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Arthur Martin-Leake (Double VC Award).

Click here to see a photo taken at a service on the 8th Feb, 2002.

He was a member of the Army Medical Department, later to be the Royal Army Medical Corps, the RAMC. He was born at Marshalls in High Cross, Hertfordshire on 4 April 1874. He was one of eight children born to Stephen and Isabel Martin-Leake. He had two sisters Georgina and Isabel and five brothers. Four of whom were officers in the army, Stephen, William, Richard and Theodore.

One, (Frank), was in the Navy and was Captain of the first ship in WW1 to be torpedoed by the Germans. One of his brothers (Theodore, of the balloon section of the army) was killed in a ballooning accident in the English Channel. Arthur's life was interesting and varied.

He came from wealthy ancestors, although his wealth had gone, he was comfortable at the end. The money had disappeared, mainly due to bad investments.

He spent most of his career in India as Chief Medical Officer for an Indian Railway Company. He was the only one of the children who married, even though it was for a short time, his wife dying in 'unusual' circumstances in India. His first VC was won as a member of the South African Constabulary in the Boer War. His second was won in WW1.


8 February 1902 (Surgeon Captain). At Vlakfontein, South Africa, under heavy fire from the enemy 100 yards away, he went out to the firing line to dress a badly wounded man. He then attended a wounded officer and while doing so was shot himself. He only gave up when thoroughly exhausted and then refused to take water until other wounded men had been served.

Google Earth Co-ordinates

51° 51' 0.31"N 0° 1' 14.61"W



29 October to 8 November 1914 (Surgeon Captain). He displayed most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in rescuing a large number of wounded men lying close to the enemy trenches, whilst exposed to constant fire.

Arthur died alone of lung cancer on 23 June 1953 at Marshalls, where he was born. His ashes are buried at St. John the Evangelist, High Cross, Near Ware, Hertfordshire on the old A10, 3 miles from Ware going north.

His grave is diagonally opposite to the entrance on the far side of the church. I am pleased to say that since my photograph was taken it has been renovated and is well tended. He is the only double VC to be buried in this country.

Book reference

Martin-Leake Double VC
Ann Clayton
ISBN 0 85052 397 4