STORIES FROM WORLD WAR ONE
One Rushden lad who served in WWI was SYDNEY HORACE MARTIN. He enlisted in the MACHINE GUN CORPS and was involved in the battles at YPRES and in FLANDERS.
One of the orders from the commanding officers was not appreciated by the soldiers. It stated that men leaving the trenches should always WALK into No-Man’s land. This, they realised, would make them easy targets for the German machine-gunners.
Another abiding memory was that of the numerous bodies of OFFICERS who were recovered from the battlefield, injuries showed that they had been shot from the rear. Sydney Martin always maintained that this was possibly the recruits’ way of getting their revenge on some of the officers who treated them like scum.
During WWII SYDNEY HORACE MARTIN became the secretary at the WINDMILL WORKING MEN'S CLUB.
Sydney's earliest memory was of happier days when he was a pupil at RUSHDEN'S ALFRED STREET SCHOOL. He joined a group of boys who marched to WELLINGBOROUGH to support a national campaign against the use of corporal punishment in schools.
The Record book, still kept at the school, contains the following item by the Headmaster: “Yesterday, several boys were absent from school, having joined a protest against corporal punishment. Today they were severely thrashed and we shall hear no more about this matter.”
Passed to us from a relative of Sydney, 2014
Note: Sidney H. MARTIN was born 29th March 1899, son of William. The family lived at 35 Glassbrook Road when he went to Alfred Street junior school on 1st May 1906. He left school on 1st April 1912.