John Randall a black American, was sentenced on 14 April 1785 at Manchester Quarter Sessions to transportation for seven years for stealing a steel watch chain. Aged 21 in 1786, he was sent to the Ceres hulk then on the 6 January 1787 to Alexander. John had two wives, Esther Howard who died in 1789 and Mary Butler (Neptune 1790). He had three children by Mary Butler, Lydia 1791-93, Mary 1793 and John 1797. John had received a grant of 60 acres at the Northern Boundary Farms. He later sold this cheaply to get into the NSW Corps where he served for seven years and 289 days, by that time he was 44 years old.
John Martin a Negro was chased and caught at once after grabbing a bundle of clothing in a house. He was sentence on 3 July 1782 to seven years transportation at the Old Bailey and on 1 November he was put on the Den Keyser for Africa. John was brought back sick to Newgate, where he was held until sent to the Ceres hulk, then on the 6 January to Alexander. In November 1792 John received a grant of 50 acres at the Northern Boundary Farms, and became a successful farmer. John had two wives Ann Joy (Neptune 1790) and Mary Randall the daughter of John Randall. Their children were John, Sophia, Francis, Henry and Hannah. John Martin died at Field of Mars on 21 December 1837, age given as 88, and was buried at St John’s Parramatta.
Honouring their WW1 and WWII descendants
The Daily Examiner February 13, February 1995
Henry Martin came to the Clarence on the first sailing ship that ventured up the river, in 1836 in just over a century, 15 of his descendants had left their homes in the Clarence Valley to fight for king and country in two world wars.
The fighting Martins came mostly from the Tucabia-Pillar Valley area, rural workers, timber cutters, labourers, fishermen and horse breakers who answered the call to serve. Some were barely more than boys, others mature men close to their 40s. Groups of brothers, two from one branch of the family, three from another, volunteered on the same day in the fervour of World War 1. The youngest son of one family enlisted for World War II, following in the footsteps of his two elder brothers who had served in 1914-1918.
Martins served in the Middle East and France in the first war and in the Middle East and New Guinea in the second WW II conflict. Many were wounded, one was gassed in France. But they all come home. Only two of the fighting men survived today-Ossie, who lives in retirement at Corindi, close to the old family stamping grounds, and Myles-who is a resident at Aruma hostel in Grafton. The history of the fighting, Martins is being compiled by Grafton women Dorothy Martin, who is married to another Martin descendant, Jack. Ossie and Myles have different recollections of their World War II service.
Ossie, stretcher bearer, served in Australia and New Guinea, before himself being invalided out late in the war. He joined up in 1940 but, at 83 says he would ‘think twice’ before doing the same thing again. I think about things that happened in the war quite often, when I’m on my own. You could certainly say it was all interesting, he said. Pillar Valley born Myles Martin has other memories of his youthful days in the army. A railway sleeper cutter at one stage he helped put through a Military line in Beirut. I suppose it could still be there today, provided they haven’t bombed it he said.
Myles was in charge of a gang of locals and was acknowledged as a hard task master: We only stopped work when the Germans took pot shots at us he recalls. Of his army days he says: We did a lot of marching. Proud of his family history, Myles recalls that his father Alfred Moses Martin, a son of the original settler Henry, cut cedar on Susan Island, and milled it at a sawpit on the area that is now Fisher Park in Grafton. His maternal uncle Ted Inman was a master butcher at the old Ramornie meatworks which supplied much of the bully beef that helped sustain Australian troops serving overseas in World War 1.
Sons of Alfred Moses: Edward Martin: Born Pillar Valley, 1895 enlisted February 16, 1916. Served initially with C Company 41st Battalion, then with the 3rd Machine Gun Battalion. Gassed, he was invalided to the United Kingdom in April 1918, returning to France on September 29, 1918, and invalided to the UK on October 2nd. Returned to Australia in January 1919.
George Martin: Born Pillar Valley, 1897 and enlisted at the age of 18 years on February 16th 1916. Attached to a tunnelling company with the 41st battalion, he was posted to France in November of the same year and was twice wounded in action 1917.
Sons of Alice: Percy Ossie Martin: Born Grafton, 1912 a horse breaker. Enlisted with the 3rd Auxiliary Company at Liverpool in September 1941, and volunteering for general duties 15 months later. In all he served a total 1179 days with 182 days of service outside of Australia, finally being evacuated from port Moresby on medical grounds. He was discharged November 25th, 1944 with war related injuries. Mr Martin now lives in Corindi.
Clifford Mervyn Martin: Born at Pillar Valley on April 6th, 1909, enlisted Citizen Military Forces on July 11th 1941, at Grafton. Transferred to second A.I.F January 6th, 1943 and served with 20th Australian Employment Company, with service in New Guinea from March 28, 1943 to October 9th, 1944. Discharged Sydney March 4th 1946.
Trooper Robert Gordan Martin (son of George Henry, Ulmarra): Born Ulmarra, 1898. One of the last pupils at the now long closed Lavadia school, he enlisted in June 1917, when still under 20 years of age. Served in Australia with the Australian General Reinforcements NSW before being discharged in October 1918.
Lest We Forget–Author Dorothy Martin retyped By Barry Jude Martin