1. Memorial:Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, FlandersPanel 12.
2. Book:The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918Pg.129
3. Book:De Ruvigny's Roll of HonourVol.1
4. Memorial:The (1940) Scroll - WW1 Roll of Honour54A GQS

Awards & Titles:

Mentioned in Despatches twice
Queen's South Africa Medal & six clasps

Family :

Husband of Mary Beatrice Martin, of 3, St. Alban's Mansions, Kensington Court Place, London, W.8.

Son of the Reverend H Martin Vicar of Thatcham, near Newbury, Berkshire.

Education & Career :

Martin went to Bradfield College in Berkshire.

Service Life:


Unit / Ship / Est.: 2nd Battalion King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) 

2nd Battalion August 1914 : in Lebong in India. Returned to England 22 December 1914. Moved to Hursley Park and joined 83rd Brigade in 28th Division. Landed at Le Havre 16 January 1915. Moved to Egypt October 1915 and thence to Salonika.

Action : The Battles of Ypres 1915 (Second Ypres) 

22 April - 25 May 1915. On the 22nd April 1915 the Germans used poison gas at Ypres. This was the first 'official' use of gas and took the Allies by surprise. After initial success capitalising on the confusion and horror of this weapon, a heroic stand, initially by the Canadians and then supported by British and Indian Battalions, held the German advance. However it became clear that the Germans had achieved a tactical advantage and eventually the British were forced to retire to more a more defendable perimeter closer to Ypres. These positions were on the last ridges before Ypres and their loss would have resulted in the loss of the town and possibly open the Channel coast to German occupation with disastrous consequences for the re-supply of the BEF.

Served in the South African Campaign.

Detail :

MARTIN was killed in action on 8th May 1915 (CWGC lists 9th May) near Ypres.

His service is summarised in De Ruvigny's: "MARTIN, AYLMER RICHARD SANCTON, Lieut.-Col. Commanding 2nd Battn. King's Own Royal Lancaster Regt., s. of the late Rev H. Martin, Vicar of Thatcham, Newbury, Berkshire; b. Newbury, co. Berks, 19 Nov. 1870; educ. Bradfield College, and Sandhurst; gazetted 2nd Lieut. to the Royal Fusiliers, 4 March, 1891, and Lieut. 26 June, 1892 and later the same year transferred to the Royal Lancaster Regt.; became Capt. 25 Jan, 1900, Brevet Major 29 Nove. 1900, Major 8 Sept, 1905 and Lieut.-Col. 13 Dec. 1912; served through the South African War, 1899-1901, including the relief of Ladysmith and the actions a Spion Kop, Vaal Kranz, Tugela Heights (14-22 Feb. 1900, wounded) and Laing's Nek, and acted as Adjutant to the 2nd Battn., 2 Nov. 1899 to 8 Jan. 1900, and 25 Jan to 15 Sept. 1900 (twice mentioned in Despatches [London Gazette, 8 Feb. and 10 Sept. 1910], Queen's medal with six clasps, Brevet of Major). On his return to England, after passing through the Staff College he was attached to the General Staff at the War Office from 1904 to 1906 and from 1907 to 1912 was Deputy Assistant Adjutant General, Scottish Command. In 1912 he was given the command of the 2nd Battn. of the King's Own, then in India. Col. Martin was killed in action at Frenzenberg during the fighting around Ypres, 8 May, 1915. He m. at Surbiton, 21 July, 1896, Mary Beatrice, dau. of General Charles Terrington Aitchison, C.B., Indian Army, and had a dau., Eileen, b. 15 Oct. 1898."

The Newcastle Journal of 15th May, 1915 records his death: "Lieutenant-Colone Aylmer Richard Sancton Martin, commanding 2nd Battalion K.O. Royal Lancaster Regiment killed in action near Ypres on May 9), was the eldest son of the late Rev. H. Martin, and husband of Mrs. M. B. Martin (nee Aitchson). He was born in November 1870, and obtained a commission in the Royal Fusiliers in 1891. On his promotion in 1892 he transferred to the Royal Lancaster Regiment, and got his company in 1900; he was major from 1906, and lieutenant-colonel in 1912. From 1904 to 1906 he was attached to the General Staff at the War Office, and from 1907 to 1912 he was Deputy Assistant Adjutant General, Scottish Command. In the South African War (1899-1901) he saw a great deal of service. In the operations for the relief of Ladysmith he was at the action of Spion Kop, and also at those of Vaal Kranz, and on the Tugela Heights. Afterwards he took part in many operations in the various Colonies, and was present at the battle of Laing's Nek. He was mentioned in despatches and received the Queen's Medal with six clasps."

The battalion war diary reads as follows:


4th May.
The Bn. were resting in the huts. The following reinforcements arrived on the 3rd May: Other Ranks 240.
7 p.m. Orders were received to march out to the trenches and relieve the 5th Bn. The King's Own Regt.
8.30 p.m. The Battalion marched out and took over trenches in front of FREZENBERG. The trenches were new trenches and had not been completed. A and D Coys. were in the first line. B and C Coys. in support. B Coy. acting as support to the 3rd Monmouths.

5th -7th May.
Battalion in the trenches. Enemy shelled trenches intermittently.

8th May.
7 a.m. Enemy shelled trenches blowing them in, and rendering them untenable. The enemy advanced and captured the front line trenches; they then advanced against the support dugouts. The O.C. 3rd Monmouths called for one company to support the line and B Coy. under Captain Forwood at once moved across the road and occupied some old trenches east of the burial ground in the rear of the Monmouth's trenches.
10 a.m. Enemy commenced attack in the support dugouts but were held in check when 200 yards from them. The enemy were observed moving in a westerly direction on both flanks of the position. Major Clough assumed command on the death of Colonel Martin.
11.35 a.m. Message received to retire on POTIJZE. B Coy. was ordered to retire first followed by the 3 platoons of C Coy. on the North of the YPRES - ZONNEBEKE Road. The following officers were present during the engagement.

(Here Lt. Col. A. R. S. Martin, is one of the officers listed killed)

After the retirement regiments got mixed up. Some of the Bn. retired through the POTIJZE line and some remained in the trenches till the 9th May.

9th May.
The remainder of the Battalion were withdrawn from the front line and sent back to the huts.

The total casualties during this last tour in the trenches from 4th May till 9th May were:- Officers: Killed 4, Wounded 5, Wounded and Prisoners 2, Wounded and Missing 1, Missing 4. Other Ranks: Killed 36, Wounded 110, Wounded and Missing 31, Missing 721.

This last entry gives some indication of the extreme pressure that the 2nd Kings Own had been under: most of the battalion were recorded as casualties.

The Official History adds that at 08.30hrs the German infantry rose and assaulted the exposed front on Frezenberg Ridge and the attack was driven off. After another half hour bombardment a second attempt failed in like manner, but by this time practically all the men in the front line trenches had been killed wounded or buried. It was impossible to send reinforcements and a third assault at about 10.00hrs succeeded.

The Kings Own on the left, its front line having held out until overwhelmed, and Lt Col AMS Martin killed, now also defended its support trench.

As a footnote it records that only 4 officers and 94 other ranks remained of the battalion nominal strength of about 1000 men.

Aylmer Martin is commemorated on the East Grinstead War Memorial.

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : Wellesley No. 1899 E.C.Berkshire
Joined : Lebong No. 3321 E.C. Bengal

5th March 1903
2nd April 1903
7th May 1903

Alymer was joined to Lebong Lodge in 1913, when he was serving in that locale as a Lt. Colonel. He rose to the office of Senior Warden. He is noted to have been "Killed in action 1915." He was not initiated into Lebong, but he appears on the Roll of Honour under this lodge. The record shows his previous lodge was Wellesley Lodge No. 1899 (Register U 1887-1909 - Berkshire and not London), where he was initiated as a 32 year old Major based at Camberley. He resigned from Wellesley at the end of 1907.

Source :

The project globally acknowledges the following as sources of information for research across the whole database:

Additional Source:

Last Updated: 2020-05-16 18:00:14