Airborne Engineers Association

David Martin

 

 

David Martin

 

A packed Falkirk crematorium was testament to Davie Martin's lifetime of service to his fellows. The eldest of a family of seven, he was a red-haired gregarious man with an instinctive urge to organise those around him.

As a young shipwright at Grangemouth docks, he was inducted into the Royal Navy in 1943, serving with the Fleet Air Arm. Davie's interest in the airborne family was aroused when he met Maisie in Italy. She was in the Auxiliary Territorial Service and attached to the US 82nd Airborne Division. Davie was demobbed in 1946, joined the RNVR in London and married Maisie in 1947.

On return to Grangemouth docks, the call of the sea could not be resisted and between 1949 and 1968 he spent nine years on the Australian run as a shipwright in the Merchant Navy. During this period he joined the TA, serving with the 7th Battalion the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in Stirling and 80 Port Regt RE at Grangemouth. In 1959 131 Indep Para Engr Regt held a recruiting drive in Falkirk. Without hesitation Davie joined 300 Para Fd Sqn RE as a founder member of 1 Troop.

When the TA reorganised in 1967 Davie returned to 80 Port Regt where he attained the rank of S/Sgt Some time was spent working on oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, returning in 1968. His Merchant Navy service continued on cruise liners in the Caribbean with the Blue Star and Shaw Savill lines. The Central Scotland branch of the Parachute Regimental Association was formed in 1984. Davie was a founder member. He served the branch as Treasurer from 1984 to 1991 and Chairman from 1991 to 1996. When the AEA was born in 1989 he joined us too, and the Edinburgh branch when that formed in 1998. He also joined the RE Association, the National Union of Seamen and several other trade unions, the Freemasons and most of the groups for which he was eligible, holding life membership in many cases. In total he supported about fifty organisations.

About ten years ago members of the Central Scotland branch of the PRA attended the annual dinner of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where Davie proudly received a presentation in recognition of his work in the Association. During his travels, he enjoyed a pint with the lads, but always made time to explore the area, taking many photographs. He left a large collection. A well-read affable man, he will be remembered by many. Maisie died a few years ago after 56 years of marriage. Their daughter Senga and two of his sisters survive and our thoughts are with them at this sad time. The funeral on 21st January was attended by four PRA standard bearers and a smart turnout of members to bid farewell to an old friend who, although his hair had turned to silver, still took a delight in winding people up.


 

 

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