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16 October 2014
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Nell Martin

Having lived through two World Wars, Nell travelled from Bombay to Ballymena and has many special memories to share.

Nell Martin

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Carol Sargent - June '08
On behalf of the Bexhill Museum local History Group, I am researching circumstances relating to the buriel of 3 members of the 'Wade' Family in Bexhill Cemetry, 17th October 1939

They are Mrs Wade wife of Lieut Col E.W. Wade. R.A.M.C. and their two daughters, Doreen Winifred, 19 years, and Betty Aurielle aged 17 1/2 years. There was also a brother Leuit. P.G. Wade.R.C.
The three female members of the family are reported to have drowned on the SS Yorkshire.

Are there any survivors of SS Yorkshire, or of SS Britannia, or even family members/friends who knew of the family, and would forward more information to me?

Joan Wood - Jan '07
My father, Henry George Brown, was on SS Yorkshire when it was torpedoed. Unfortunately he did not survive. I was just ten years old at the time and had grandparents who divulged very little information, thinking I was too young to understand. My mother never spoke to me of the event. I would appreciate any other information anyone can offer. Thank you.

Sue Lloyd - Oct '06
Interesting article on Nell . My grandfather was a survivor on the Yorkshire. Thank you.

Dan Bowyer - Aug '06
I'm wondering if Billy Martin was in Tunbridge Wells during the war. Im trying to track down someone by the same name who may well be my Grandfather. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks. Dan

Kimberley Jane Read - April '06
Im looking for my family. Anyone how knows Fredierick Nells, now married Ethel Steer in Cornwood, Devon. I'm the Great Great Grandaugther of Fredierick Nells. His sister was called Elthel Nells, and his brother Stanley Nells, I don't know what part of Ireland he came from.

regards, Kimberley

Shaun Martin - April '06
Nell, my Mother, died (peacefully) in Antrim Hospital on Saturday 15th April 2006 at 23.50 Hr.

Mrs O. M. C. James (nee Cole) - Sept '05
DAILY EXPRESS October 23 1939
The report was from the American ship Independence Hall,
which had picked up survivors from the S.S Yorkshire and taken them to Bordeaux .
I am that baby. My father saved my life but sadly I lost my mother. I was 4 months old at the time.
My thoughts are with you at this time.

Editor's note - for Mrs James (nee Cole),
We have a request from Nell's family to make contact with you. Please would you get in touch with us again and leave your email address. Thank you.


James and William Martin - March 05
Dear Nanny Martin,

In Castlewellan Primary School P3/P4, we are doing about WW2, our teacher give us homework ask grandparents about this. Our papa told us about your story on the internet. William and I are going to show our friends in school about life during the war. Your story is very interesting and we love hearing your voice.

Love James and William Martin (greatgrandsons)


Jan Brister - December '04 - nee Bowles, Nell's neice. (Victoria, B.C., Canada) My mother Hilda Bowles is Nell's youngest sister.

How wonderful it was to read of Auntie Nell's experiences and to hear her voice and her laughter. I spent a summer in Ireland with Auntie Nell and her daughter Liz when I was a child and that visit has always been one of the fondest memories of my childhood. I had so much fun and I can remember to this day enjoying her wonderful soda bread and other delicious baking. Nell is, indeed, an absolutely remarkable lady and I am so proud of her and thankful that she has had the opportunity to share her stories and adventures with all of us. She is a wonderful storyteller (as is my cousin Liz and her daughter Clare) Nell Martin has touched the lives in a very special way of all of us who know and love her and I send her my love and wish to her for many more years of happiness and good health.


Liz Weir - nee Martin, Nell's daughter - Dec '04
It is wonderful that family and friends all over the world can listen to Mum's stories. I have been fortunate in hearing them all my life. She is my favourite storyteller and there is no doubt that hearing her tales and those of my late father influenced me in my own professional storytelling career.

Anne Jenkins - nee Bithrey, Nells Neice - December '04
Dear Aunt Nell,
How wonderful for Mum (Ivy) and I to read your article and to listen to your lovely voice again after so many years. When I first saw the photos I thought it was my mum! I have a photo of her taken in 1948 and you could have easily been twins - except for your 8 year age gap!
Love from Anne.

Anne and Dave Martin (no relation) - December '04
Knowing Nell's son ( Bill ) for some years, and often hear him talk of his family in Ireland -- it gives us great pleasure to know all of this.

Clare Weir, grandchild number 8 - November '04
I have been listening to these stories for years and am so proud that they are now being shared with others - and this isn't even the half of it... she is a remarkable woman who has lived a remarkable life - I hope these stories are still remembered for generations to come.

Karen Lightfoot - nee Martin , Nells grandaughter - November '04
Loved the article and to have part of my family history for everyone to see. I'm so proud to be part of this wonderful family.

Shaun A. Martin
Sadly Bill died last year at his home in Adelaide , Australia. He was in his 76th year.

Further information about the sinking of the S.S. Yorkshire (17.09.39) can be found on

The SS Britannia survived until 25 March 1942 when it was intercepted by the German surface raider "Thor" and sunk with loss of 249 of the 492 passengers/crew. The location was 750 miles west of Freetown.




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