At the youthful age of 14 years and 3 months, James Martin coerced his mother to sign paper work for him to enlist in the Australian Armed Forces. He threatened that if she didn’t sign the documents he would enlist under a different name. If that was to occur she would never know where he was and would simply lose her only son. She reluctantly signed the documents falsifying his age and prepared for the worst.
Private James Charles (Jim) Martin (1901-1915) is believed to have been the youngest Australian to die during service at Gallipoli.
As we read the book ‘Soldier Boy’ by Anthony Hill, students in my Year 8 class couldn’t believe that Private Martin was only a year older than them when he enlisted. Questions soon followed – ‘Why would he do that?’ ‘Would you enlist?’ ‘Why would his mother fake his age?’ ‘What happened to him?’
The discussions that followed soon brought to light the concept of service. At Ambrose Treacy College we encourage our students to be of service to others, to stand beside our brothers and to be selfless in all that we do. Young men like Private Martin who were known as Volunteer Soldiers did not have the luxury of Google Maps to find the exact location of where they were heading, nor did they have the financial means to travel the world. Most enlisted because they wanted to chase adventure, they wanted to be a part of the action. To think that on the 25 April 1915, 103 years ago, thousands of soldiers landed on the shores of Gallipoli. Sadly, over 8000 ANZAC’s lost their lives in a relentless barrage of artillery, which they knew was a battle they may not win. Nevertheless, they banded together as brothers and fought with valour and courage for 8 long months. Little did they know that their sacrifices, brave actions of selflessness and their commitment to uphold liberty at all costs, would be remembered and commemorated around the world every year.
Although our actions of service won’t be nearly as significant as the ANZACs, it is hoped that our actions of selflessness, sincerity and brotherhood will be remembered by those whom we interact with in our community. As our College continues to grow, it is hoped that the culture of service continues to grow with it, with traditions established for the greater good of our neighbour.
Sadly, on 25 October 1915 Private James Charles Martin was evacuated to the hospital ship ‘Glenart Castle’ due to the effects of typhoid fever. He passed away from heart failure that same evening and was buried at sea. His name is recorded on the Lone Pine Memorial, along with the other 4,900 Australian and New Zealand servicemen who died in the horrific battle.
Lest we forget.
In Our Community on ANZAC Day
5:15am Dawn Service at Kokoda Memorial Stone, Corinda – Mr Sean Smith, Mrs Liza Peapell
7:30am Graceville Service at Graceville Memorial Park – Mr Keith Halpin; Mrs Alison Conlan
7:30am Indooroopilly Service at Keating Park – Mrs Lisa Holohan
8:00am RSL Memorial Park, Myla Terrace Tennyson – Paul Toon
8:15am Centenary War Memorial Gardens, Cnr Arrabri Dr & Dandenong Rd, Mt Ommaney – Mrs Jane Ellice
8:30am Kenmore War Memorial, Cnr Brookfield and Moggill roads – Mr Bernard Wong
9:45am Brookfield Showgrounds (Cricket game and commemorative service) – Mr Adrian Cullen
Click here to view our Facebook Album for the ANZAC Liturgy. album: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1678348878913722.1073741945.713760425372577&type=1&l=2db49bb932
Bernard Wong Service Program Coordinator