Samuel Martin and Solomon Green were the youngest sons

Reprinted from The Packet, August 30, 2018
by Lester Green

Born at Northern Bights, both men suffered from the loss of their fathers at a early age. Samuel moved to a new town but Solomon was raised by his widow mom without the influence of a father figure.

(Click on images to enlarge)

Seaman Samuel Martin enlistment papers. Source TRPAD_GN 182.14

Samuel was the youngest son born on December 1, 1895 to Mathias and Eliza (Seward) Martin at Northern Bight. His father passed away one year later. His mother remarried in 1901 to Jasper Green of St. Jones Without and both Samuel and his mother moved to St. Jones Without where he was raised into adulthood. Samuel listed St. Jones Without as his permanent resident when he completed his application for the Royal Naval Reserve on September 6, 1915 but his birthplace as Northern Bight.

Seaman Samuel Martin ships ledger. Source TRPAD_ GN 182.5

Samuel was transported overseas two weeks later aboard the SS Sicilian. Arriving at HMS Pembroke I, he trained for two months before being drafted to the Mona’s Isle, a net-laying ship for anti-submarine warfare at the Port of Harwich. He spent the next several months aboard this ship and was transferred to the HMS Pembroke on August 28, 1916, where he spent several weeks before receiving orders that he was being returned home to HMS Briton.

Seaman Solomon Green ships ledger. Source Memorial University – Archives and Special Collections, Memorial University

Solomon, was the youngest child of Philemon and Elizabeth Sarah (Stoyles) Green born on August 29, 1896 at Northern Bight. He was raised there, along with at least six other siblings. His father died four years later due to kidney failure leaving his mother to raise the family.

Records indicate that Solomon did not join the war efforts until 1916. His brother-in-law, Abraham Avery, was enlisted and Solomon heard stories from his sister about the war raging overseas. Naval records indicate that he joined the Newfoundland Royal Naval Reserve on January 27, 1916. He began his naval training on the HMS Calypso but the naval base underwent a name change and became known as HMS Briton in February 1916.

The exact date of Seaman Samuel Martin’s arrival at St. John’s from overseas on furlough is not known but church records list his marriage to Susannah, daughter of James and Keziah (Cooper) Stoyles of Hillview, on November 2, 1916 at St. John’s. Samuel spent three months at the HMS Briton where it was determined he was unable to continue with his naval duty. He received orders of his demobilization on January 9, 1917 for medical reasons.

Seaman Solomon Green travelled overseas and was assigned to HMS Vivid upon arrival. He spent the next three months being trained in gunnery. He was drafted to the guard ship HMS Albion on July 31, 1916. He spent 10 months as a member of the crew before being assigned to the HMS Dreel Castle, a drifter that was commissioned as a tender for the shore base establishment at Falmouth, England. Here he served on various auxiliary patrol vessels including the Gavina. On July 4, 1917 records indicate that he received training as a deck hand. On November 6 he was transferred to the HMS Briton where he spent about 50 days likely receiving some time on furlough visiting his family.

After completing leave he returned to HMS Briton and was once again sent overseas. He reported to the HMS Vivid in early January, 1918 and for the second time drafted to HMS Dreel Castle shore base at Falmouth. This time, however, he was ordered to report to the auxiliary patrol vessel, Cornalia. He spent the final months of his naval career on this vessel.

Seaman Solomon Green’s British War medal and Victory medal. Source Archives and Special Collections, Memorial University

The St. John’s Daily published an article entitled “Many of the Men Wear Decorations” which describes the arrival of the SS Caronia at Halifax. The article describes how the sailors from Newfoundland had set sail aboard the SS Sagona from Sydney on April 9, 1919 heading home. Solomon was among eight sailors from the Southwest Arm area to arrive in St. John’s a day later. He was demobilized on May 12 and returned home to Hillview.

The 1921 census list Soloman as the head of the household at Hillview. His mother and a visitor were recorded as being members of the household. Solomon married Sarah, daughter of James and Caroline (Price) Duffitt, on Christmas Eve, 1923. Like several other members of the community, he moved his family to Bishop’s Falls where he worked in the Pulp and Paper industry. His family is recorded in both the 1935 and 1945 census listing one child, Eric. Records indicate that Seaman Soloman Green passed away in 1974 and was buried at Bishop’s Falls.

Samuel Martin’s life took a tragic turn when his wife died on January 24, 1917 leaving him with a nine-month old son, Willis Johnson. Consumed with grief because of the loss of his wife and suffering from injury from the navy,  Samuel left his infant son with his wife’s parents, James and Keziah Stoyles. Records indicate that he moved to New Brunswick where his brother Azariah was residing. His son, Willis Johnson remained with his grandparents at Hillview and was raised by them.

Samuel continued to sail the high seas and eventually settled in the Maritimes where he re-married and raised his family losing all contact with his son at Hillview.