Their bodies are buried in peace; but their names liveth for evermore.
Their Duty Done
A tribute to the men and women of the East Gippsland Region who Died as a result of their participation in World War One : 1914 -1919
2908 Lance-Corporal Martin John Towner - Orbost / Bairnsdale Killed in Action 15 February 1917
When Martin Towner was killed in action his commanding officer and his comrades in the bombing platoon all signed the letter to his parents expressing their regret. A popular son of Bairnsdale involved in the community, including the rowing club, he was also popular amongst the ranks. He had been in the A.I.F. just over twelve months when he was proceeding to his post in the line as an enemy shell landed and death was almost instantaneous. Private Brose who was with him at the time said that one of the last things he had said was to tell the CO (commanding officer) he was wounded and would be unable to do his post for the night. Towner was admired by the others in his platoon for his good nature and straight living and that he was always ready for the call of duty. Everyone had a good word to say for him and they regarded his loss as that of a brother. Martin was born at Marlo in 1892 to Charles and Ellen Towner and had ten siblings. He worked as a farm labourer and was highly regarded as a local sportsman competing regularly with the Bairnsdale Rowing Club and the Bairnsdale Bicycle Club. He enlisted in June 1915 with the 5 th  Battalion and twelve months later spent a month in No. 7 General Hospital having contracted mumps. He had only been back with his unit for twenty days when he received gunshot wounds to the shoulder and face which saw him transferred back to England until he recovered at the end of August. He returned to his unit only to have another stint in a Belgium hospital with trench foot in November. It was then February when he died as a result of an enemy shell. Martin was originally posted as “missing in action” in February 1917, his commanding officer informed his family of his death which was confirmed the following month by officials. Towner was buried at the Bazentin-Le-Petit Military Cemetery, France. He was 25 years old.
….. tell the CO I am unable to do my post tonight