Martin, E(rnest) W(alter) 1914–2005

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Martin, E(rnest) W(alter) 1914–2005

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born May 31, 1914, in Shebbear, Devon, England; died April 14, 2005, in Halwill, Devon, England. Social historian and author. Martin was known as a champion of England's rural working man. Martin was a member of War Resisters International and was granted exemption from military service as a conscientious objector during World War II. Although he attended an agricultural school in his native Devon for a year, he never completed a degree. Instead, he moved to London for a time and became a crossword writer for the Yorkshire Post. Deciding urban life was not for him, he returned to the countryside, wrote articles, and lectured for the Workers' Educational Association. By this time, he had already become a published writer; his first collection of essays, Heritage of the West, was published in 1938. Martin's books focus on the way of life experienced in the English countryside and include such titles as A Wanderer in the West Country (1951) and The Book of the Village (1962). He was also the editor of Country Life in England (1966). He disliked industrialization, tourism, and metropolitan ideals, and some of his books, such as The Case against Hunting (1959) and The Tyranny of the Majority (1961), contain a strong voice of protest. In fact, the former work was credited by some with having influenced the eventual decision to ban the sport of fox hunting in England, a notion that pleased Martin. In addition, he worked as an honorary research fellow in rural social studies at Exeter University.

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Guardian (London, England), May 11, 2005, p. 25.

Independent (London, England), May 5, 2005, p. 58.