25/10/1915 Australia’s youngest soldier dies

Like many Australians, James Martin volunteered to join the Australian army after the outbreak of the war. Martin is however unusual in his age. He was just over 14 years old when he enlisted in April 1915, claiming to be over 18 to recruiting officers who seem not to have been too zealous in their checking of enlistees’ ages.

Martin was sent to Gallipoli where he wrote to his parents saying not to worry about him as “I am doing splendid over here”. But like many in the hot and fetid conditions of the Gallipoli trenches he became ill. Today he dies of typhoid fever aboard a hospital ship. He is buried at sea.

image source (Wikipedia)

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