Martin, John Gartshore family fonds

John Gartshore Martin family fonds. - [188-?]-2004, predominant 1909-1958.

ca. 2.4 m of textual records and other material.  

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John Gartshore Martin, Col. DSO, MID, Q.C. (1921-2007), was an officer in World War II and later became a lawyer in Kitchener, Ontario. The youngest son of John Alexander and Jessie (Wilson) Martin, John studied at the University of Toronto and was employed at the Waterloo Manufacturing Co. Ltd. until he enlisted in the Canadian army in 1941. At that time, he was posted to the Highland Light Infantry regiment as a reinforcement officer with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. Before enlisting, he was a member of the Scots Fusiliers of Canada and trained with them at Niagara, Brockville, and Camp Borden. He also worked on staff at a military school in Vernon, British Columbia before being posted overseas in September, 1943. In 1944 he was transferred to the Lincoln and Welland Regiment (infantry), which participated in the landing at Normandy and the Allied advance through Belgium, the Netherlands and into Germany. Martin was promoted to the rank of Major and was awarded several medals, including a Distinguished Service Order and mention in despatches.

After returning to Kitchener in 1946, John married his fiancé Mary Ann Kabel (daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Art Kabel of Kitchener) and enrolled in law school at Osgoode Hall. Upon graduating in 1949, he practiced law in Kitchener and retired as a senior partner of the law firm Clement, Eastman, Dreger, Martin & Meunier. Martin was involved in community service at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and several organizations in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. He and Mary Ann had three children: Cathryn Jean, John Jamieson, and David Alexander.

John Alexander Martin, O.B.E. (1880-1959), son of Rev. William M. Martin and Christena Jamieson, was an industrialist from Waterloo, Ontario. John, known as Alec, received a BA from the University of Toronto in 1902, and worked for the Canada Cycle & Motor Co. and the Russell Motor Car Co. before becoming manager of the Tire Division at the Dominion Rubber Co. in Montreal in 1917. In 1919 he became general manager, and in 1928 he began as vice-president. During World War II, he served in Ottawa as Deputy Rubber Controller for Canada from 1941 to 1945, at which time he assumed the position of Rubber Controller until 1947; he was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his work in this capacity. Martin was involved in community service in several local organizations including St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church; he was also a founding member and president of the Ontario Society for Crippled Children. In 1912, Martin married Jessie Gartshore Wilson, and they had three children: Wilson Alexander, William Jamieson, and John Gartshore.

Jessie Gartshore (Wilson) Martin (1885-1968) was a homemaker in Waterloo, Ontario. In 1912, she married John Alexander Martin, and they lived for a time in Vancouver before moving to Toronto and then Waterloo. They had three children: Wilson Alexander, William Jamieson, and John Gartshore. Jessie was the daughter of Richard and Margaret Wilson. Richard Todd Wilson ([1839?]-1927) was a merchant and manufacturer from Dundas, Ontario. He married Margaret Gartshore (1844-[193-]), daughter of John Gartshore (a miller in Fergus, Ontario) and Margaret (Moir). Richard and Margaret Wilson moved to Toronto in 1914. They had six children: Richard Steel, Anna Jacqueline, Alexander Douglas, Marion Forrester (called Merne), Margaret Helen (More) (called Madge), and Jessie Gartshore.

Wilson Alexander Martin (1913-[19--]) was the oldest child of John Alexander and Jessie Martin. Wilson graduated from the University of Toronto in economics and then worked at the Waterloo Trust and Savings Company. In 1939, he entered active service at the rank of Sergeant and worked on the staff of the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario. He was eventually promoted to the rank of Major. In 1942, he married Dorothy Elaine Pequegnat and they had two daughters, Margaret Christine and Nan. After the war, he had a career in industrial engineering and then management at the Dominion Rubber Company in Kitchener and Montreal.

William Jamieson (Jamie) Martin (1917-1944) was the second son of John Alexander and Jessie Martin. He graduated from the University of Toronto in political science and economics in 1939 and in 1941 he enlisted in the army. He was appointed to the Canadian Armoured Corps and began training in Brockville as a Cadet. During the war he was part of the Elgin and then the 1st Hussars regiments and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. On June 11, 1944, his regiment was involved in a battle at Le Mesnil Patry, northwest of Caen, France, and Lt. Martin was killed in action. He is buried in the cemetery at Beny-sur-mer in France, and there is a memorial stone for him in the Grove Cemetery in Dundas, Ontario. He was engaged to Muriel Clift who worked as a military nurse in Europe during the war.  (Source: content of the fonds, donor records.)


Fonds consists of records created and accumulated by John Gartshore Martin and other members of his family, primarily his mother and father John Alexander and Jessie Martin. Records relate to the lives and activities of John Gartshore Martin and other family members, including the impact of World War II. Includes photographs, correspondence, clippings, war memorabilia, ephemera, certificates, a scrapbook, military decorations, and other material.

Includes 885 photographs, 6 negatives, 5 contact prints, and 3 maps.

Fonds is arranged in six series:

  1. Correspondence
  2. War Memorabilia
  3. John Alexander and Jessie Martin Family
  4. Clippings
  5. Photographs
  6. Decorations, Medals and Awards


  • Title from content of the fonds.
  • The extent is measured in linear metres of shelf space occupied by the fonds.
  • Donated in 2009.

Call number: GA 191