Father Martin Thomas was born on April 25, 1932 in Sidcup in London, England. He was raised by his family in Wimbledon and attended Wimbledon College. He began his missionary work at Saint Michael’s Mission in Mhondoro, but was transferred to Musami shortly before February of 1977. He was a zealous priest who loved literature.
On February 6, 1977, nationalist guerrillas arrived at the mission, rounded up the white staff (which also included five Dominican sisters), and took them a short distance away. In the words of Father Dunstan Myerscough, a priest who survived by throwing himself to the ground when the shooting began: “Finally, three of them turned on us and raised their guns…we didn’t know they were going to shoot us until the firing started…when the firing stopped I looked up and saw that the other seven were dead and that there was nothing I could do for them.” Father Martin Thomas was 45.