Martin was born in Barmedman, NSW on 13th December 1885; the son of Matthew and Johannah (née Fitzgerald) Flannery, a mine manager.
He worked as a printer and timbercutter. He later learnt the compositor's trade with Wyalong Star, and then journeyed to New Zealand. Upon his return, he began timbercutting for True Blue mines, and farming; and was associated with Friendly Society work.
He was a member of the Australian Labor Party (Yenda branch). In local government, he served as a councillor at Bland Shire from 1914 to 1917. He subsequently served as a member of the NSW legislative assembly from 1920 to 1935; elected as a member for Murrumbridge to the 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th Parliaments. He was Secretary for Public Works and Minister for Railways from 17th June 1925 to 26th May 1927.
He married Elizabeth Glennan on 28th February 1922 and the couple had a son and daughter.
Martin died in Woollahra, NSW on 7th February 1935, and is buried in Waverley Cemetery.
[his portrait is illustrated above; courtesy of NSW Government]