Temporary Brigadier James Eric Gifford 'Sparrow' Martin

Service number QX6049
Ranks Held Lieutenant Colonel, Temporary Brigadier
Birth Date 17 April 1904
Birth Place Australia: Queensland, Brisbane
Final Rank Temporary Brigadier
Service Australian Army
  • 19th Australian Infantry Brigade
  • 42 Battalion (Capricornia Regiment)
Place Brisbane
Conflict/Operation Second World War, 1939-1945
Gazettes Published in London Gazette in 1941-01-01
Published in London Gazette in 1946-02-14
Published in London Gazette in 1941-12-30
Published in London Gazette in 1941-12-30
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1946-02-21



Date of birth 17 April 1904
Date commissioned 20 August 1923 Appointed lieutenant to 42nd Battalion.
Date promoted 06 August 1929 Appointed captain.
Date of discharge 12 June 1930 Transferred to the Reserve of Officers.
Other 01 December 1932 Reappointed to 42nd Battalion.
Date promoted 14 August 1935 Appointed major to 42nd Battalion.
Date promoted 01 August 1937 Appointed lieutenant colonel and commanding officer 42nd battalion.
Other 09 October 1939 Returned to full time duty 42nd Battalion.
Date and unit at appointment (Officers) 1939-10-13 - 1941-12-27 Enlisted in the Second Australian Imperial Force as lieutenant colonel and commanding officer 2/9th Battalion.
Other 17 June 1940 Arrived in Scotland.
Other 31 December 1940 Arrived in the Middle East from United Kingdom.
Date of honour or award 01 January 1941 Officer of the Order of the British Empire.
Date promoted 27 December 1941 Promoted to field command, colonel and temporary brigadier in command of 19th Brigade.
Date of honour or award 30 December 1941 Companion of the Distinguished Service Order. 'During the period 14 Mar-31 Jul this officer has served with distinction. He commanded 2/9 Aust. Inf. Bn. in the southern attack on Giarabub 19-21 Mar and by his personal courage and leadership was largely responsible for bringing it to a successful conclusion. On the night 3/4 May his Battalio counter-attacked in the salient at Tobruk and capture Post R8 inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy and on 4 May occupied positions in the Macchia Bianca area driving back the enemy and securing this most important ground for our use. During other periods in the line he has been responsible for the successful organization of a number of raids while patrols from his unit have brought in valuable information of the enemy's dispositions and defences. His zest and energy, his coolness under fire and his ability as a leader have been an inspiration to his men and have been reflected in the excellent behaviour of his Battalion in all its actions.'
Date of honour or award 30 December 1941 Mention in Despatches.
Date returned to Australia 28 March 1942
Other 1942-10-23 - 1942-10-30 Attended Course, RAAF School of Army Cooperation.
Other 01 November 1944 Arrived in Aitape, New Guinea.
Date returned to Australia 07 June 1945 Returned to Townsville from Aitape.
Other 03 July 1945 Arrived in Madang, New Guinea.
Date of honour or award 19 July 1945 Efficiency Decoration.
Date returned to Australia 11 November 1945 Returned to Queensland Lines of Communication.
Other 21 November 1945 Relinquished command 19th Brigade.
Date of discharge 21 December 1945 Tranferred to the Reserve of Officers as colonel and honorary brigadier.
Date of honour or award 21 February 1946 Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Awarded 'For splendid and loyal service and sound leadership as Comd 19 Aust Inf Bde. In November 1944, 19 Aust Inf Bde moved to the AITAPE area and was soon in close contact with the Japanese. In two months hard fighting and patrolling in most difficult terrain, it cleared the enemy from the DANMAP Area and made possible the rapid advance to BUT and DAGAU [sic]. In the operations from DRINIUMOR to DOGRETO, Brig. MARTIN's sound planning and strategy was of the highest order and greatly contributed to the success of the subsequent operations. Continually with his forward troops and always in complete control of the situation, his inspiring leadership was an example to all under his command. His whole service with the AZIF, culminating in his achievements in this area, has been marked by complete and unselfish devotion to duty and he has carried out efficiently every one of the varied tasks allotted to him.' Martin was recommended for this award by J E S Stevens, commander of 6th Australian Division.
Other 1950 Travelled to United Kingdom and was attached to British Army.
Other 1956 Appointed aide de camp to Governor General.