ROBERT WILLIAM MARTIN
Buried in Park Island with second wife.
Died at the age of 87 in 1974. CARCINOMA PROSTATE
During the First World War war he went round NZ with Capt McNab. ??
ROBERT WILLIAM MARTIN (1887 - 1974)
Robert William Martin was born at Falsgrave Street, Sydenham, Christchu rch on 22 February 1887 to Charles Anderson and Roseanna Martin (nee Co x). His parents were both English - his father being born in Poplar, Lo ndon and his mother in Hull.
Robert William Martin married Lillie Clifton on 4 May 1907 at the resid ence of the bride's mother(Eve Clifton), Carlyle St, Napier. Robert Wil liam was a 21 year old labourer and Lillie a 21 year old house maid. Au ntie Edie, Lillie's half sister, was a witness to the marriage.
After the marriage they set up house together in Charles Street, Wester n Spit (Westshore), Napier, where their two children, William Edwin and Stanley Raymond were born in 1907 and 1910. Daisy Clifton(Arthur's wif e) signed as the informant in William's birth record. She was pregnant w ith Eva Francis (due in January 1908) at the time.
Robert William became a fisherman and in the early 1920s they moved to W airoa. At first they lived on Marine Parade and then moved to McLean St reet.
Robert William gained his Master's Certificate as a River Steamer Maste r in 1914. This is recorded in the Appendices to the Journals of the Ho use of Representatives.
Lillie died of cancer of the liver on 11 April 1925 when her children w ere only 14 and 17 years of age.
The eldest, William Edwin Martin, who was already employed, stayed in W airoa but his younger brother, Stanley Raymond, was taken in by Auntie E die at Napier where he stayed until he married.
Robert William Martin married again on 27 March 1926 to Rachel Hermine L ogan(nee Shaw), a widow from Gore. They moved to Napier and lived in Av ondale Road, Taradale, where their son Jack Martin was born. He settled there and joined a Masonic Order and was later rewarded with his 50 ye ar jewel. He became the captain of a coastal oil vessel the "Tu Atu" wh ich carried a crew of Master, Engineer and Deckhand and plied between N apier and Wairoa and was owned by the Richardson Company. In this posit ion he was involved in what was termed the worst tragedy in waterfront h istory.
THE "DORIS" DISASTER:
The Tu Atu, a coastal steamer captained by Robert William Martin was in Napier and at about 11 o'clock on the night of December 28 1932, left h er berth from a spot on the west quay, known as the Iron Pot and procee ded to sea. At the same time a launch, Doris, which had carried two gan gs of waterside workers out to work the ships Port Brisbane and Port Hu nter in the roadstead was returning with 30 men at the end of a hard da y's work when the two ships collided and 10 of the workers were lost ov erboard and died. It was considered the worst tragedy in waterfront his tory.
A Court of Inquiry in February 1933 was convened and the findings were r eported in the Daily Telegraph as follows:
A finding that the collision between the launch Doris and the oil vesse l Tu Atu, on the night of 28 December last, was directly due to the act ion of the launchman, Mentzer, in attempting to cross the bow of the Tu Atu from port to starboard, and that no other person was in any way re sponsible, was returned by Mr A.M. Mowlem, S.M, and the nautical assess ors, Captain L.C. Worrall and Captain J.W. Holmes, in the court of inqu iry today.
Before announcing the finding of the court, Mr Mowlem, as coroner, conc luded the inquest into the deaths of the 10 victims of the disaster by r eturning a formal verdict that the men were drowned as a result of a co llision between the Doris and the Tu Atu on December 28. In doing so, M r Mowlem stated that the assessors wished to associate themselves with h im in expressing their very deep sympathy with the relatives of the vic tims.
The finding was as follows:-
' The O.E.V. Tu Atu, about 11 o'clock on the night of December 28, 1932 , left her berth from a spot on the west of the quay, known as the Iron Pot, and proceeded to sea. She was well found in all respects. She car ried the regulation lights brightly burning. She proceeded to the west s ide of the channel which gives the deep water, and which is the usual c ourse that vessels proceeding to sea take. As soon as she had turned fr om the Iron Pot into the channel she saw a white light approaching from seawards. She was keeping as far as possible to the starboard side of t he navigable channel. Captain Martin, of the Tu Atu, was at the helm an d the deckhand, Angen, was on the look-out. The light which was seen ap proaching from seawards, was kept in view by the look-out man and appea red over the port bow of the Tu Atu. It was presumed that it was the la bour launch.
The captain kept to his usual course and was proceeding slowly owing to the low state of the tide in the fairway. Angen reported to the captai n that the labour launch, the Doris, was coming in, and the captain rep lied that he could see it. When it was about 150 yards ahead, the look- out could see the two side lights of the Doris as well as the white lig ht. Each vessel apparently held its course. The lights of the launch we re seen to suddenly disappear under the bows of the Tu Atu, and on the l ook-out rushing forward to the starboard bow, he saw the launch tipping over as a result of a collision with the Tu Atu. In order to minimise t he result, the engines of the Tu Atu had been stopped and put full spee d astern. The result of the impact was that all the men in the launch w ere thrown into the water and 10 were drowned.
The Doris had left the Port Brisbane at the anchorage in the bay at abo ut 11 pm with some 30 men aboard. Halfway between the liners and the sh ore, the launch picked up the masthead light of the Tu Ahu in the chann el, and subsequently picked up the green light. The launchman steered t o the west for the purpose of opening up the channel and proceeded on u ntil he had opened up the channel, when he steered for the entrance, ke eping the white sector of the eastern light in constant view. His atten tion was drawn to the light on the western pier by being asked if he co uld see the' blinker'. He indicated that he could see the light. He all eges that when halfway along his course from the Port Brisbane to shore he changed to the east, when he saw the lights of the Tu Atu in the ch annel. He alleges that he did not see the red light of the Tu Atu until just before the accident.
Hoping to avoid a collision he put the helm hard to starboard, just as s aw the red light of the Tu Atu. This had the effect of putting the laun ch across the bows of the Tu Atu He was unsuccessful in avoiding the co llision and the Tu Atu struck the launch a glancing blow with her stem o n the starboard side of the launch about amidships and the damage compl ained of occurred.
The Court is, however, of the opinion that the launch came in on the we stern white sector of the east pier light and was on the port side of t he Tu Atu, and by attempting to cross over , caused the collision".
At death Robert had 3 male living Issue aged 67, 63?, 50