Fonds P086 - Cecil Percy Martin Fonds

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Cecil Percy Martin Fonds

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  • 1938-1977 (Creation)
    Martin, Cecil P. (Cecil Percy), 1892-1977

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Physical description

9 cm of textual records. – 3 scrapbooks.

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Biographical history

Cecil Percy Martin (1892-1977) was born in Dublin, Ireland, the second youngest of nine children of Thomas Stanhope Martine and Eliza Martin (nee Mitchell). As a young man he won a scholarship to the Royal Irish Constabulary, and for a short time became District Inspector in County Limerick. After leaving the R.I.C, C. P. Martin served in the army as a Lieutenant for the Royal Irish Regiment during World War One. He was involved in guarding prisoners of the Easter Rebellion of 1916.

Around 1917, C. P. Martin married Kathleen Humphries, and shortly afterwards he was sent overseas to Mesopotamia with the expeditionary force of Sir Henry Maude. C. P. Martin sustained an injury to the back of his head in 1918 and was sent to England to recover. He suffered visual impairment and epilepsy as a result of his injuries and subsequently received a disability pension. C. P. Martin wore a patch and black headband thereafter, contributing to his distinctive appearance.

After the war, C. P. Martin resumed employment with the R.I.C. for a few years before deciding to pursue his medical degree. At Trinity College Dublin, C. P. Martin studied medicine and natural sciences, and graduated in 1928 with a degree in medicine (M.B.) and surgery (Ch.B.). Upon receiving his degree, C. P. Martin was appointed as Chief Demonstrator in Anatomy at Trinity College, while also teaching Embryology and Physical Anthropology. His own research at the time focused on anthropology and ethnology, which manifested into his book Prehistoric Man in Ireland published in 1935, for which he received a D.Sc. degree. In 1936, C. P. Martin and his family moved to Canada and he began teaching at McGill’s Faculty of Medicine as the Robert Reford Professor of Anatomy, a position he held until 1957. During this time C. P. Martin also served as Chair of Anatomy at McGill for twenty-one years. In 1962, he was named Emeritus Professor after twenty-six years at McGill.

C. P. Martin had four children (two girls, two boys) with his wife Kathleen, and upon his retirement from McGill spent much of the remaining years of his life living on their farm in Lachine, Quebec. C. P. Martin died in 1977 following a long illness, survived by his wife, four children, ten grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. C. P. Martin had a reputation for being a gifted speaker and preacher. A religious man his whole life, C. P. Martin is the author of The Decline of Religion published in 1940, and A Man Named Jesus published circa 1968. Other publications by C. P. Martin also include Psychology, Evolution, and Sex (1956), A Workbook of Anatomy (1956) among others.

Custodial history

Gift from Dr. John C. MacKimmie, Lachute, Quebec, to the Osler Library in February, 1980. Old accession number 634.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of three scrapbooks, and textual records that include obituaries and letters written in memory of C. P. Martin by McGill faculty and former students, index cards of C. P. Martin's religious reflections on the bible, typed and handwritten sermons, C. P. Martin's nature journal, a copy of Francis Shepherd Memorial Lectures 1953-1956, and some letter correspondence. Two of the scrapbooks document C. P. Martin's personal family life (including family trees depicting five generations, his leisurely interests etc.) and his professional life at McGill, with many newspaper clippings about McGill University and faculty. The other scrapbook contains mostly British Medical Journal clippings (1942-1954).

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  • English

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The documents are in English.

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Items can be requested for consultation online via the Library Catalogue or by email at Advance notice is recommended.

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Physical storage

  • Box: P086-c1
  • Box: P086-c2
  • Box: P086-c3