Martin's father was Charles Henry Wainwright (1864-1937), merchant and architect. Martin's mother was Amy Grace Williams (c1869-1942), daughter of William Aaron Barff Williams, wholesale stationer.
Martin attended Wellington College 1913-18, where he was captain of rugby, captain of cricket, and winner of various athletics sports; a year later he went on to Clare College, Cambridge, where again he made his name in various sports (running occasionally with Harold Abrahams).
Martin first taught (alongside Tim Dealtry) at Stanmore Park 1922-23, then at The Towers, Crowthorne (the prep school of Wellington College) 1923-24; during these years he played rugby for Edgware, and trialled for Middlesex.
He moved to The Leas in 1924, and was joint head (with Tim Dealtry) 1926-39. He continued playing rugby for a while, now for Birkenhead Park and for Cheshire; and even trialled for England in 1926/27.
In 1939 Martin was appointed housemaster of Northfields House, the Preparatory School of Stamford School. The move did not end his connection with The Leas, as he sent his son to the school.
During his teaching career Martin acquired the nicknames 'Bunt', 'Bunting' and 'Whisky'.
Martin was married on 8 August 1928 to Dorothy Gwenllian 'Dodo' Glynn, daughter of Joseph Bird Glynn, shipowner. They had a daughter and a son, both born while Martin was teaching at The Leas. Dodo died in 1949 while the children were still in their teens.