Sapper Alfred James Leslie Martin, K75229
Vancouver, British Columbia
6th Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers
Alfred James Leslie Martin (sometimes known as “Les”) was born on 7 August 1908 in Plymouth, England. He emigrated to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada with his parents Alfred William Martin and Lillian May Martin. The oldest of five children, Alfred was the only boy.
Alfred Martin went to school at Norquay Public School until Grade VIII. At the age of fourteen he gained employment with a candy-maker that lasted for four years. He then began working for Thompson and Clarke, a plywood manufacturer, as Head Tally Man. He worked there for five years before enlisting in the Army.
On 10 July 1937 Alfred Martin, age 28, married Madge Gleig. They were married at Madge’s brother’s house in Sardis, British Columbia. Alfred and Madge had two children. Brain Leslie Martin was born on 10 October 1938 and Jean Elaine Martin was born on 15 November 1941 – two years before Alfred died during the war.
Alfred enlisted in the Army in 1940 at age 32 years. He enlisted as a private at a basic training camp in Vancouver. During the enrolment process he stated that he was unsure about what he would do when he returned; however, he was considering mixed farming or carpentry work. On 31 July 1941 he was posted to the 11th District Depot in Vancouver, BC. In November he was assigned to the Royal Canadian Engineers and started training at A6 Canadian Engineer Training Centre in Chilliwack, BC. He became a Sapper at the end of November 1941.
After his training at Chilliwack Martin embarked for the United Kingdom where he was on strength No.1 Canadian Engineers Reinforcement Unit from April 1942 until May 1943 and was employed as a carpenter’s helper. He was then transferred to 6 Field Company where the training emphasis at the time focused on Assault Training with its focus further sharpening in the first few months of 1944 to the preparations for the D-Day landing and assault.
Sapper Martin embarked for France on 3 June 1944 as a member of L/Cpl Earl Teskey’s sub-section supporting No 10 Platoon of the Winnipeg Rifles in the first wave of the assault. His mission was to clear and remove obstacles on the beach. On landing, his craft was hit by heavy machine gun fire and he was killed. He was 35 years old when he was killed. He was temporarily buried at Gray-sur-Mer, France but his final resting place is the Beny-sur-Mer Canadian Military Cemetery in France.
….Based on research conducted by a student at Smiths Falls Collegiate Institute in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada with additional material from the 6 Field Engineer Squadron Museum Association.
REMEMBER TODAY, REMEMBER ALWAYS.
THIS TRIBUTE PROFILE CONTAINS AVAILABLE BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION ON ONE OF THE CANADIANS WHO DIED ON JUNO BEACH ON 6 JUNE 1944. THE PROFILE ALSO RECOGNIZES THE INDIVIDUAL OR ORGANIZATION WHO GENEROUSLY SPONSORED THIS SOLDIER, AND INCLUDES A MESSAGE OF THANKS AND REMEMBRANCE FOR THEIR SACRIFICE. THIS INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE IN THE SOLDIER’S NATIVE TONGUE AND HAS BEEN COMPILED BY THE LEST WE FORGET PROGRAM AND, IN SOME CASES, THROUGH THE GENEROSITY OF INDIVIDUALS CONNECTED WITH THE SOLDIERS. DUE TO THE INCONSISTENCY OF HISTORICAL RECORDS AND THE SPARSE AVAILABILITY OF FIRST-HAND WITNESSES, WE KNOW MORE ABOUT SOME THAN OTHERS. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE ANY MATERIAL OR HELP IN OUR EFFORTS TO PRESENT THE BIOGRAPHIES IN BOTH FRENCH AND ENGLISH, PLEASE CONTACT: JBCA@JUNOBEACH.ORG.
CE PORTRAIT CONTIENT DES INFORMATIONS BIOGRAPHIQUES RELATIVES À L’UN DES CANADIENS QUI SONT MORTS SUR LA PLAGE JUNO, LE 6 JUIN 1944. IL PORTE ÉGALEMENT MENTION DE LA PERSONNE OU DE L’ORGANISATION QUI A GÉNÉREUSEMENT PARRAINÉ CE SOLDAT, AINSI QU’UN MESSAGE DE REMERCIEMENT EN SOUVENIR DE SON SACRIFICE. CES INFORMATIONS SONT DISPONIBLES DANS LA LANGUE MATERNELLE DU SOLDAT ET ONT ÉTÉ COMPILÉES PAR LE PROGRAMME LEST WE FORGET ET, DANS CERTAINS CAS, GRÂCE À LA GÉNÉROSITÉ DES PERSONNES LIÉES AUX SOLDATS. EN RAISON DE LA DISPARITÉ DES DOCUMENTS HISTORIQUES ET DES RARES TÉMOINS DE L’ÉPOQUE, NOUS NE DISPOSONS PAS DE LA MÊME QUANTITÉ D’INFORMATION SUR TOUS LES SOLDATS. SI VOUS SOUHAITEZ COMPLÉTER NOTRE DOCUMENTATION OU NOUS AIDER DANS NOS EFFORTS POUR PRÉSENTER LES BIOGRAPHIES EN FRANÇAIS ET EN ANGLAIS, MERCI DE CONTACTER : JBCA@JUNOBEACH.ORG.