while but when and what he was doing is a mystery.

I would have thought that it would have been too dangerous for him to have lived in Tipperary in the 1930s, but it is a very exact address.

My guess was that he was used by the British with his Chinese language skill - he must have been fluent, but for what and where seems a mystery too. Nothing about his promotions to Lt Col that I can find in LG

His sister Connie, married a man, Urban Kelly, also from the small town in China (Urban Kelly joined up in 1917 and served in Chinese Labour Corps and went back to China in 1919). Connie, Urban, their daughter and son in law, plus mother Elizabeth (who died in 1942) were interned by the Japanese in WW2

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headgardener

On the 31 Oct 1916 Army List he is listed with the 12th Reserve Battalion

28 Nov 1917 listed with the 11th Service Battalion

28 Nov 1918 listed with the 11th Service Battalion

27 Nov 1919 listed with the 11th Service Battalion

From my experience the MIC is more likely to be indicative of the battalion that a man served overseas with regardless of what it says in the Army List. This seems to be borne out by this particular man's Long Number.

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Murrough

These are from the Nenagh Guardian 1932 -1934, It seems the Martinsons were living in Tipp.Capt Martinson was involved in local events and Mrs. Martinson had a liitle business in producing jams and sweets,The 1st cutting is dated Jul 14 1934 at Dromineer and the 2nd cutting is from Sept 1932 at the Luska regatta.

post-10169-0-28468100-1308607744.jpg

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Murrough

From DEC 1934

post-10169-0-17060500-1308608097.jpg

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Murrough

This is all I could find, the last cutting mentions an M.Martinson finishing 2nd in the ostrich ringing? at the Ballyquirke Fete,Lorrha,Tipperary dated the 30 Jul 1936.

post-10169-0-61358300-1308610474.jpg

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Murrough

This cutting is from the Irish Press of May 1939

post-10169-0-79635000-1308613391.jpg

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corisande

Thanks you very much for those, murrough. A nice bit of research there :thumbsup:

So it shows Martinson living in rural Tipperary over the period 1932 to 1936 at least, and confirms the family story of going to school in Puckane. I will see if I can use that to unlock any family memories of why they were there. Certainly Martinson was not keeping a low profile

The 1939 funeral notice does perhaps indicate an involvement with Irish Times

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Murrough

Glad to help,he was still involved in tennis in the Dublin and Kildare areas in the period 37-39 here is one example.

Regards,

Murrough.

post-10169-0-03617700-1308656944.jpg

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corisande

Thanks so it looks as if he was

1. Area Commandant RUC at least from 1922 to 1924

2. In Puckane, Tipp at least 1932 to 1936

3. In Dublin area at least 1937 to 1939

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mhifle

Hi,

Here is his youngest son's engagement 17 Sept 1954 in the Times

Regards Mark

post-14045-0-10917200-1308689568.jpg

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corisande

Thanks - it looks as if W F Martinson's widow has gone to live in Scotland. As far as I can see, the Martinsons left Ireland at about the time of WW2.

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Granite-Yorkie

There were about 88 men in the "Shanghai Contingent" on that ship from Shanghai to UK in Dec 1914. I have no idea whether they all joined King Edward Horse.

I have two of the Shanghai contingent joining the 10th Yorkshire Regimet- Alan H. Hilton-Johnson, the acting Superintendent of Police in Shanghai being gazetted Temporary Major w.e.f. 15th December 1914, and Alfred Allan Victor Scudamore enlisting as a Private in the same battalion. Scudamore had served with the Somerset Light Infantry, before going to Shanghai and joining the Mounted Police. He was commissioned, within months, into the 10th KOYLI as a Temporary Lieutenant w.e.f. 7th May 1915.

I assume that Scudamore was commissioned as a Lieutenant, rather than as a Second Lieutenant, because of his previous experience and I assume to fill a vacancy in the establishment.

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corisande

I have just had an email from Dorothy Jones about Martinson's time as a POW and later repatriation officer .

I have been researching the repatriation of British pows from Germany via Denmark after the armistice for a number of years.

www.thedanishscheme.co.uk

At the moment I am researching for an article about repatriation from Dânholm, Stralsund.

Following up on individuals I came across your piece on Captain William Farrell Martinson.

I was already aware of Martinson’s participation in repatriation work in Denmark.

New for me was that he escaped from Dânholm and was caught.

I know of several attempts, without much or any detail.

I would appreciate it if you could tell me more of Martinson’s.

I am also extremely interested if you have any info on Martinson’s time in Denmark.

I know that he was with a group that left Stralsund on 9th December (see list on website).

They were taken to the rest camp at Hald, Jutland.

He volunteered to stay on and help at this camp.

I haven’t got any more detail of his repatriation work in Denmark.

With a repatriation date of 19th January it looks like he was on the hospital-ship Formosa which left Copenhagen for Leith on 17th January.

Can anyone add anything on Martinson's escape attempts, or his work on repatriation staff at Hald?

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