Martin, Charles Cromwell

WO 11 Charles Cromwell Martin, DCM, MM (1918 – 1997) became at twenty-four one of the youngest company Sergeant Majors in the history of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. He served in ‘A’ Company 1st Battalion. In the D-Day invasion, June 6th 1944, Charlie Martin was one of the first of 4,123 to hit the beaches of Normandy at Bernieres-sur-mer. Charlie Martin was wounded in April 1945 in Sneek Holland. His war was over.

After a full recovery he returned to Canada and lived very happily with his war bride Vi and sons Rick and Stu. Charlie raised his family in Mississauga and in his civilian capacity worked for The Department of Agriculture. He was a leader and a symbol of those who worked to shape a free and caring society. The passage of time will not forget Charlie Martin, a warrior, a gentleman and citizen soldier who passed away on 13 October 1997. For his service to Canada Charlie Martin was awarded The Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) and the Military Medal (MM) for Heroism.

In 1994 Charlie Martin authoured ‘Battle Diary’ from D-Day and Normandy to The Zuider ZEE and VE.

CBC also produced the following documentary:

5 thoughts on “Martin, Charles Cromwell”

  1. I just got a copy of this book last week. Truly a wealth of information to my family and I. My Great uncle Chester Clinton Tuttles was a member of the QORs and was in D company with Sergeant Aubrey Cosens Sadly my Uncle Chester C Tuttle and sergeant Cosens died by a sniper on Feb 26/1945 in Mooshof Germany but not before Achieving their objectives with only 5 men left in there platoon. Sergeant Aubrey Cosens was awarded the Victoria cross
    Would love a picture of his platoon for our family if anyone has one
    Chester C Tuttle K76048
    Chris Tuttle


  2. My father, John Wesley Bennett was a corporal in the QOR, “A” company at the time of the Normandy landings, and although he would not talk much about what he experienced, I do know that with the loss of Sgt Jack Simpson and the injures to Sgt William Smith on “D-day, he was given charge of the surviving members of the Platoon. From what I remember him saying, at the end the day the most the platoon could muster was 6 people
    He was wounded the first time while fighting alongside CSM Martin during operation “Wellhit”,September 19th 1944, the taking of Boulogne. Upon returning to the company shortly before Christmas, he was promoted to S/Sgt and was wounded the second time Christmas Eve while bringing the Christmas Meal to the forward positioned soldiers.

    Obtaining and reading CSM Martins book, gave me the opportunity to better understand what transpired ànd why my father was reluctant to talk about his experiences.


  3. I had a signed copy of Mr. Martins book (perhaps still have, as I’d given it to a nephew of mine) after clearing out my fathers residence (after he passed), and as he was originally a member of the Q.O. I wonder how he obtained this book? My Father had little contact with this part of his past (that I knew of) and spoke only sparingly to me about it…
    I can only say that had it not been for a quirk of fate or even the order of battle that the Canadian Army adopted in ww2,it is unlikely that I should be writing this now…
    After reading this book i was able to obtain a small glimpse into the world that my father lived through for a brief time in Normandy in 1944.
    Truly, it was miraculous that Mr. Martin was able to journey as far as his did through Belgium and into Holland as there were few who managed this feat. In fact my Dad’s best, and childhood friend, which together they’d signed up for the Q.O’s early in the war and decidedly underage, also made it this far only to succumb to his injuries only two weeks before V.E. day.
    I can honestly say that this loss to my dad was more of a burden for him to carry through his life than the (six weeks) experience of battle, though many of his injuries were a constant reminder.
    I am not here to harp on about my father, rather to give tribute to a valiant participant (Charles) in one of the greatest achievements to the freedom of mankind on this planet, and an incredible author, to be able to elicit so accurately his experiences…



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