Mr Clifford Martin
05 December 2003
Lieutenant (temporary Captain) Clifford Frederick Victor Martin served in Burma with the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry during WWII In 1944 he was awarded the Military Cross and the Bar to Military Cross for his bravery. His family very generously donated the medals to Royal Star & Garter, to be sold for the benefit of our charity.
We are incredibly grateful for this wonderful gift, which will help to provide life enhancing care and specialist therapies for veterans and their partners, living with disability or dementia.
We are proud to include details of Lieutenant (temporary Captain) Martin’s brave actions, as published in the London Gazette in 1944.
On the 26th of January 1944, the enemy put in a persistent attack from 1745 hours to 1830 hours, which was repulsed with heavy losses. At 2300 hours the enemy gain attacked with even more determination but was again driven back. During both these attacks, Captain Martin ran from post to post in the open, directing the fire and encouraging the men, regardless of his personal safety. Throughout the 27th and the 28th, the enemy sent frequent harassing parties to wear down our defences and to prevent our men from sleeping. On the 29th of January, our position was again very heavily attacked, this time by two enemy companies, from 0530 hours to 1030 hours. Although the position was thinly held, our casualties equivalent to one platoon, and the men tired through three sleepless nights, the enemy was driven back time and again with very heavy losses estimated at 200 killed and wounded. Although completely without sleep during these four days, Captain Martin went from trench to trench, encouraging the men and urging them to hold on, despite close range grenade, small arms and very heavy mortar fire. When the enemy broke through the wire and threatened to swamp the defences, he personally organised and led a counterattack which, by determined hand to hand fighting wiped out all the enemy who had broken in. Captain Martin’s splendid example of personal gallantry and leadership in the face of heavy odds, his spirit of endurance and determination to hold out, inspired all ranks to resist at all costs, over a period of four days, a persistent enemy attempt to capture a position of extreme tactical significance. He was awarded the Military Cross on the 18th May 1944 for this bravery.
On the morning of the 26th of May 1944, Captain Martin was leading a Company taking part in the attack on Red Hill.
In the initial stages of this attack Captain Martin was wounded, leading his Company under heavy Medium Machine-Gun fire, on to the objective, but, ignoring his wounds, Captain Martin personally led a grenade-throwing party to wipe out a Japanese Bunker, which was holding up the advance of his Company.
With complete disregard for his own safety and despite his wounds, Captain Martin approached the bunker, the occupants of which had been catching our grenades and throwing them back. By waiting 3 seconds after the cap of the grenade had been struck before he threw it, Captain Martin succeeded in wiping out the bunker and thereby clearing the way for the advance. In doing this, Captain Martin was again wounded, but continued to lead his Company forward until he collapsed from loss of blood. Captain Martin’s magnificent example of gallantry and selfless devotion to duty under heavy fire was not only a supreme inspiration to every man in the Company, but a vital contributory factor in the success of the attack. He was awarded his second medal the Bar to Military Cross 5th October 1944 for his great leadership and quick thinking.