Alfred Henry (Harry) Martin

Alfred Henry (Harry) Martin was born in Portadown in 1925 and died 27th February 2008.

His father Alfred was a well-known and respected Mayor of Portadown. After schooling in Portadown College, Harry joined the Ulster Home Guard during the 2nd World War and often related humorous incidents, which occurred in his time.

Harry decided to follow a career in architecture and worked for the Ministry of Finance at Dundonald House. Here, his work entailed detailed designs for hospitals, schools and other Government buildings. .

Harry joined the Royal Observer Corps in 1955 at 31 Group HQ in Houston Park, Castlereagh. He became a Crew Chief Observer and moved to the new HQ at Knox Road Lisburn in 1959. Promoted to a Crew Officer in 1963 and then Observer Lieutenant and Duty Controller in 1972. He was a most popular and well-liked officer and earned the highest respect of all his colleagues.

In 1976 Harry was awarded the Lord Lieutenantís Certificate for Meritorious Service, Harry was invited to attend a Garden Party hosted by HM the Queen in 1977 at Buckingham Palace, which was indeed a great honour. This was in recognition of his service in the Royal Observer Corps. He was awarded his Long Service medal in 1967 and clasp in 1979.

Harry made a point of attending ROC training camp annually at various RAF stations where his skill in lecturing was always in demand. Harry retired from the Corps in 1984 after 29 years service.

He was very proud to wear the uniform of the Corps and was a fine example of an officer and gentleman. He greatly enjoyed banter with his fellow officers and colleagues and told a few tall tales himself.

He became a most popular and highly esteemed President of 31 Group Royal Observer Corps Association serving until his death in February 2008.

Harry was a most enthusiastic member of the Ulster Aviation Society for very many years. He was also a benefactor of the Society for a long time. The UAS Heritage site at Langford Lodge held a huge interest for Harry where he was to be seen most Saturday afternoons.
Harry was a member of the Royal Air Force Club, Piccadilly, Royal British Legion and Air Britain. He was also a keen member of the Ulster Gliding Club at Ballerena Co Londonderry.

The Railway Preservation Society of Ireland was another interest. He was frequently, to be seen exercising his photographic skills at Belfast Central, Moira and Portadown railway stations where he recorded meticulous details of both steam and diesel engines.
Harry had a magnificent collection of toy soldiers of which he was very proud. Here was a man with an obsession for detail in everything he did.

Harry was a great family man and loved his son Peter, daughter Jennifer and his grandchildren. He frequently travelled to USA on holidays to see Jennifer and family.
Harry was highly regarded by very many people and especially amongst his huge circle of friends both for his principles, generosity and his ready wit and will be sorely missed for all these qualities.

He was pre- deceased by his wife Olive in 1990.

[19mar08 23:50]