Martyn Gough was born in 1966 and grew up in Cwmdare. He was the child of Ron Gough, (Aberaman), and Stella Gough, (Cwmdare). He has one younger brother. He attended Cwmdare Primary School before entering Form 1T at Aberdare Boys’ Grammar School in September 1977 — the last grammar school cohort before the school became a comprehensive in September 1978. Martyn holds precious memories of some exceptional English and History tuition from Judith Griffiths and Ken Morgan. In the 1978 school panoramic photograph Martyn is pupil 721.
A growing sense of vocation to the priesthood was fostered by the two of his teachers particularly Ken Morgan,(History), and Terry Smith, (Biology). After A levels Martyn moved on to Cardiff and Oxford to read theology and later to Lampeter and Exeter to do post graduate studies in Theology and Politics.
After his ordination in 1990, he served his title in the Church in Wales; he was initially appointed to parishes in Port Talbot and Cardiff before accepting a post in 1994 to be Chaplain to the European School in Varese, in northern Italy. Whilst there, Martyn was made Chaplain of Milan and Genoa; learnt to ski, a lot, and perfected his Italian.
Martyn moved back to the UK in 1998 when he was commissioned into the Royal Navy and attended the Britannia Royal Naval College as a Chaplain Cadet. He was initially appointed to the First Frigate Squadron which was involved in the Iraq sanctions conflict in 1998.
Many global adventures followed with deployments around the world. Highlights being a global deployment, surveying in Antarctica and Chaplain to HMS Invincible.
His shore roles have included posting to an Air Station and Chaplain to the Naval College in Dartmouth.
In 2013, Martyn was deployed as the Senior NATO Chaplain to Afghanistan which brought about many media interviews, as well as officiating at the last Remembrance Service from Helmand Province.
On return from Operations, he was promoted to Deputy Chaplain of the Fleet, responsible for the Operational Delivery of 80 Chaplains across the RN. He was elected to attend the Royal College of Defence Studies in 2017, and undertook work with the Pakistani military, looking at populism and extremism in military communities.
Most recently he was promoted to Chaplain of the Fleet, equivalent of Rear Admiral; and now leads Chaplaincy across the Royal Navy. He is also the Archdeacon of the Royal Navy and was appointed a Queens Honorary Chaplain, QHC, in 2018.
Martyn is married to Amanda, a maths teacher, and they have teenage twins. Home is in the Chalke Valley, south of Salisbury.
UPDATE November 2021: Martyn has now retired from the Royal Navy. He has accepted a new position as National Chaplain to The Royal British Legion. In this capacity he officiated at the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Albert Hall on 14th November 2021.
UPDATE May 2023: It is with much sadness that we have learnt of Martyn's death at the age of 57. He died on April 28th, 2023.
CR 31 January 2021