Home » Lester Dudley John Martin (1951-2015

Lester Dudley John Martin (1951-2015

Lester started at Eltham College in 1958 and left Upper 5a in 1967.  He set up home in Australia where he was a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and an Associate of the Australian Property Institute.  Between 1990 to 1995 he was the Hon. Chairman of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. He was a Founder Member of the Lord Taverners Australia, which promoted cricket and fundraising for underprivileged children and he was also a member of the MCC and the Royal Sydney Golf Club. Lester passed away on the 19 December 2015 after a long battle bourne with great courage.

His obituary in the Telegraph states the following;

"Beloved partner to Sandy (Sandra), father to Claudia and Oscar, loving grandfather to Charlotte, Camilla and Clementine and adored brother of Jacqueline and Pauline. A wonderful uncle to Jane, Mark and Polly and admired by so many. He has left a huge hole in our lives." Lester's friend and fellow OE Alastair Browne wrote the following about Lester's memorial service held on 10th February 2016;

"The Memorial Service took place at All Saints Church, Woollahra, in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, Australia.  The church is 100 years old, has high vaulted ceilings and lots of stained glass windows.  About 150 people gathered for the service with some travelling from England.  It was a sunny day with temps around 28C.

For those of you who can remember attending Chapel every morning at school, the hymns selected were "Immortal Invisible",  "The Lord's my Shepherd" , "Guide me O Though great Redeemer" -(used to be Jehovah), and the choir sang "The Lord is my Shepherd" to the Vicar of Dibley tune.

Eulogies were given by Peter Spiller from his working life, Claudia Stirling and Oscar Martin his children, and Jacqueline Evans his sister who was brilliant. Afterwards we adjourned to the Royal Sydney Golf Club for refreshments and conviviality. Condolences to the family and especially Sandy, his devoted partner who spent many hours with him every day at hospital over the last couple of months."

LESTER Dudley John MARTIN by Foddy Foster

Lester Martin was my lifelong childhood friend when we both lived in Petts Wood in the 1950s, our homes were just a short walk apart and we went to the same small primary school at the end of the road. We did everything together, our main interest, like many schoolboys then, was collecting birds’ eggs and butterflies and any other wildlife we could find in the small wood at the back of Lester’s house and naturally Petts Wood itself.

Then came EC, which back then was very academically oriented during our time, the gold standard being Oxbridge which was never going to be the way for Lester or me, because even at the early stages, LM seemed to know precisely what he wanted to do, don’t ask me how, but he got his handful of O-levels and at sixteen went straight into an old established commercial property business, Browett and Taylor.   He then applied himself to the professional exams with such diligence that he rapidly passed everything and became at that time the youngest person so to do, and obtained his professional qualification.

By now our commercial careers were starting to diverge alarmingly, Lester’s upwards, mine erm, not, however we made up for all that by discovering the attractions, both bibulous and feminine, of the local pubs, firstly the Daylight Inn Petts Wood then the Tiger’s Head Chislehurst being our main ports of call.   Lester had also polished his musical talents and for a short while was the frontman for a group called The Ides of March, which was sadly shortlived and did not trouble the chartmakers.    By 1977, Lester was ready for the marital plunge, and I was his best man at St. Nicholas’s Chislehurst, and afterwards at a generous reception at the Royal Artillery barracks Woolwich. Things moved on and I think it must’ve been early 80s when he emigrated with his young family and, without losing touch, we didn’t see much of each other for a good few years, during which time Lester had scaled the heights and become Richard Ellis’s main man for Australasia. Coming up to date, Lester started returning to England every other year, when he’d always take in the first day of the Lord’s test and the OE southern area lunch at Wildernesse Golf Club – he like to play a bit too and picked up one of the trophies at Adrian Baulf’s OE golf day at Chislehurst, summer before last.

So, it came as a terrible shock when I learnt from Sandy his partner that dear old Lester, who barely had a day’s sickness that I can remember, was stricken by this rotten illness which he fought against so valiantly and for so long.    If ever a bloke deserved a long and happy retirement with lots of cricket, golf and red wine, it was LDJM, so sadly not to be.   I do hope that all in attendance give him a fine and proper OE send-off in good style raising numerous glasses to ‘absent friends’ my dear lifetime’s pal, and pal of a lifetime, Lester.