A Tale of Two Martins
Collectors of Australian uniform buttons may be aware of the partnership of Stokes and Martin, and of buttons marked ‘C. R. Martin’, and assume that these Martins are one and the same. Not so! They were brothers who arrived in Melbourne in 1852.
George Frederick Martin was in partnership with Thomas Stokes as die-sinkers, making medallions, buttons, etc. from about 1867 until some time around 1893 when a fire originating in their machinery department destroyed the business premises in Caledonian Lane. Afterwards he practiced as an auditor.
Charles Roper Martin was an importer of military accoutrements such as gold and silver lace. It was in this capacity that he would have imported buttons for various uniforms. He was also for a time a bank director.