Sergeant G. E. Martin, RAF, 1625906::

This cutting  from the Sutton Herald from July 4th 1999 was found in March 2020. There are several Martin's in the family tree - my paternal great grandmother was Alice Martin before she married John Sculpher in 1872 and my mother was raised by the Ruddell family and her adopted elder brother (by twelve years) Frederick Ruddell married Kathleen Matilda Martin - known to everyone as 'Kit'.   
Sergeant Gerald Edward Martin was a crew member of an Avro Lancaster (type II, serial number LL678, aircraft code JI-L2) of 514 Squadron taking off from RAF Waterbeach at 23:12 on the night of the 12th June 1944 as one of three hundred and three aircraft (286 Lancasters and 17 Mosquito's of Numbers 1, 3 and 8 Groups) carrying out the first raid of the new Oil Campaign; the target was the Nordstern synthetic oil plant at Gelsenkirchen, which lies at the centre of the Ruhr.  Gelsenkirchen was a target of strategic bombing during the war and three quarters of the town was destroyed.

Gerald Martin's Lancaster LL678 was shot down on its return from the raid by a FW-190A-8  number 171660 of the 9/JF-11 (S.U) flown by Oberleutnant Dietrich Shmidt and crash landed at 01:24 on the 13th June in Holland at Zuidloo, Overijseel. Of the eight man crew, just three survived, for some of them, it was due to be their last tour of duty. The three survivors evaded capture; their escape aided by the Dutch resistance. Gerald Martin hide in a bakery surrounded by Germans and remained hidden in Holland until liberated in April 1945. After the war Gerald met the pilot and radio operator of the FW-109 that shot down LL678. Gerald died of cancer in March 2008.

The Crew of Avro Lancaster Mark II LL 678 "The Lily Mars"  
Crew Member Rank Serial Number     Age Status
Albert Clifford Benham Sergeant 1580616 Wireless Op/ Air Gunner RAFVR 21 These five members of the crew were killed and are buried in the
Bathmen General Cemetery. Bathmen is a small village in the province of Overijseel, 9 kilometres east of the town of Deventer. The cemetery is about 500 metres west of the centre of the village. There are eleven identifiable graves in the cemetery.
Herbert Samuel 'Bert' Delacour Pilot Officer AUS/425136 Pilot RAAF 20
Samuel Alexander Phillips* Flying Officer J/16550 Observer RCAF  
Roy Geoffrey Picton Flying Officer 151087 Navigator RAFVR  
George Donald Savage Flight Sergeant 1523833 Rear Gunner RAFVR  
F Spurgeon 'Pop' Williams Sergeant   Mid Upper Gunner RCAF   Survived crash / evading capture.
Gerald Edward Martin Sergeant 1625906 Flight Engineer RAF   Survived crash / evading capture.
George Palamountain Flight Sergeant   Bomb Aimer RAF   Survived crash / evading capture.
*The story behind Flying Officer Phillips being on LL678 that night is that the crew were due to stand down and F/O Phillips was familiarising himself with the aircraft. 
"Presenting Lily Mars" was a 1943 film comedy starring Judy Garland as a small-town girl from Indiana who dreams of becoming an actress. Also starring are Van Heflin and Fay Bainter.


Avro Lancaster LL678

Gerald Edward Martin

Avro Lancaster mark II


RAF Waterbeach was located five and a half miles north of Cambridge. It was built in 1940 and operated by RAF Bomber Command until 1945, after which it transferred to RAF Transport Command until 1949, becoming a Fighter Command base from 1950 to 1963. From 1963 to 1966 the airfield was used by the RAF Airfield Construction Branch and then handed over to the British Army Royal Engineers as Waterbeach Barracks, although the main runway and control tower remained in use. In July 2011 the Ministry of Defence announced that Waterbeach Barracks would close and the land sold for housing.  Closure took place on the 28th March 2013. Photographs from 2008 show the original control tower and many RAF buildings, including several hangers.

Gelsenkirchen was the location of the Gelsenberg Lager subcamp of KZ Buchenwald, established in 1944 to provide forced labour of approximately 2,000 Hungarian women and girls for the Gelsenberg-Benzin-AG factory. About 150 of them died during the bombing raids of September 1944 (they were forbidden to take shelter during raids).

Who is Mrs E Martin? In the 1939 Register Edith Martin and her husband Amos W Martin are living at 78 Ruskin Road, Carshalton. The year of their respective births is shown at 1890. A search of marriage records finds an entry for Edith Mercer and Amos W Martin in the March quarter of 1916 (Croydon 2a, 559). A search of birth records returns Amos William Martin registered in the December quarter of 1890 in Islington (1b, 372). A search for the birth entry for Edith Mercer finds an entry for the September quarter of 1890 in Guildford (2a,100). A search for the birth record for Gerald Edward Martin finds Gerald E Martin registered in the March quarter of 1923 in Croydon (2a, 467). The mothers maiden name is shown as Mercer. A birth in early 1923 would mean Gerald was 21 in the June of 1944. I believe that Gerald had an older brother Kenneth N Martin, birth registered in the June quarter of 1921 in the Croydon district (2a, 576), the mothers maiden name is Mercer.

Amos William Martin (born 1890-1891) was living in Newington Green Road, Islington in the 1891 census with his parents Alfred Amos and Elizabeth Ann, his older brother Sidney (born 1887/1888) and older sister Rose Florence (born 1889/1890). Alfred Amos is a carpenter. Ten years later in the 1901 census the family have moved to Croydon, Sidney is now 13 (place of birth shown as Hammersmith), Rose Florence is now 11 (place of birth shown as Fulham). Amos William is listed as William Amos is 10 years old and has a younger brother Harry E, aged 8 (born 1892/1893 in Kilburn). Also at the address is Alfred's mother Thirza (or Thurza) aged 58, born in Great Braxted, Essesx and Alfred's sister Clara Martin, aged 27 and born in Kensington, London.

In the 1911 census the family is still in Croydon (South Croydon), Alfred Amos is now 45, a carpenter and builder, his wife Elizabeth Ann is 44, Rose Florence is 21 and Amos William is 20 and shown as being born in Stoke Newington, London. His younger brother Harry Edward is now 18 and a house painter. The elder son Sidney is not at the same address.

Alfred Amos Martin appears on the 1871 census where he is 4 years old, born in 1866 and christened at St Mary Magdalen Church in Richmond, Surrey on the 30th September 1866. His father Amos is 31 years old and born in Hitwich, Bedfordshire His mother Thirza is 28 and shown as being born in Great Braxted, Essex. There is a daughter also - Thurza A Martin aged 2 and born in Twickenham, Surrey.

All the above information from the various census and birth and marriage records all hang together. However, I have yet to find a connection either with Alice Martin or Kathleen Matilda Martin.