Living Memorial | Sam Martinez
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Sam Martinez

About This Project

Sam Martinez was born on February 10 1918 in Belize, formerly known as Honduras under British rule. In November 1942, Martinez arrived in Scotland to work as a wartime lumberjack, while living at a hostel. He was one of 800 workers divided over Scotland into different camps. He worked in forestry and viewed serving Britain as helping his Mother Country.


After the war, the Hibernian football club fan decided to settle in Edinburgh, Scotland. There he met his wife Mary at a dance and was married to her for almost 50 years until she passed away in 2007. The couple had six children together, three daughters and three sons. Martinez worked all his life, helping to build prefabricated buildings, labouring at the Balerno Paper Mill, turning his hand as a butcher and doing various other jobs until he was 94 when he finally retired.


Now, at the ripe old age of 105, Martinez says that he is very happy with the full life he has lived.  He says: ”If you have a contented with life and have kind people around you, then you can live a full life-no matter what age you are.” Martinez, who has a total of 21 children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He lives at Wester Hailes, in the south west of Edinburgh.


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Wartime lumberjack