Sir Andrew & Lady Martin
SIR ANDREW MARTIN KCVO OBE LLD JP (23 April 1914 - 13 December 1993) was Leicestershire’s highly regarded Lord-Lieutenant from 1965 to 1989, also serving Rutland from 1974.
Educated at Eton and Sandhurst, and commissioned into the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in 1934, he was Aide-de-camp to the Governor General of South Africa 1938-1940, served in the Second World War with the 4th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry1940-1942, the Royal Warwickshire Regiment 1942-1944 and in North-West Europe with the 5th Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry 1944-1945. He was mentioned in despatches. Military Secretary to the Governor General of Australia, Field Marshal Lord Slim,from 1955 to 1957 he subsequently served in Cyprus from 1957-1959 commanding the 1st Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, 43rd and 52nd and the 1st Green Jackets (43rd and 52nd), which the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire became on re-naming on 7 November 1958,. He was Brigade Colonel of the Green Jackets Brigade at Winchester from 1959-1962 before commanding Recruiting and Liaison Staff, HQ Western Command from 1962-1965 when he retired from the Army.
No sooner had he returned home to manage the family estate at Woodhouse Eaves, in Leicestershire’s Charnwood Forest, than he was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire in 1965. He served the role with distinction for 24 years.
Speaking at Sir Andrew’s Memorial Service in Leicester Cathedral on St George’s Day 1994, former Dean of Windsor, the Right Reverend Michael Mann, a family friend, said,
“His utter dedication to his duty [as Lord-Lieutenant] took him to every nook and cranny of the County, and to every possible occasion, so that he denied himself time for those country pursuits in which he would dearly have liked to have indulged.
He always had an especial place in his heart and concern for the welfare of the young.
No one who knew this charming, humble, devoted and lovely man could fail to have drawn encouragement and pleasure from their acquaintance. But he had another almost rare quality, for in being with him your spirits were lifted, and you just felt better for having met him.”
Sir Andrew was a tower of active strength to voluntary youth organisations in Leicestershire and Rutland, serving for many years as President of the Leicestershire Council for Voluntary Youth Services, Deputy President of Leicestershire Scout Council (in which role he received Scouting’s Silver Acorn award for distinguished services), Vice President of Leicestershire Girl Guides’ Association (now GirlGuiding Leicestershire), and Vice-President of both the Leicestershire Battalion of the Boys’ Brigade and Youth Clubs Leicestershire. He constantly supported the Army and Air Force Cadets, and St John Ambulance youth units, as well as voluntary youth clubs.
When the County Council was moved to make cuts in voluntary youth sector budgets he would personally lobby Councillors to re-consider. He believed spending money on facilities and activities for young people was important in the prevention of anti-social behaviour. He knew instinctively that time and money spent on young people is time and money well spent in the training of young men and women to become active, purposeful citizens in their mature years.
LADY MARTIN, JP (1925 - 2008) was as tireless as Sir Andrew in support of his commitments as Lord-Lieutenant. On countless visits to young people’s events she was at his side, interested in what they were doing, questioning them and their leaders to gain an insight and understanding of roles, activities and needs. Her continuing role, after Sir Andrew died, in support of young people was the subject of a letter printed in the Leicester Mercury and Loughborough Echo:
“Lady Martin will rightly be remembered at her Thanksgiving Service this week for her long-standing and committed association with a host of Leicestershire charities. In the world of young people, she was never more supportive than in her patronage of The Sir Andrew Martin Trust. The Trust was created in 1994 in memory of Sir Andrew, her husband and former Lord-Lieutenant, who had demonstrated a strong commitment to the young people of the County and the voluntary organisations that work with them. He instinctively knew that time spent with young people was time well spent. Fortunate we are that Lady Martin shared that view and assisted actively with the trustees of the Martin Trust in raising significant funds which will continue to aid young people and their voluntary organisations. Grants are made in the fields of education, travel, sport, music and drama, young carers, drugs awareness, disability, building repairs and improvements, equipment and furnishings, and to meet other needs.
So we take this opportunity to commend and be very grateful for Lady Martin’s life of public service to this County. She was a lady full of life, belied her years and was passionate, and encouraged us to be passionate, for the benefit of others. May her example as a volunteer live on through all of us, and our organisations, who have benefitted by her time and generosity.”
David Knowles DL
Lady Martin acquiesced in the formation of the Sir Andrew Martin Trust for Young People which a group of Sir Andrew’s friends and colleagues decided they would like to create to commemorate him, but to be a supportive and lasting benefit to young people and their voluntary youth organisations. Nearly all the Appeal Committee meetings from 1994 – 2000 she hosted in her home – with winter meetings “warmed” by her home-made punch! A generous donor to the Trust, she also successfully encouraged family members and friends to swell the capital fund. Delighted to be invited to be the Trust’s first Patron in 2000, she served in the role to the end of her life as one of the Trust’s most vocal supporters.