A young Orange soldier who was killed in battle during World War I and whose body has never been found is to be commemorated at a special service at the Australian War Memorial next month.
Frederick Singleton Martin was 25 when he was shot dead by enemy fire in France just a few months before the war ended in 1918.
The Australian War Memorial holds a Last Post Ceremony each night to share the story of a soldier and on Sunday October 13 Private Martin will be remembered.
He died a hero at his post.James Johns, friend of Private Frederick Martin
Descendant Randal McFarlane, who lives in Queensland, has asked the people of Orange to help locate a photo of his great uncle.
"We are trying to find any photos of Fred for use in a Last Post Ceremony. Fred was killed in action on the Western Front," he said.
"His oldest sister, Mary Frances McFarlane (nee Martin) lived in Orange and maintained a business there."
Mr McFarlane said his great uncle moved to Orange with his parents James and Mary Martin from Singleton where he was born.
According to research compiled for the Centenary of WWI Orange project last year Private Martin attended Orange East Public School.
"In March 1913 he was awarded third place in the Lower Fifth boys' class first quarter examinations. He developed an interest in music during his school years and also served with the senior cadets. He later became a member of the Orange Rifle Club," it said.
He is commemorated on the school honour roll, the Cenotaph honour roll in Robertson Park, the Methodist Church Orange honour roll and a tree was planted in his honour in the memorial avenue on Bathurst Road in 1923.
Private Martin enlisted for the war in September 1915 in Dubbo and was sent for overseas service in June 1916.
He gave the family address as Endsleigh, Bathurst Road, Bloomfield, Orange and his occupation as a chaff cutter.
Two reports of his death exist in official records.
One from friend and fellow soldier James Johns said Private Martin was killed by machine gun fire near Villers-Bretonneux as he and others attempted to operate a Lewis gun in the battle.
"Poor Fred was killed together with most of his mates who were on the gun. Five of them were buried together. It is impossible to get to the grave at present," he said.
"There was hardly a week passed I [didn't see] him. He was always the same, quiet, hearty and smiling. He died a hero at his post."
Another report by Lance Corporal Francis McGrath said the soldiers had been counter attacking when they were shot.
"I was close to [it] I saw it all. We dug in then but were not able to get near to recover their bodies," he said.
Mr McFarlane said Private Martin is listed as having "no known grave" by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission at the Villers-Bretonneux War Memorial.
The Last Post Ceremony at the AWM in Canberra is at 4.55pm daily, it is open to the public and is live streamed on YouTube and Facebook.
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