Martin Kelly enlisted on 21 May 1910 in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (service number 1636). He was captured in the first Battle of Ypres on 21 October 1914. The Express & Star on 9 November 1918 gave details of what had happened to him:
In 1917 he escaped, but was recaptured just as he was about to cross the frontier. For his attempt to escape he was given 14 days’ solitary confinement, in addition to three weeks for refusing to disclose how he obtained a main of Germany. He was also sentenced to a further three months’ reprisal punishment because it was alleged that German prisoners in England who attempted to escape were given this punishment; but he was released after 2 1/2 months, when the British Government protested against the reprisal and gave assurance that German prisoners were not punished as alleged.
He was repatriated, arriving back in England on 1 November 1918. According to the newspaper article, he was home for two months’ furlough, but had to rejoin the Colours afterwards. He had received regular parcels from the Express and Star and Mr. J. B. Dumbell’s Comfort Fund, and he wanted to convey his thanks to all subscribers, stating that “without these parcels he would not have survived to return home.”
Martin was discharged on 5 March 1919 due to sickness and issued with a Silver War Badge (number B348349). This record states that he was 27 years old, meaning that he was born in about 1892, but it is difficult to pin down other details for him.