On original site
Inside a building - public/private
- First World War (1914-1918)
About the memorial:
Also on the 'Otaki' was William Esson Martin who was born on 11 April 1902 at Edinbanchory near Rhynie, only son of a farmer at Cultercullen near Udny Station. He attended Cultercullen Primary School until he arrived at Robert Gordon’s College on 7 January 1913. He left the College on 21 February 1917 to join the SS “Otaki” as a midshipman.
Before he joined his ship, he wrote to his childhood sweetheart Annabelle Rennie from The Midland Grand Hotel in London. The letter can be seen in a glass case in the corridor beside Room 7.
Dear Annabelle, I am very sorry I had not time to see you before I left but I only got one day’s notice. You need not write here for I will be leaving here on Monday or Tuesday. I don’t know when I will sail but I am going to the ship about the middle of the week. I will write again and tell you my address. The name of the ship is the 'Otaki'.
Sadly, less than a month later he was killed, as he bravely helped to load the 'Otaki's' gun. He was only 14, the youngest Gordonian to die in the First World War. His parents William and Margaret supported the College in the form of prizes for English and Modern Languages in memory of their son. (See also Otaki Shield).
They also had at the former Auchindoir North Parish Church near Ryhnie, a memorial tablet to William erected.
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