William Martin was born on 5 December 1852 at Wollongong, third son of Peter Martin and Louisa. On 19 February 1878 he married Louisa Mary Ethel Bennett at the Wesleyan Church Paddington. There were three children of the marriage. He died at Glebe on 14 November 1937, aged 85 years. Louisa Martin died at Forest Lodge on 6 January 1950.
Occupation & interests
Martin was articled to Colonel Thomas Rowe, then practised as an architect on own account. A foundation member of the Institute of Architects, and a vice-president 1885-87, served as architect to British Legation to China for four years, in Japan for two years and Balkans for two years, and a member of the Architects Registration Board (1922). He designed a granite and marble mausoleum to Glebe’s 174 citizen soldiers who died in World War 1, and also Glebe Public School War Memorial, both in an honorary capacity.
The fabric of Australian politics and society was torn apart by conscription campaigns in 1916 and 1917. Glebe Town Hall was the main venue fo pro-conscriptionists and anti-conscriptionists gathered at street corners and Record Reign hall. Martin, a prominent anti-conscription activist, in October 1916 he told a crowd at Record Reign Hall to record an emphatic ‘No’ and ‘show the world that while always willing to do their share in the defence of the Empire, they are not going to be forced to the points of German bayonets’.
Local government service
Martin submitted to Glebe Council in 1924 a scheme for beautification of Jubilee Park, comprising the construction of a stadium, swimming baths, lawn tennis courts, bowling green with pavilion, and a new grandstand for the cricket oval as well as a new gymnasium playground for children.In 1923 Martin took exception to the way plans were being dealt with by Council, refused to take his seat and when ordered out of the chambers by Mayor Tate, departed saying ‘Goodnight Mr Jellyfish’.
Sydney Morning Herald 20 October 1919 p. 7
Sydney Morning Herald 17 August 1922 p. 6
Sydney Morning Herald 4 December 1922 p. 10
Sydney Morning Herald 18 October 1916 p. 12
Sydney Morning Herald 8 June 1923 p. 10; 3 July 1923 p. 9
Sydney Morning Herald 30 December 1924 p. 9
Sydney Morning Herald 16 November 1937 p. 10