‘The daily newspapers published casualty lists, and also extracts from The London Gazette. Naturally we looked through these for possible news of friends.
‘One day I saw my brother’s name – commissioned a second lieutenant in the Sherwood Foresters. I wrote my congratulations at once. Now he was an officer we could go about together in public if we happened to have leave at the same time.
…’He was still my elder brother and I couldn’t refrain from a playful dig, “We are both officers now, but don’t forget army seniority counts from the date of commission, so you will always be my junior.
‘In practice, this wasn’t likely to mean much, since we were in different regiments, but I was rather pleased with my little joke and wondered what he could reply.
‘I addressed my letter to him in France. He never received it. On his third day in the front line he died of wounds. My letter was returned unopened with his personal effects.’
Second lieutenant Bernard Martin, 1st Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment.
His brother, Second lieutenant Frederick Martin, died of wounds near Ypres on 7 September 1915, aged 20. He had recently been commissioned in A Company, 2nd Battalion the Sherwood Foresters.
He had joined the army in September 1914 and had previously served as a private in 28th Battalion, County of London Regiment (the Artists’ Rifles).
He is buried at Hop Store cemetery, Belgium.