Royal Humane Society Medal Small bronze, successful rescue, (H.M.S. Thetis April 20. 1900.) with second award bar. Queen’s South Africa Medal 1899-1902, 1 clasp, Natal, (P.O. H.M.S. Thetis.) 1914-15 Star, (Gnr. R.N.) British War Medal, Victory Medal, (Ch. Gnr. R.N.) Chief Gunner R. W. Martin, Royal Navy GVF/EF
Robert William Martin was born in Broadstairs, Kent on 28 October 1875. An Errand Boy by occupation, he enlisted into the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class on 14 April 1891, being advanced to Boy 1st Class in November the same year. Serving on H.M.S. Collingwood he was promoted to Ordinary Seaman in October 1893 and to Able Seaman in April 1895. Serving on H.M.S. Thetis, February 1898-June 1901, he was promoted to Leading Seaman in September 1898 and Petty Officer 2nd Class in October 1899.
He was promoted to Petty Officer 1st Class in August 1901. In January 1908 he was appointed Acting Gunner, serving on H.M.S. Shannon and was confirmed in that rank in January 1910. During the Great War he served as such on H.M. Ships Leda and Earl of Peterborough, being advanced to Chief Gunner in September 1918. Martin retired from the Navy with the rank of Lieutenant on 16 July 1925. During his naval career he was the recipient of the R.H.S. Medal in Bronze and Clasp: At 10.30 p.m. on 20th April 1900 in Durban Harbour, T. Conneely (a stoker of H.M.S. Thetis) fell overboard from the ship, 400 yards from the shore, into water 21 feet deep. Sharks infest the harbour. Robert Martin, Petty Officer of H.M.S. Thetis, jumped in and supported Conneely till a rope was thrown and he was taken to the gangway (R.H.S. Case no. 30,839). At 2.10 p.m. on 3rd February 1914 at sea three and a half miles off Clacton, the cutter Snipe, sank while being towed by H.M.S. Leda. Filled and sank in water 40 feet deep. Seeing that Abbott (A.B.) was in difficulty. Robert Martin (Gunner, R.N.) swam to him with a biscuit tin and kept him afloat till they were picked up.(R.H.S. Case no. 40,632).
With copied service papers and rescue details.