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Martin, Cyril Arthur Joseph

Date of birth:
July 23rd, 1897 (Derby, Derbyshire, Great Britain)
Date of death:
November 27th, 1973 (South Cadbury, Somerset, Great Britain)
Nationality:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)

Biography

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Period:
First World War (1914-1918)
Rank:
Second-Lieutenant
Unit:
Royal Garrison Artillery, British Army
Awarded on:
June 22nd, 1918
Action:
"He and two other men extinguished a burning ammunition dump while under heavy enemy fire."
Military Cross (MC)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Temporary Major
Unit:
Bomb Disposap, Corps of Royal Engineers, Home Guard
Awarded on:
March 11th, 1943
Action:
Citation:
"From the beginning of the Blitz and during the heavy raids of 1940/41, Major Martin carried out Bomb Disposal work and dealt with a large number of unexploded bombs during this period. He continued with this work through to 1943. During the night of the 17th/18th January 1943, a large bomb fell into the warehouse belonging to the Victoria Haulage Company in Battersea. The warehouse at the time contained heavy machinery new from the United States. Due to the importance of the machinery this bomb was a high priority for disposal.Once examined it was found to be fused with a new type, this was an extremely formidable fuse as it contained an anti handling and booby trap, also it was proof against any known disarming techniques with equipment then in service.A decision to remove the base plate, then extract the explosive filling was made. Major Martin was called to carry out this task. The base plate was removed, Major Martin then found that the explosive content was of the solid cast TNT type, which would require steaming at high pressure.The normal process for steaming, by remote control was deemed to risky. For this task the steam nozzle was directly applied by hand and used a low level amount of steam, enough to just soften the TNT fill, so it was pliable enough for it to be scrapped away.Major Martin assisted by another Officer undertook this nerve racking task, which took from the 20th afternoon till 08.30 the next day. At this time they had succeeded in removing the entire TNT content. This work was completed by working through a small hole, filled with water and steam and laying alongside the bomb. This operation was both dangerous and of a long duration, as on two separate occasions, when Martin dealt with similar devices, he showed almost unbelievable and cold blooded courage."
George Cross

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