The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Trooper David Martin

Ancestor Details

Name of Ancestor: David Alexander Martin

Ancestor's date of birth: 14/01/1876

Ancestor's date of death: 14/02/1965

Cause of Death: Carcinoma, senility

Service Number: 2334

Colony or State of enlistment: NSW, Place of Enlistment: Not known (is not in the list of the Riverina 200)

Unit: 3 New South Wales Imperial Bushmen

Rank attained in Boer War: TPR, Date Effective: 01/01/19

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): No evidence of post Boer War service.

Murray Page: 158

Contingent: Fifth New South Wales

Ship: Ranee on 21 March 1901

Memorial details: Not known

Awards/Decorations: Queen's South Africa Medal with Transvaal, Orange Free State, and Cape Colony clasps.

Personal Characteristics: Sympathy for the under-dog. Willingness to argue at length over almost any subject. Down-to-earth.

Reasons to go and fight: Unknown, but probably in a search for more adventure than was available on an Upper Hunter farm.

Details of service in war: Given that the photo below was taken in Capetown, he passed through there on his way to the ill-defined front. The 3 NSWIB was formed from drafts intended for the NSWIB (4 NSW contingent) and NSWCB (3 NSW contingent), however, these units were about to return home. Tpr Martin was listed in the Sydney Morning Herald among the draft for the Citizens' Bushmans Contingent which left Sydney on the Ranee on 21 March 1901. TPR Martin must have served with one of the earlier units as in a letter dated Klerksdorp February 1901 he wrote: "We just came in after trecking for a month. We had a great trip this time and made quite a name for ourselves. I suppose you would see about our big capture in the papers. We got onto a convoy of over a hundred waggons and took them. The Boers saw us and cleared out and our horses were too much knocked up to go after them but we got their cattle and ten thousand rounds of ammunition and their women.". In the same letter he also wrote "We got great praise from the Colonel (possibly Lieutenant Colonel EC Williams DSO) about our work. He said that no one else but Australians could have done the same. A few months ago he said that we were only a lot of looters, but whenever he wants a fighting column he always takes us.". The 3 NSWIB served from May 1901 in Transvaal. Contracted enteric fever. Recovered, but invalided home, February 1902. "[An officer] told me I would make a name for myself yet if it was only for catching fowls and horses."

Service and life after the Boer War: Returned to faming in the Murrurundi district. In 1909, married Edith Sarah Fleming. Daughter Doris born 1911. In 1916 bought a farm at Warrah Creeh, west of Murrurundi, and farmed there until 1927, when he moved to Gunnedah where he ran a newsagency until his retirement in about 1940.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: David John Swain, Beecroft NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Grandson


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields