Markham Athelstan MARTYN CMG, DSO, MiD

MARTYN, Markham Athelstan

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 25 August 1914, Melbourne, Victoria
Last Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Last Unit: 2nd Field Company Engineers
Born: Armidale, New South Wales, Australia, 5 June 1881
Home Town: Armidale, Armidale Dumaresq, New South Wales
Schooling: Armidale Public School and Sydney University, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Serviceman
Died: Natural causes, Adelaide, South Australia, 4 November 1956, aged 75 years
Cemetery: Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia
Memorials: Armidale Memorial Fountain, University of Western Australia Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

25 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Captain, Melbourne, Victoria
24 Sep 1914: Promoted AIF WW1, Major
21 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Major, 2nd Field Company Engineers, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
21 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Major, 2nd Field Company Engineers, HMAT Orvieto, Melbourne
19 Nov 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant Colonel, SN Officer, 2nd Field Company Engineers, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
7 Aug 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Lieutenant Colonel, 2nd Field Company Engineers

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Major A. M. Marlyn, R.A.E., was born at Armidale and educated at the Armidale School. From there he passed on to the Sydney University, where he took his B.E. degree, and was on the University staff for a short time as demonstrator in engineering. He then secured a lieutenancy in the Royal Australian Engineers, and was stationed at Queenscliff (Vic.). Afterwards he was appointed officer commanding engineers in Queensland and later was transferred to the same position in Western Australia. At the outbreak of the war after mobilisation of the Western Australian troops he went to Melbourne, and offered himself for active service, his offer was accepted, and he was given the command of the 2nd Field Company Engineers, at the same time attaining his majority. He went to Egypt with the first fleet of transports and was at the historic landing at Gallipoli on Aprll 25. With the exception of a visit to Egypt on sick leave he was continually in the trenches until the great evacuation." - from the Sydney Morning Herald 22 Jan 1916 (


"Athelstan Markham Martyn (1881-1956), military engineer, was born on 5 June 1881 at Armidale, New South Wales, eldest son of Sydney-born John Griffin Martyn, licensed surveyor, and his wife Hope, daughter of Thomas Markham, medical practitioner of Armidale. He was educated at The Armidale School and the University of Sydney (B.E., 1905).

Early in 1901 he had enlisted in the Sydney University Scouts and by 1903 was a second lieutenant. In 1906 he was commissioned in the permanent Australian Engineers and as a subaltern served in the Royal Australian Engineers in Victoria and Queensland. In 1911 he was promoted captain.

Soon after the outbreak of war in August 1914 Martyn, then serving in Western Australia, was commissioned in the Australian Imperial Force as captain in the 2nd Field Company. He was soon appointed to command. He embarked with his unit in October, supervised its training in Egypt, and landed with it at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, on 25 April 1915. During the next three months he shared his company's hardships, suffering from chronic dysentery but retaining his characteristic cheerfulness. He was acting commander of the 1st Divisional Engineers for a fortnight in May, and in July was appointed commanding royal engineer although his lieutenant-colonelcy was not gazetted until shortly before the evacuation. For his work in the Gallipoli campaign he received the Distinguished Service Order and the French Croix de Guerre, and was mentioned in dispatches.

The 1st Divisional Engineers moved from Egypt to France in March 1916. After some months in Flanders they were engaged in the Somme sector, taking part in the battle of Pozières in July and in actions about Mouquet Farm in August. Then there was a period out of the line and Martyn was able to take some leave. On 21 October 1916, at St Mary Abbot's Church, Kensington, London, he married Stella Godfrey, only daughter of Frank Swifte of Tasmania; the bride had journeyed from Australia.

The 1st Divisional Engineers were engaged in the 1917 battles known as '3rd Ypres' at Menin Road in September and Broodseinde in October. At the end of the year Martyn was appointed C.M.G. In April 1918, after nearly two years as C.R.E., 1st Division, he was posted to command the A.I.F. Engineer Training Depot at Brightlingsea, Essex. In July he returned to the Australian Corps on the Western Front as C.R.E., Corps Troops, an appointment which he held during the 3rd battle of Amiens and the breaching of the Hindenburg line. A week after the Armistice he relieved C. H. Foott as chief engineer of the Australian Corps with the rank of colonel. He embarked for Australia in April 1919. He had been mentioned in dispatches five times..." - READ MORE LINK (