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In July we remember...

In July we remember Martin Riseley who was born in Eltisley on 20 February 1878, the youngest of ten children born to Henry and Elizabeth Riseley. At the age of 21 Martin enlisted in the Grenadier Guards for a term of twelve years. During this time he served in Gibralter and later in South Africa during the Boer War. His service in South Africa earned him the South Africa Medal. In 1900 he and Mary Ann Smith were married in St Neots. He was honourably discharged in 1911 and shortly afterwards he and Mary Ann were living in Toronto, Canada. In 1915, despite being 37 years old and having already served in one war, he enlisted in the 95th Battalion, Canadian Infantry which sailed to England in May 1916. Promoted to Lance Corporal, presumably on the strenth of his previous service, he was given leave in July and travelled to Croxton to visit his parents and his sister. On 29th July, with a fellow soldier, he was returning to the regiment when he alighted from his train at Hatfield. Trying to return to the train after it had started he slipped and fell between the platform and the train. He suffered serious injuries which, two days later, resulted in his death in a hospital in St Albans. Martin is buried in Eltisley Churchyard; his headstone bears the Maple Leaf symbol of Canada.

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