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Colonel Cecil Martindale



Cecil Edgar Martindale was born in Georgetown on 1926-02-02. Following a successful career in the Public Service, he was seconded to the Guyana Defence Force in 1966-03-07, where he attained the rank of Colonel and a distinguished record of service to the Military Forces of this country.

As a boy, Cecil attended St. Stephens Church of Scotland School and St. Andrews Church of Scotland School for his primary education from 1931 to 1939. His secondary education was received from Alleyne’s High School 1939 to 1943 where he was successful at the Junior Cambridge Examination (1941) and Cambridge School Certificate (1942).

He started his Public Service career as a school teacher. In 1946 he joined the Customs & Excise Department as a Customs Officer, In January 1963, he was made Class 1 Customs Officer. While in the Public Service, he met Pansy Stephenson at the Our Lady of Fatima church and they eventually got married on 1958-04-09. Out of this union came two children; Noel Paul and Melanie Pearl.

 His military career started in 1948 when he enlisted in the ranks of the British Guiana Volunteer Force (BGVF). Three years later in August 1951, he was commissioned in the rank of Second Lieutenant. He was promoted to Lieutenant, a year later and he became a Captain in November 1955, a Major in February 1961, Lieutenant Colonel in May 1967 and Colonel in May 1976.

In the BGVF, his duties ranged from Platoon Commander in 1851 to company Commander in July 1960. In March 1966, Major Martindale was appointed OC HQ Coy 1st Battalion, following his secondment from the Public Service and in June 1966, he became Staff Officer at HQ 1st Battalion. In June 1967, he was appointed Commanding Officer 2nd BN GDF. IN December 1971, he was recalled to the Public Service but returned when he was appointed Commandant Guyana People’s Militia in May 1976. On his retirement, he held the appointment of Principal Staff Office in the Defence Headquarters.

During his Military Service, he received six awards.

EFFICIENCY DECORATION        -           1962

INDEPENDENCE MEDAL             -           1966

BORDER DEFENCE MEDAL        -           1967

MILITARY SERVICE MEDAL      -           1972

MILITARY SERVICE STAR                       -           1981

MILITARY EFFICIENCY MEDAL            -           1984

Colonel Cecil Edgar Martindale is one of the stalwarts of the Military service in Guyana. He contributed immensely to the development of the Reserves and was the first Commandant of the People’s Militia from its formation in 1976. He was deeply interested in sports, band music and promoted the early development of Hockey and the playing of steel band music in the Force.  He held a variety of appointments both in Command and Staff in the Army and Guyana People’s Militia. He has over nearly forty years of Militia Service and has greatly enriched the life of the Defence Forces of this country with his well-known wit and profound professional spirit. 

Appointments held by Colonel Martindale during his military service are as follows:


September 1951                      - Platoon Commander

April 1960                               - Company Commander

March 1966                             - Officer Commanding Headquarter Company

June 1966                                - Staff Officer Battalion Headquarters

October 1966                          - Officer Commanding ‘B’ Company

March 1967                             - Security Officer

June 1967                                - Commanding Officer, Second Battalion

July 1969                                 - Chief of Staff (Acting), Guyana Defence Force

September                               - Commandant, Guyana People’s Militia.

February   1982                                   - Director of Military Training

January 1984                           - Principal Staff Officer, Defence Secretariat

October 1986                          - Principal Staff Office, Defence Secretariat

February 1987                         - Principal    Staff Officer, Defence Headquarters


Colonel C E Martindale retired at the compulsory age of retirement on February 28, 1981, but was re-employed on March 1, 1981, and that contract ended on July 1, 1989.

 Upon discharge, Colonel Cecil Martindale was noted as an outstanding Officer, leader and gentleman who was well respected by all his subordinates and functional superiors. He was accorded national honours for his exemplary service and the Staff School was renamed in his honour, “Colonel Cecil Martindale Command and Staff School”