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Martin was born on 1 July 1879, the son of Martin Lavelle and Bridget Ronan or Rownan, who were living at Back Lane, Stafford Street, Wolverhampton, at the time of his birth. By 1891 they were living at Court 7, Stafford Street, together with his sisters Annie and Mary and brother Patrick. There is a blacksmith called Martin Lavelle of about the right age living at 2 Southampton Street, Wolverhampton, together with his wife Annie, in 1911, but I have been unable to confirm whether this is the same man.

Martin enlisted at Leominster in the 1st Battalion of King’s Shropshire Light Infantry (number 15075). From 25 March 1915 he served in France, and received the British War and Victory Medals. Martin was wounded and transferred back to hospital in Exeter. He died of his wounds on 29 April 1918, and is buried in Wolverhampton Borough Cemetery. He is listed on their First World War Roll of Honour.