Lance-Corporal Martin P. Kent
[Royal] Newfoundland Regiment
Martin P. Kent, Reg # 1270, joined the Newfoundland Regiment on March 15th, 1915 at St. John’s at the age of 20 years. Martin was the son of Newfoundland Constabulary Sergeant James Kent and Johanna (Connors) Kent. Martin was born in Harbour Grace while his father was a serving member of the Constabulary Harbour Grace Police Station. In late 1901 - early 1902, Sergeant James Kent, along with his family, was posted to the Constabulary Placentia Police Station.
Martin served in Gallipoli in 1916 with the Regiment. The young Private was hospitalized after suffering terrible dysentery in Gallipoli. Martin was promoted to Lance-Corporal on July 12th, 1916 just after the massacre at Beaumont-Hamel. L/Corp. Kent went missing on October 12th, 1916 at the terrible Battle of Gueudecourt – France, after serving only 1 year and 212 days, with our Regiment. Martin’s body was never recovered and his name is on the Beaumont-Hamel (Newfoundland) Memorial which honours the WW1 fallen servicemen who have no known graves. Lance-Corporal Martin Kent's name, along with 32 other fallen Placentia WW1 heroes, also appears on the Sacred Heart Monument located in the old Placentia Town Square.
L/Corp. Kent was posthumously awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal, and the British Victory Medal. L/Corp Kent’s mother received the Canadian Memorial Cross, also known as the “Silver Cross.”
Prepared by: Gary F. Browne, M.O.M.
Deputy Chief of Police (Retired)
Royal Newfoundland Constabulary
Note: Following the holding of the repatriation ceremony for Martin Kent's medals in Placentia, June 5, 2011, PAHS received the following message from Marian Norris, whose grandmother (Anne Kent Norris) was a cousin of Martin Kent's father, James Kent:
"I was recently in France, May 2011, and visited the battle Field of Gueudecourt specifically to see the battlefield where Martin Patrick Kent died. I left a Newfoundland beach rock at the Caribou Memorial to the memory of Martin Patrick Kent and The War Research Society BattleField Tour Sommes-Ypes held a small ceremony and called Martin Patrick Kent's name in rememberance. I took a small rock from the battlefield and today in Placentia gave it to Ms Hatfield."
"I was not aware of the ceremony today until about 11am but I made it to Placentia. What a coincidence-maybe he wanted a little bit of France back in Placentia."