Barry Martin: Edinburgh firefighter's wife pays tribute to ‘proud and driven’ father ahead of funeral

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Edinburgh firefighter Barry Martin’s wife pays moving tribute to him ahead of funeral

Barry Martin's wife has described him as a remarkable man who was “driven to the best he could be” and exhilarated to be a firefighter. The 38-year-old died on Friday, 27 January in the line of duty from serious injuries he suffered during a large-scale fire at the former Jenners building in Edinburgh.

Firefighters from across Scotland will join his family and friends in paying tribute at his funeral service to be held at St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh on Friday 17 February. The father-of-two from Fife was the beloved husband of Shelley, 36, and much-loved father of eight-year-old twins Oliver and Daniel.

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Shelley said: "Our sons could not have wished for a more loving and attentive father. He was a busy dad, transporting our sons to their various activities, and being there for them. I felt utterly privileged to be his wife throughout our life together and always will.

Edinburgh firefighter Barry Martin with his wife Shelley and twin boys Oliver and Daniel (Photo provided by SFRS)Edinburgh firefighter Barry Martin with his wife Shelley and twin boys Oliver and Daniel (Photo provided by SFRS)
Edinburgh firefighter Barry Martin with his wife Shelley and twin boys Oliver and Daniel (Photo provided by SFRS)

"Barry was motivated, proud, and driven to be the best he could be, for himself, for his family, for his colleagues, and for the community and wider public. Being there for people, during their time of greatest need, meant everything to him in his career. Our love, admiration and respect for him, will last forever.”

Fire and rescue services across the globe fell silent on Monday, February 13, as a minute’s silence was observed to pause and reflect on Barry’s life and sacrifice. In the earthquake disaster area of Turkey, firefighters from the UK International Search and Rescue Team stopped and paid a moving tribute to one of their own.

Prior to joining the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Barry was a pest control technician and set up his own company with Shelley. He was passionate about health and fitness and had a particular interest in the tattoo industry.

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Barry MartinBarry Martin
Barry Martin

Barry was based at McDonald Road community fire station in Edinburgh and was part of the Blue Watch. The Blue Watch in all Edinburgh stations will be stood down on the day of Barry’s funeral to allow staff to attend the service.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service interim chief officer Ross Haggart said: "Our thoughts remain very firmly with Barry Martin's family as we plan to come together at St Giles’ Cathedral to pay our respects. Barry was a much-loved husband, father, son and friend to many. His Blue Watch colleagues and the wider Service will ensure that Barry's selfless duty will never be forgotten."

The City of Edinburgh Council last week paid tribute to Barry during a full meeting by observing a minute’s silence.

Lord Provost Robert Aldridge offered heartfelt condolences. He said: "It’s in tragic circumstances such as these that we’re reminded of the immense bravery and selflessness of those in our emergency services – putting their lives on the line day in, day out to keep us safe. The many tributes which have been placed outside Jenners show how deeply Barry’s passing has been felt, both by people throughout the city and by his firefighter colleagues in Edinburgh and across the country."

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Barry Martin with his sons Oliver and DanielBarry Martin with his sons Oliver and Daniel
Barry Martin with his sons Oliver and Daniel

Barry's family wish to thank everyone for their support, wishes and love at the hardest time of their lives.

At midday on Friday, 17 February, the funeral cortege will make its way from the base of the Royal Mile, arriving at the Cathedral at 12.30pm when the service, by invitation, will begin. There will be a private committal thereafter. As the funeral cortege makes its way through the city there will be a number of rolling road closures supported by Police Scotland, however disruption will be kept to a minimum.

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