To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”

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Civilian

Keith Martin

Was chairman of ABCIFER

jcross

1928 - Born Hong Kong

Keith was christened in St John's Cathedral

Son of Alf and Enid (Nee Craik) Martin.

(who were married in 1923)

 

Pre War

Keith’s Father Alf Martin, was born Kennington in 1893 but moved to Hong Kong probably in 1902.  Alf Martin died Hong Kong in 1940 and is buried in the Protestant cemetery in Happy Valley.

Enid Craik, born in Hong Kong in 1899. Her father (John Robertson Craik) is buried next to Alf Martin in the Protestant Cemetery.

Keith’s mother Enid Martin was interned in Stanley during the war, where she married John Michell, who worked for the Hong Kong police. Keith and his sister had by this time been sent to live with their aunt, Gertrude Jewell (on Enid’s side), in Shanghai, hence why Keith was interned in Yangchow. Keith’s cousin Peter Jewell was also interned at Yangchow. Enid died 1989.

 

Japanese Internee

At the outbreak of war 15 year old Keith and his 13 year old sister June were in Shanghai staying with an aunt. Their mother Enid was in Hong Kong.

The civil environment was unstable, and in December 1941, Japanese forces took over Shanghai. Diplomats were exchanged in mid 1942. Their school lives were not much changed during 1942.

However, prominent civilians began to be imprisoned and all foreign civilians interned by early 1943. They were transferred to the Yangchow Civil Assembly Centre where their education continued. A summons to the camp commandant required an on the spot decision for his future. 

The Japanese guards were unobtrusive except at roll call. Food and fuel, initially sufficient, became a problem as the war progressed. There were few deaths in the camp but even the young showed a comradeship that grew directly out of their situation.  Although the children were kept busy, boredom was a problem for the adults despite having to work around the camp. Religious practice was an important part of camp life. 

At last news of ‘the big bomb’ filtered through and supplies were parachuted in before they finally returned to Shanghai. 

 

Post War

During the 1980s and 90s Keith was chairman of ABCIFER

Daughter Tessa visited the graves her grandparents Alf Martin and Enid Craik in 2017.

 

Died

Keith died 2009

Information

Tessa - Daughter of Keith Martin

*

''Our Thanks are for being a Chapter in Life.''

 

 

 

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