Were it not for a man named Martin King, there would be no Augusta Chiwy Foundation. In fact, when Augusta Chiwy died in August, 2015, the story of her life and her heroic deeds during World War II would have died with her. It was only through Martin’s curiosity as a historian and his tenacity as a seeker of truth that the story of Augusta Chiwy became public knowledge. The Augusta Chiwy Foundation is grateful to recognize him as its Founder.
A British Military historian and lecturer and published author who lives near Brussels, Belgium, Martin King has had the honor of reintroducing many U.S., British and German veterans to the WWII battlefields where they fought. He lives near Antwerp, where he spends his time writing, lecturing, working with veteran organizations and visiting European battlefields. Married with two children, Martin has been a resident of Belgium since 1981. Previously he attended Wakefield Technical and Arts College, following a course in Teacher Training and European History.
In 1995, after a brief foray into the music business that earned him a platinum award, Martin began writing the first draft of “Voices of the Bulge,” with American historian and co-author Michael Collins of Adams, Massachusetts. “Voices of the Bulge” is accompanied by a DVD filled with one-to-one interviews with Battle of the Bulge veterans who participated in the project.
Martin’s voluntary work tracing the individual histories of veterans and their families has been a labor of love for almost 20 years. He speaks German, Dutch, Italian, and French and has a working knowledge of Japanese. Frequently in demand as a public speaker, he has lectured at many British and U.S. military bases throughout the world. His activities came to the attention of military documentary-makers in Hollywood. The History Channel hired Martin to be the historical consultant on their series “Cities of the Underworld.” In 2007 he began a new assignment, working as a historical consultant/writer on the hit series “Greatest Tank Battles,” reputedly one of the most-watched military documentaries ever made. Shortly thereafter he accepted an invitation to work as a presenter and historical consultant on an episode of the series “Narrow Escapes,” with Bafta Award-winning documentary-makers WMR.
In 2010 Martin was invited to the prestigious Valley Forge Military College to officially open the Eric Fisher Woods Library in recognition of his research into the life of this famous alumni. In 2010 he wrote the book “The Forgotten Nurse” (L’infirmiere Oubliée) about the life of Belgian nurse Augusta Chiwy. The book, released in Dutch and French, sold out completely and received great critical acclaim from the European media. After orchestrating an extensive campaign to get Augusta official recognition, in 2011 she was made a Knight of the Order of the Crown by then-King of Belgium Albert II. Shortly afterwards, Augusta received the United States Army’s Humanitarian Civilian Award for her exceptional bravery in World War II and was named an honorary member of the 327th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division and an Honorary Citizen of Bastogne.
In 2011 Martin again teamed up with Collins to write “The Tigers of Bastogne,” a book about the pivotal role played by the 10th Armored Division during the fight for Bastogne. It was released by his U.S. publisher, Casemate, in 2013, and the ensuing promotional tour was launched at The Pentagon in Washington DC.
In 2014 Martin became the executive producer and appeared in a documentary based on the life of Augusta Chiwy titled “Searching For Augusta – The Forgotten Angel of Bastogne.” Directed by ten-time Emmy-award winning director Mike Edwards, the film received the Emmy award for Best Historical Documentary in 2015. Martin’s latest book, “The Fighting 30th: They called them Roosevelt’s SS,” co-written with David Hilborn and Mike Collins, is currently flying off the shelves. His latest documentary series, “The Road to Waterloo,” made for Seven Days Productions, will be released in November 2015.
Former British Major General Graham Hollands, who is widely regarded as a leading authority on military history, referred to Martin King as the “greatest living expert on the Battle of the Bulge.” Martin’s campaigning work for World War II veterans recently came to the attention of leading U.S. military personnel who presented him and Mike Collins with a Services to Education Certificate at U.S.A.F. Fort Dix, New Jersey. Martin is an elected “Cultural Ambassador” and has been chosen an Honorary Citizen by the Belgian people.