Edward John Martin was born in1840 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk and at the age of 10 was apprenticed to the sea which gave him many opportunities of adventure in many different parts of the globe. He became attached to the French Foreign Legion as a youth and was connected to the French Transport Service during the Crimean War. With a companion however, he deserted from the French and, making his way over the battlefield of Balaclava, managed to board a British vessel engaged in the bombardment of Savastopol. While on this vessel a gale arose which sunk 16 out of the 21 vessels engaged in the bombardment, but his vessel managed to weather the storm.
After visiting different parts of the world, Edward Martin arrived in New Zealand in 1863 on board the sailing ship "Acerington". He left the vessel at Lyttleton and after the "Acerington" cleared the southern port, it was never heard of again.
Edward took up contracting work on what was then known as the Midland Railway - the South Island Main Trunk Line, and was for a time at Rakaia. He left there for the gold fields however and while on the West Coast had many interesting varied experiences. Unknowingly he entertained at his camp one night the Maungatapu murderers
He married Louisa Eliza Viney on 15 January 1877 in Christchurch, Canterbury.
They settled in Christchurch and he engaged in the work of deep-well boring. He and Louisa moved to Palmerston North in 1889 and he continued his occupation there as a well-borer. Around 1906 he retired and moved to Foxton.
He was a very powerful man in his younger days and enjoyed good health right up till his demise. He was ill only a week and passed away quietly.
They had ten children during their marriage, 3 of which predeceased him.
He died on 20 June 1931 at the age of 90, and was buried in Foxton, New Zealand.
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