Northern Territory Government

Roll of Honour

MARTIN, Daisy

MARTIN, Daisy

Daisy Martin Memorial in the garden of Government House, Darwin


Daisy Martin was about eighteen years old when she worked as a laundry maid for the Administrator of the Northern Territory, Mr Charles Lydiard Aubrey Abbott, and his wife Hilda. She was born in 1924, daughter to Fred and Daisy Martin, a young Indigenous woman brought up in the Kahlin Compound.

When the bombing began, Mrs Abbott, her servants and Government House staff all sheltered under the office in the strongroom shelter. Government House took an almost direct hit; the blast smashed in the iron door to the shelter causing the reinforced concrete pillars to collapse. Those sheltering underneath were saved by the caved in iron door but the debris almost buried two of the Indigenous servants, Leo Goodman and Elsie. However, a falling concrete block landed on Martin, eventually killing her. Mr Abbott and his Russian driver and messenger, Mr Nicholas Kampur, used crowbars to free those trapped, saving them from being crushed; but they could do nothing for Martin.

A memorial plaque to honour Daisy Martin has been set in the back wall of the Canna garden in Government House. Martin was buried in a temporary grave at Kahlin Beach; she was then re-buried at the Berrimah War Cemetery, and her final resting place is the Adelaide War Cemetery.

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