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Those Who Served




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Pte. William Sewell Mason .     British Army 7th Battalion Durham Light Infantry   from Jarrow

(d.27th May 1918)

William Sewell Mason served with the 7th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, he was aged 21 when he died on 27th May 1918. Born in Boldon in Colliery 1897 he was the son of John and Catherine Mason (nee Wigham) of Carman Villa, Monkton Village, Jarrow. on the 1911 census William Sewell Mason age 14 Labourer in Shipyard is listed as living with his parents John and Catherine Mason and family at 15 Ash Street, Hebburn. He lived in Hebburn Colliery when he enlisted in Jarrow.

William is remembered on the Soissons Memorial.

Vin Mullen



Pte. Thomas Milton "Hammie" Mason (John Davies) .     British Army 9th Btn. Royal Welch Fusiliers   from Cilgerran

(d.7th Jun 1917)




Sgt. Benjamin Massey .     British Army 2nd Battalion Cheshire Regiment   from Birkenhead

Did not know my father, Benjamin Massey, as he died in 1950 aged sixty five,when I was only four years old. What little I know of him came from children of his first marriage. He was born in 1885 and must have joined the army around 1900, rising to sergeant in 1907 and colour sergeant in 08. He served at Fort George in Madras. In 1911 he reengaged to complete twenty one years service. After completion of service with the Cheshire Regiment he transferred to the Indian Army where he was commissioned. I know nothing of his service in WW1 but I believe that he was awarded the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Linda Massey



Pte. Henry Massey .     British Army 6th Btn. East Lancashire Regiment   from 16 Gorple Street, Burnley, Lancashire

(d.6th Feb 1917)

Henry Massey served with the 6th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment during WW1 and was killed in action on the 6th February 1917. He is commemorated on the Basra War Memorial, Iraq. (CWGC has surname as Macey)

S Flynn



Gur. William Arthur Massey .     Royal Field Artillery 97th Brigade B Battery   from Lightwood, Shropshire

(d.20th Feb1915)

My Great Uncle William Arthur Massey was born in 1896 in Lightwood, Shropshire to John James & Sarah Massey. Before the war he was working as a groom. He enlisted in Wolverhampton. (as yet date unknown) He was a Gunner, no. 83973 and was based out of High Wycombe. He is buried in High Wycombe cemetery, Arthur died of pneumonia aged 20 on the 20.2.1915. Sadly, we do not appear to have very much information about him or any known photographs (yet) and also trying to find out where he may have served to have gained the 3 medals he had.

Sheenagh Mackey



Csm. W. Massiter .     British Army 24th (Tyneside Irish) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers   from Sunderland

Lynne



L/Cpl. George Bernard Masterman .     British Army 8th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment   from Malton

(d.26th Sep 1917)

George Masterman was born 17 March 1889 in Westgate (Westow), Old Malton to John and Elizabeth Masterman. He married Ann Moody on 14 September 1916 at the Parish Church, Huttons Ambo, Yorkshire. In 1911 George was 22 years old and a Waggoner on a farm in Mennethorpe. He was a Lance Corporal of the 8th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment. His Service Number was 28476. George died on 26th of September 1917, in Flanders aged 28. There is a memorial reference to him at the Tyne Cot Memorial. There is also a memorial in Westow which includes George's name.

Christine Saunders



Pte. Sid. Masters .     British Army 24th (Tyneside Irish) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers   from Hemlington Row

Sid Masters was wounded in 1918

Lynne



Pte Thomas Mates .     British Army 21st Battalion Tyne side Scottish Northumberland Fusilliers   from Newcastle-upon-Tyne

(d.17th October 1917)

Private Thomas Mates died on 17th October 1917 and is buried at Cement House Cemetery Langemark-Poelkapelle, Belgium

Carol Ford



Pte. Alan James Mather .     Australian Imperial Force. 33rd Btn.   from Inverell, NSW

(d.8th Jun 1917)

Pte. A.J.Mather (Courtesy of Kim Blomfield)

In August 2008, archaeologists from the group No Man's Land - The European Group for Great War Archaeology, recovered the body of an unknown Australian soldier missing since the Battle of Messines in 1917. Extensive detective work and close cooperation between the Group, professional partners and the Australian Army over the past 20 months has now revealed the soldier's identity as 1983 Private Alan James Mather.

The Australian soldier's remains were discovered during work on The Plugstreet Project, an archaeological investigation of part of the Belgian battlefields of the First World War. Archaeological excavation was able to recover the skeleton, as well as associated objects, including rifle, ammunition, Corps badges and the contents of his pockets and haversack. Although a corroded identification disc was also recovered, forensic investigation failed to provide identification details.

Project co-Director Martin Brown said:

"Using archaeological techniques to lift and study the remains we were able to build up quite a picture of the man, and this led us a long way to his identity. The badges gave us his nationality. His location in the field gave us his unit, 33rd Battalion, and that tells us when he was killed because they didn't spend long there. The fact he was wearing all his ammunition and grenades showed that he was in the main attacking force and gave us his Company.

Excavation was only the first part of the story. Experts from Bradford University cleaned and conserved the objects which helped us to tell something about the soldier himself. He wasn't wearing his helmet when he died, probably preferring his Australian Slouch Hat as a symbol of unit identity. Equally intriguing were the remains of a German Pickelhaube (spiked helmet) in his knapsack. This appears to have been a trophy of war captured on a trench raid. He should have left it with his heavy kit in the rear but preferred to carry it into action: he probably didn't trust some of his "mates" in the rear echelon! If he'd survived the war it might now be a treasured family heirloom."

Project co-Director Richard Osgood said:

"The scientific input from our academic and scientific partners was astounding. Work by Universities of Leuven, Cranfield and Oxford studying the chemical composition of his bones enabled us to narrow down the place of birth of the skeleton to a few locations in New South Wales. Comparing that data to the casualty lists further reduced the number of possible identities for this man to five possibles.

Forensic analysis of the bones had given us height, age and likely body type from muscle attachments. Even before we knew it was Mather we knew he had lived a fairly physical life, developing heavy muscle attachments on his bones and showing wear on his spine.

With such a low number of candidates the Australian Army commissioned DNA testing of the surviving relatives of all the casualties fitting the profile, which resulted in a positive match with one of the Next of Kin donors. This match provided the final proof in identifying Private Mather.

This result shows how integration of the fieldwork, use of historical documents and cutting edge science can produce very satisfying outcomes."

1983 Private Alan James Mather joined the Army in 1916. He was a grazier from Inverell in New South Wales, where his father had been mayor. He was survived by his parents, older twin sisters, Flora and Marion, a younger sister, Elsie, a half brother Doug and a half sister, Jessie. Following his death his Company Commander wrote that "he was one of my best and most trusted men". He was 37 years old at the time of his death, which was caused by shell-fire on the 8th June 1917 at St Yvon, Belgium.

He had no known place of burial and so was commemorated on the Menin Gate in Ypres, where the names of missing are listed.

Thanks to archaeology and science Private Mather will now be formally buried by the Australian Army on July 22nd at Prowse Point Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery. His name will be removed from the panel at the Menin Gate in due course."

Australian Minister for Veterans Affairs, Alan Griffin said:

"I am extremely pleased that we have been able to restore the identity of this Australian soldier who was missing for almost a century."

Please visit www.plugstreet-archaeology.com for further information.

ABC Radio interviews with Pte Mather's family




Ord.Sea. Ernest Mather .     Royal Navy HMS Bergamot (d.13th Aug 1917)

Richard Jones



Officer's Steward 2nd Cla Harold Mather .     Royal Navy HMS Invincible   from Hilton St. Birkenhead, Cheshire

(d.31st of May 1916)

Harold Mather born 15 December 1891 Liverpool, was the elder son of Henry Walter and Bertha Mather (nee Walker) and was killed aboard HMS Invincible in the Battle of Jutland. Harold was born the son of a railway worker and had younger sisters living in Birkenhead at the time of his death.




Pte. Harry Mather .     British Army 8th Btn. Cheshire Regiment.   from Hyde

(d.9th April 1916)

Harry Mather served with the 8th Btn. Cheshire Regiment.

Sharon Floyd



Samuel Mather .       from Preston, Lancs

My Grandfather Samuel Mather went to war in 1915 and returned in 1916 on medical grounds. I have been trying to discover more about the country and battlefield he was at but unfortunately to no avail.

Samuel passed away in 1919 only 3 years after returning from the war. I visited his grave in 2008 and was saddened to find that he did not have a commonwealth war grave. I have been told that this was because he did not die from war related reasons. I fail to see how this could be after he was discharged on medical grounds and his death certificate states that he was on a war pension when he died. My father always told me that his father Samuel had died from mustard gas poisoning. Is there anyway I can find out more about my grandfather?

Louise Mather



Rfmn. John George Mathers .     British Army 17th (Poplar and Stepney Rifles) Btn. London Regiment   from Plaistow, Essex

(d.24th Aug 1918)

Rifleman John George Mathers joined the 17th (County of London) Battalion (Poplar and Stepney Rifles). He was killed in action on 24th August 1918 leaving a wife and 4 young sons one of whom was my father-in-law Albert Henry Mathers. John George went to war and never returned there was no body to bury and he is commemorated as a name on a plague at the Commonwealth War Graves memorial at Vis-en-Artois in Northern France

Derek Parker



Pte. James Mathews .     British Army 24th (Tyneside Irish) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers   from Newcastle

Lynne



Pte. W. Mathewson .     British Army 24th (Tyneside Irish) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers   from Blyth

(d.1st July 1916)

W Matthewson is buried in Ovillers Cemetery

Lynne



Gnr. Stanley Mostyn Mathias .     48th Heavy Battery Royal Garrison Artillery   from 35,Cranliegh Road,South Tottenham, London

(d.25th December 1914)

Stanley Mathias volunteered for the Army in August 1914. After his initial training as a gunner he joined the 48th Heavy Battery in France. In December 1915 he was stationed at Mont St Eloi, Le Basset.

His team mates were:

  • Bert Dolly and
  • Joseph Anderson.

At Mont St Eloi most of the movement and maintenance of equipment and guns took place at night owing to the accuracy of sniper activity during the daylight hours. On Christmas Day 1915 Stan and Joseph went to a barn to catch up on their sleep; later in the morning a German bombardment began and Bert Dolly left the cellar he was sheltering in and ran to the barn to waken his mates. He arrived at the same time as a shell that hit the barn and all three men were mortally wounded. They were taken to Louvencourt Field Hospital where Stan and Bert died Christmas Day and Joseph died 2days later.

All three are buried in Louvencourt Cemetary: Grave24:Herbert Dolly; Grave 25: Stanley Mathias; Grave 26: Joseph Anderson.

They served together in life and lie together in death.

Audrie Mills



Gnr. Stanley Mostyn Mathias .     British Army 48th Heavy Battery Royal Garrison Artillery   from 35 Cranliegh Road, Tottenham

(d.25th Dec 1915)

Stan Mathias died at Mont St Eloi aged 19 and is buried at Louvencourt Cemetery.

Audrie Mills



Pte. Archibald Mathie .     British Army 18th Btn. Durham Light Infantry




Pte. Albert Matley .     British Army 2nd Btn. Cheshire Regiment (d.3rd Oct 1915)

The 2nd Battalion Cheshire Regiment were involved in the Battle of Loos. My great uncle Albert Matley (17469) was killed there and is commemorated on panel 49 in the Loos Cemetery.

Stephen Bridgehouse



Gnr. Alfred Matson .     British Army 107 Brigade, D Bty. Royal Field Artillery   from Darlington

(d.17th Jul 1917)

Aycliffe Village Local History Society



Cpl. Charles Matson .     British Army 18th Btn. Durham Light Infantry   from Aycliffe

(d.2nd Mar 1917)

Charles Matson on right - partially obscured.

Charles Matson, Corporal 18/113, served in the 18th Battalion Durham Light Infantry and was killed in action on the 2nd Mar 1917. He is remembered at the Darlington Railway Museum and at Sailley-au-Bois Cemetery Charles was born on the 10th December 1895 in Aycliffe, son of Thomas and Mary Matson nee Garry. He served with the 18th (Service) Battalion (1st County) Durham Light Infantry.

Aycliffe Village Local History Society



Gnr. Thomas Matson .     British Army 151st Heavy Battery Royal Garrison Artillery   from Heworth Cottage, Aycliffe

Aycliffe Village Local History Society



William Jarvis Matson .     British Army

Aycliffe Village Local History Society



Capt. Matthews .     British Army Worcester Rgt.

Captain Matthews was a prisoner at Graudenz POW camp.




Pte. Arthur Henry Matthews .     British Army 7th City of London Btn. London Regiment   from Notting Hill

Sylvester



Pte. Edgar Walter Matthews .     British Army 2nd Btn. Monmouthshire Regiment   from Pontypool

(d.12th Apr 1918)

I only know a small amount about Edgar Walter Matthews. I am researching my family history, if you know any more I would be grateful to know.

Darren Matthews



Pte. Frank Matthews .     British Army 2nd Battalion Oxfordshire and Bucks Light Infantry (d.21st Oct 1914)

Unfortunately no details known about Frank Matthews service with the 2nd Battalion, Oxfordshire and Bucks Light Infantry.

Nicholas Crampton



Pte. Frank Harold Matthews .     British Army 1st Btn. Rifle Brigade   from London

My Grandfather, Frank Matthews, never spoke of his experience in the Great War. The only time he mentioned something was at his 50th wedding anniversary when a chance discussion uncovered that a party guest was related to one of his trench mates who died in his arms.

Granddad enlisted in 1910 at Woolwich Barracks. He was in the 2nd Battalion and after training went to India. He returned to the UK with the Battalion and on 7th November 1914 arrived in France.

My story gets vague from here. His medal roll shows he was with the 2nd Battalion for only a short time, and then with the 1st Battalion for the rest of the war. We all know he was injured 4 times, once he took a bullet and three times hit by shrapnel. We assume he was badly injured early on while with 2nd Battalion and was returned to the UK. When fit again he was sent back to France to reinforce 1st Battalion as in June 1015 the Times newspaper lists him in casualties with the 1st Battalion. All he would ever say is "I was at the Somme"

Steve Matthews




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