Plea for community to pay its respects to Sunderland war veteran and ship yard worker

Sunderland Crematorium
Sunderland Crematorium
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An appeal has been launched to ensure an 89-year-old war hero does not get a lonely send-off.

Robert Newton Martin, who was known as Bob, died on Monday, June 8, in Sunderland Royal Hospital, following a brief illness.

There are a lot of World War II vets in homes and places and they’re dying without anyone knowing what they have done in their lives.

Barry Kean, fellow Royal Army Medical Corp veteran

Now a friend he made weeks before he died is trying to rally round as many people as possible to gather for his funeral this week.

It is thought Bob lived in Tunstall before moving to Pallion shortly before he died.

Barry Kean, who got to know him before he was admitted to hospital, discovered Bob had been a fellow member of the Royal Army Medical Corp when they got chatting and he spotted Barry’s veteran badge.

Bob was in the regiment during the Second World War, but not much is known about his time in the services.

He joined the ship yards when he left the Army and spent many years working in the trade.

Barry, 40, who was a combat medical technician in the corp between 1992 and 1998, said: “There are a lot of World War II vets in homes and places and they’re dying without anyone knowing what they have done in their lives.

“I think it’s a sorry state of affairs when they’ve served their country.”

Barry has been posting his appeal on services’ Facebook pages.

Among those who have already said they will attend the funeral at are members of the Royal British Legion, who will fly their standard, with the Royal Army Medical Corp to also attend with its banner.

The service will take place at Sunderland Crematorium in Chester Road at 10am on Wednesday, June 17.