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Martin Russell Garfield

Russell Garfield Martin was born on 21st May1887 in Brock Township, Ontario, Canada.

The 1891 census for Canada on Ancestry.co.uk reveals that the Martin family were living in the Village of Cannington, Ontario. Head of the household was Henry Martin age 46 born 1844 in Ontario, a Stone Mason by trade. His wife, Catherine age 49 born 1841 and their children, Hugh age 19 a Farm Labourer, Henrietta age 17, Euphemia age 15, Albert age 11 and Russell Garfield age 3.

Ten years on we find the family living in Port Perry Village, South Ontario. Henry Martin was still in the same trade and their children, Henrietta, Euphemia and Russell, age 13 were still living at home.

Euphemia was now a School Teacher by trade and brother Albert age 21 was living elsewhere.

I cannot trace Russell Garfield Martin in 1911. He would have been 23 years of age. His parents, Henry and Catherine were still living in Ontario, and Henry was making a living as a Labourer in a Wood Yard.

The following information and photograph is taken from a Public Family Tree on Ancestry.co.uk called the Taylor Tree.

Russell’s sister Henrietta Orlena married Richard Taylor on 18th April 1906 and in 1911 was living in Dalton Ontario with her husband and one year old son, Hubert.

Attestation Papers for Private 868230 Russell Garfield Martin from The Library of Canada.

Russell enlisted into the 182nd Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 10th May 1916 at Beaverton. He gave his trade as Schoolteacher and next of kin as Henry Edward Martin, (Father) of 711 Bethune St., Peterborough, Ontario.

After basic training in Canada, Russell  embarked for England on board the S.S.Olympic and on arrival was posted to Witley Army camp to complete training before deployment. He was transferr 116th Battalion Canadian Forestry Troops and posted to London on 3rd March 1917 when he was deployed to France.

Russell was awarded a Good Conduct badge on 10th May 1917 during service in the Field. He was on leave in England from 20th February 1918-6th March 1918, and remained in the Field until returning to U.K. in January 1919 when he was transferred to Kinmel Army Camp for discharge and repatriation to Canada.

Kinmel Park Camp was a segregation camp used to house Canadian Soldiers awaiting repatriation to Canada after the end of WW1. Unfortunately the conditions at that time were extremely harsh with a lack of every kind of commodity, the camp was overcrowded and the services were poor, there were shortages of clothing, food and blankets. As a result of this situation, a vast number of servicemen and women became ill and many succumbed to the Influenza Epidemic or complications associated with this infection.

Tragically, Russell contracted Influenza, and was admitted to the Canadian General Hospital where he died on 12th February 1919

 He is buried in St. Margaret’s Cemetery, Bodelwyddan, North Wales.

Russell Garfield Martin is commemorated on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.


Learn more about the other soldiers on the Bodelwyddan Memorial

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