Thursday, 15 February 2018

Herbert Montgomery Martin


H M Martin in uniform with cane. 
The photographs of Croydon by Herbert Montgomery Martin illustrate many of the activities, crashes and people working on Beddington / Croydon Aerodrome in the last year of the First World War. There are several images of Montgomery Martin himself, who joined the army on 20 July 1916 (the Royal Flying Corp was then part of army). It is not clear from his service record if he joined the Flying Corp immediately, but it notes his transfer to the RAF on its formation on 1 April 1918.


Martin was an ‘Observer’, which meant he primarily worked as aircrew on reconnaissance observing and / or taking photographs of enemy positions. The photographs preserved by Cross and Cockade, which HCAT have copies of, make sense of this. The next blog explores some of the people Martin photographed.




Elizabeth Mary Byers

The service record tells us that he married Elizabeth Mary Byers, who was in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. She enlisted on 6 May 1918 (G2042) and worked as a waitress (according to livesofthefirstworldwar.org).







They married at St Saviour’s Church in West Croydon on 2 August 1919, by which time Martin had transferred to RAF reserve in February the same year 1919 and is wearing the badge of an ‘Observer’ in the photograph below.





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