David Martin (governor)

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For other people named David Martin, see David Martin (disambiguation).
Rear Admiral
Sir David Martin
KCMG AO
Beazley1986 cropped.JPEG
Martin on board the USS Missouri in 1986.
34th Governor of New South Wales
In office
20 January 1989 – 7 August 1990
Monarch Elizabeth II
Lieutenant Murray Gleeson
Preceded by Sir James Rowland
Succeeded by Peter Sinclair
Personal details
Born (1933-04-15)15 April 1933
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Died 10 August 1990(1990-08-10) (aged 57)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Spouse(s) Suzanne, Lady Martin
(née Millear)
Military service
Allegiance  Australia
Service/branch  Royal Australian Navy
Years of service 1947 – 1988
Rank Generic-Navy-O9.svg Rear Admiral
Commands HMAS Melbourne
HMAS Supply
HMAS Torrens
HMAS Queenborough
Director, Naval Reserve Cadets
Battles/wars Korean War
Cypriot Civil War
Iceland Emergency

Rear Admiral Sir David James Martin KCMG AO (15 April 1933 – 10 August 1990) was a senior officer of the Royal Australian Navy and later Governor of New South Wales.

Early life and Naval career[edit]

Born in Sydney on 15 April 1933, Martin came from a long line of naval officers. He was descended from Lieutenant George Johnston, one of the Royal Marines of the First Fleet, and the convict Esther Abrahams. Their son Robert was the first Australian born person to enlist in the Royal Navy, which he joined in 1805. In 1942, when David was nine years old, his father was lost in action following the sinking of HMAS Perth of which he was Deputy Commander.[1]

Martin attended the Scots College in Bellevue Hill from 1939–1946 before joining the RAN as a cadet midshipman and entering the Royal Australian Naval College in 1947. He also attended the Royal Naval College, Greenwich,[2] before serving aboard HMAS Sydney during the Korean War, then aboard the aircraft carriers HMAS Vengeance and HMAS Melbourne.

He was an officer on HMS Battleaxe, participating in the Cyprus and Iceland emergencies (also known as the "Cod Wars") in 1959–1960. He was promoted to Commander of the Third Australian Destroyer Squadron in 1974 and commanded several RAN ships, including HMA Ships Queenborough, Torrens, Supply and Melbourne. Martin was promoted to flag rank in 1982 and served as Chief of Naval Personnel and as Commander of Naval Support Command until he retired in February 1988. On 26 January 1985, the Queen appointed Martin an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) "for service as the Chief of Naval Personnel and flag officer Naval Support Command".[3] Martin married Suzanne Millear in 1957 and had three children, one of whom is a Captain in the Royal Australian Navy.

Later life[edit]

Martin was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in 1988, shortly before being appointed the Governor of New South Wales.[4] Following his appointment as Governor of New South Wales, Martin set about establishing a relationship between his office as Governor and the people of New South Wales. He soon became known as 'the people's Governor'.[1]

Just three days before his death, Martin resigned as governor due to an advancing medical condition. He made arrangements for the Sir David Martin Foundation to be established, which runs programs that help young homeless and disadvantaged Australians.[5]

Sir David died on 10 August 1990 of pleural mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer caused by asbestos, to which he was exposed during his naval career. He engendered much respect and sympathy when seen struggling for breath during the final days of his service as Governor.[6]

At his funeral the Premier of New South Wales Nick Greiner noted:

With the sad passing last week of Sir David Martin, Australia lost one of its most distinguished citizens. After a proud career of public service with the Royal Australian Navy, Sir David made the Office of Governor of New South Wales extremely accessible.

[1]

His service in the Royal Australian Navy is commemorated in the Naval Chapel, Garden Island NSW. After his death, Woollahra Council named the former site of HMAS Rushcutter in Rushcutters Bay as the "Sir David Martin Reserve" in his honour.[7]

Titles and honours[edit]

Viceregal styles of
Sir David Martin
Crest of the Governor of New South Wales.svg
Reference style His Excellency
Spoken style Your Excellency
Alternative style Sir

Titles[edit]

  • 15 April 1933 – 1947: David Martin, Esq
  • 1947 – 1953: Midshipman David Martin RAN
  • 1953 – 1955: Sub-Lieutenant David Martin RAN
  • 1955 – 1963: Lieutenant David Martin RAN
  • 1963 – 1967: Lieutenant Commander David Martin RAN
  • 1967 – 1972: Commander David Martin RAN
  • 1972 – 1979: Captain David Martin RAN
  • 1979 – 1982: Commodore David Martin RAN
  • 1982 – 1985: Rear-Admiral David Martin RAN, Chief of Naval Personnel and Flag Officer, Naval Support Command
  • 1985 – 1988: Rear-Admiral David Martin AO RAN, Chief of Naval Personnel and Flag Officer, Naval Support Command
  • 1988 – 1988: Rear-Admiral David Martin AO
  • 1988 – 1989: Rear-Admiral Sir David Martin KCMG AO
  • 1989 – 1990: His Excellency Rear-Admiral Sir David Martin KCMG AO, Governor of New South Wales
  • 1990 – 10 August 1990: Rear-Admiral Sir David Martin KCMG AO

Honours[edit]

Ord.St.Michele-Giorgio.png Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) 1988[4]
Order of Australia (Military) ribbon.png Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) 1985[3]
Order of St John (UK) ribbon.png Knight of Justice of the Venerable Order of St John of Jerusalem (KStJ) 1989
Korea Medal.svg Korea Medal
United Nations Service Medal for Korea ribbon.png United Nations Service Medal for Korea
DFSM with Fed Star.png Defence Force Service Medal with 40 year federation star
National Medal with Rosette.png National Medal with First clasp 1977,[8] 1978[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Eulogy by Alderman TA Slattery - Service of Thanksgiving and Memorial for the life of Rear Admiral Sir David James Martin KCMG AO". Register of War Memorials in NSW. New South Wales Government. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Jones, Peter D. "Martin, Sir David James (1933–1990)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "MARTIN, David James - Officer of the Order of Australia". It's an Honour database. Australian Government. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "MARTIN, David - Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George". It's an Honour database. Australian Government. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Sir David and Lady Martin". About us. Sir David Martin Foundation. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "Lives in the dust". Sydney Morning Herald. 25 September 2004. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "HMAS Watson History". Royal Australian Navy History. Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "MARTIN, David James - National Medal". It's an Honour database. Australian Government. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "MARTIN, David James - National Medal 1st Clasp". It's an Honour database. Australian Government. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Sir James Rowland
Governor of New South Wales
1989 – 1990
Succeeded by
Peter Sinclair