Oliver Milton Martin

Service file

Oliver Martin (1893-1957) was born on April 9, 1893, in Ohsweken, Ontario, a village on the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve near Brantford, Ontario. He enlisted with the 114th Overseas Battalion at Cayuga, Ontario, in February 1916. Many members of the 114th Battalion were Indigenous soldiers from the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve, and from western Ontario, Manitoba, and Kanewake and Akwesasne lands along the St. Lawrence River.Consequently, the battalion became known as Brock's Rangers, in reference to Sir Isaac Brock, hailed as "The Hero of Upper Canada" since the War of 1812. During the First World War Martin spent seven months in France and Belgium, during which he survived a German gas attack. He reached the rank of brigadier, the highest rank that an Indigenous soldier had ever attained. He had previous experience serving in the 37th Regiment, which allowed him to enter the Canadian Expeditionary Force as a commissioned officer. He served with several different regiments throughout the war, and saw action all along the Western Front. In September, 1917, he transferred into the Royal Flying Corps and was trained as an observer. With the cessation of hostilities, he returned to Canada in 1919 and trained recruits for the Canadian military during the Second World War. He died on December 18, 1957.

Service Record Details

Attestation Paper

Date of Birth: April 9, 1893

Date of Attestation: February 9, 1916 (Cayuga, Ontario)

Age at Enlistment: 22

Prior Military Service: Yes—3 years with 37th Regiment

Height: 5 feet, 9 inches

Weight: 155 pounds

Description: Brown eyes. Anglican. Physical development good. Small pox marks present.

Home Address: Ohsweken, Ontario

Trade:  School Teacher

Married: No

Details of Family: Father, Robert Martin, and mother, Lucy Martin, living in Ohsweken, Ontario.

Next of Kin: Father (Robert Martin)

Theatre of War: France, Belgium

Casualties / Medical History

  • November 1917 to January 1918 – A medical case sheet indicates that he was treated for a variety of ailments, including urethritis, and pain in his knees, right hip and left foot. (Page 18)
  • April 26, 1919 – At the end of the war he weighs 136 pounds, 19 pounds less than when he enlisted. A note describes problems with his knee: "Twisted knee in France August 1917. Then twisted it again in Aerodrome 11-11-17 and was admitted to 1st Northern General Hospital, Newcastle, 12-11-17 because of synovitis left knee. Was in hospital (Granville Special and Matlock Bath) until 7-5-18. Since then says left knee has been but slightly troublesome." (Pages 20-21)

Interesting Details from the Service Record

  • February 24, 1917 – He makes his will at Witley Camp in Surrey, England. The handwritten text reads: "Sir-, I have the honour to inform you that my will is made and deposited with the Adjt. 114th Battalion in Canada [Camp Borden is added in different handwriting]. My trunk with personal belongings is with the English & Colonial Trading Co. 90 Victoria St. Westminster London S.W. I have the honour to be, Sir, Your obedient servant, Oliver Martin Lieut." (Page 5)
  • 1917 to 1918 – A note indicates that he married on September 15, 1917. His assigned pay is now to be sent to his wife, Mrs. Irene L. Martin. A typewritten address, "St. Margarets, 64 Osborne Road, Newcastle on Tyne," is crossed out. The address "5 Southhampton Bldgs, Chancery Lane" appears in handwriting, with the date March 15, 1918. The address of a branch of the Bank of Montreal also appears, in red ink. (Page 26)
  • 1917 to 1919 – He is attached to the Royal Flying Corps in France from February 25, 1917, to April 15, 1919. (Page 14)
  • July 22, 1919 – He is struck off strength due to the end of hostilities. He plans to return home to Ohsweken. (Page 12)
  • Undated – His latest address is listed as 114 McGill Street, Toronto, Ontario. (Page 24)

The London Gazette

No mentions found

Military Medals Honours and Awards

No records found

Census Records

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