Russell Garfield Martinwas born on 21st May1887 in Brock Township, Ontario, Canada.
The 1891 census for Canada on Ancestry.co.uk reveals that the Martin family was living in the Village of Cannington, Ontario. Head of the household was Henry Martin aged 46 who was born in 1844 in Ontario. He was a a Stone Mason by trade. His wife, Catherine was 49 and had been born in 1841. Their listed children were Hugh 19, a Farm Labourer. Henrietta was 17, Euphemia 15, Albert 11 and Russell Garfield aged 3.
Ten years on in 1901 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 llisted at home. Euphemia was then a School Teacher. Albert age 21 was not listed at the family home on this census.
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. 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. (According to the Taylor family tree on Ancestry).
Russell ‘s army records tell us that he enlisted into the 182nd Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 10th May 1916 at Beaverton. He gave his trade as Schoolteacher and named as his next of kin, 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 Whitley Army camp to complete training before deployment. He was transferred to the 116th Battalion Canadian Forestry Troops and posted to London on the 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. Tragically, Russell contracted Influenza, and was admitted to the Canadian General Hospital where he died on 12th February 1919
(from The Library of 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.
He is buried in St. Margaret’s Cemetery, Bodelwyddan, North Wales.
Russell Garfield Martin is commemorated on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.