The Wartime Memories Project - The Second World War



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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

Those who Served




Allied Forces - Browse by Surname.


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Axis Forces - Browse by Surname.


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Sgt L G Masterton .     Royal Air Force 78 Sqd.




Sgt Rodger David Matches. .     Royal Air Force 78 Sqd (d.13th May 1943 )




Sgt. John Mather .     Royal Air Force 66 Squadron   from Ifield)

(d.27th Oct 1940)

After extensive research a group of us who live locally are organising a tribute to Johnny Mather who crashed on Sunday 27th October 1940. Local artist, Malcolm Pettit, who actually retrieved the crashed Spitfire remains in the 1970s and filmed the removal of the engine, had created a painting of the incident using maps and photos of the period. Johnny is pictured heading down vertically towards the village of Hildenborough, Nr Tonbridge Kent while his leader circles his plane calling out his call sign. Unfortunately he did not recover and crashed behind the Half Moon public house. His body was recovered at the time and is buried at Ifield cemetery. The painting which has now been reproduced onto prints and also contains photos of Johnny being presented to the King, and various members of his squadron will be unveiled on a permanent wall in the Half Moon public house. A fly past of a Spitfire piloted by Peter Monk is also being arranged. There has always been a mystery about his death, as some locals heard gunfire shortly before his plane dived into the ground. Official records put it down to oxygen failure.

What we require, if possible, is to see if we can find a survivor of that period, whether it be ground crew or what to unveil the plaque and picture. Many thanks and hope to hear something favourable




F/Sgt (Cadet) Robert Mather .     Air Training Corps

As an Air Cadet in 1942 my squadron took part in exercises at Ringway, undergoing elements of the parachute training with No.1 Para. Training School before flying in Whitleys dropping paratroops over Tatton Park. I remember that on my first sortie one of the 8 paras we were carrying didn't quite get it right exiting the aperture. We met him in the NAAFI later on that day wearing several stitches to the inside of his jaw, which made his drinking somewhat difficult. Speaking of drinking, as cadets we were on soft drinks and the biggest bargain around seemed to be the NAAFI lemonade (made from crystals) at 1d a pint served in those straight pint glasses. We imbibed a little too liberally and since then I have difficulty in staring a pint glass in the face and insist that my beer is served in a pint pot with a handle.




Cadet Robert Mather .     Air Transport Command 2053 Sqd.

As an air cadet in 1942 I was stationed at Hawarden as a cadet sergeant and later Flt/Sgt I was attached there for three periods during 1943/4 before entering the RAF. I remember there was a very active ATA pool at Hawarden a number of who were women. My squadron visited RAF Ringway for my first flying experience and I was lucky enough to be allocated to the crew of an Armstrong Whitworth Whitley bomber dropping paratroopers over Tatton Park. It was a terrific thrill for a young teenager and I remember well the raucous humour of the trainee paras, some of which I suspect was borne of nervousness. After the exercises we adjourned to the NAAFI. I didn't drink at the time but the NAAFI had lemonade (made from crystals) at 1d (old penny)a pint. I imbibed enthusiastically. Some people were sick flying. Not me! But that lemonade almost made it!




F/Lt Roy Mather DFC AFC.     RAF 619 Squadron   from Chesterfield)




Sgt. Walter Mather .     Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 295 Sqdn. (d.19th February 1943)

Fourteen aircraft from 295 Squadron were tasked with a raid on three electricity transformers at Distre, near Saumur. Two aircraft were brought down by anti-aircraft fire. The crew who died on this mission and are buried in Saumur Communal Cemetery are:

  • F/O D.H. Upsher (pilot)
  • Sgt I.W. Arnold (navigator)
  • Sq.Ldr C. Campbell-Miller
  • Fl/Lt M.E.J. Croker (airgunner)
  • F/O M.C. Hayes (pilot)
  • F/Sgt T.W. Holland (airgunner)
  • Wing Co. P.M.V. Lysaght (pilot)
  • F.Sgt K.R. Marshall (wop/airgunner)
  • Sgt W. Mather (navigator)
  • P/O J.H.C. McIlwrick (pilot)
  • WO/2 J.E.S. Sasseville (wop/airgunner)




  • Mathers .    




    Wing Co. Alister William Stewart Matheson .     Royal Air Force 106 Sqdn. (d.18th July 1943)

    Wing Co Alister William Stewart Matheson was serving with 106 Squadron at the time of his death on 18th July 1943 in an accident on a gunnery training course. His Wellington III BK235 crashed 1 mile southeast of Appleby when it suffered a wing failure. The crew who died that day were:

  • Acting Sq.Ldr Philip Brandon-Trye, RAF (buried in Brigg Cemetery).
  • Group Capt Brian Everard Lowe, RAF (buried in Brigg Cemetery).
  • Wing Co Alister William Stewart Matheson, RAF (buried in Brigg Cemetery).
  • W/O John William Heard RAFVR (buried in Brigg Cemetery).
  • F/Sgt Daniel Breslin DFM, RAFVR (buried in Strabane Cemetery).
  • Group Capt Reginald Vere Massey Odbert, RAF (buried in Newark-upon-Trent Cemetery).




  • John George Matheson .     Royal Canadian Air Force 419 Sqd.

    My father John George Matheson was a member of 419 Squadron stationed in England in WW2. I have photos of him over there. I would like to get in touch with someone who might like to share the stories and photos




    F/O John George Matheson .     Royal Canadian Air Force 419 Sqd.

    My father John George Matheson was a member of 419 Squadron stationed in England in WW2. I have photos of him over there. I would like to get in touch with someone who might like to share the stories and photos.




    F/O Thomas Matheson .     Royal Canadian Air Force   from )

    (d. )

    We are looking for a Canadian from WW2 who was a pilot in the RCAF. He was stationed in England during 1943, and probably before and after this time. We have a photograph of him showing him in his uniform and forage cap. He is wearing a 39-45 Star and a Volunteers Medal with maple leaf clasp. He also has an 'ops wing' on the left breast pocket. We believe his name to be Thomas Matheson or similar. He survived the war as the photograph was sent from Canada about 1946. Please contact me if you feel you can help find this man




    F/O F. D. Matheson. .     (d.25th July 1943)

    F/O Matheson was killed on 25th July 43 on Ops to Essen.




    Sgt. Frank Mathew .     United States Army APO 298 687th General Hospital   from Pennsylvania)

    Frank Mathew 687th General Hospital APO 298 United States Army to the 10th reinforcement Depot APO 874.




    Pte. Lancelot Jude Mathew .     British Army 14th Field Ambulance Royal Army Medical Corps   from India)

    My Father was born in Calcutta India 1920. Lancelot Jude Mathew He joined the British Indian Army in 1939. I do not have much information about his service. I have a photo of my father in a Group it has writing on the back - 28.3.1944 Italy 1944. Taken a few days before I get Posted from unit No 12 India Ambulance and Complete staff of Indian & British Personell (in workshop at B___ for Repairs.) Group Photo is in my possession. Dated He was also in Cortina, Italy at the end of the war. I believe he went to Burma but I don't have anything to support that belief. At the end of the war 1945 He was associated with 14th Field Ambulance and is photographed in Austria with other personel I have his discharge papers that were stamped in Aldersot UK 1946 showing his Service Number.




    Cook Obediah "Obie" Mathews .     US Army

    My mother lived in Plymouth and fell in love with Obie, whom she said, was the only man who treated her like a lady. She has now passed away but told me the story how he helped her during the war, but she would not go to Amercia with him as she had other children. I was born 1946. I saw him when he came to my home with his brother. I would like to know of any siblings and family.




    Cpl. Sidney John Mathews BEM.     Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 97 Sqdn.

    Cpl Mathews was awarded the BEM for his brave rescue of two crew members of a Lancaster that crashed in December 1943. All the remaining crew members died in the crash. A book has been written about the crash by one of the survivors' daughters www.firebynight.co.uk. We are keen to contact the family to share information. We know that he went to South Africa after the war.




    Sgt Philip Edwin Mathews. .     Royal Air Force 76 Sqd. (d.11th May 1943 )




    Gnr. Robert Reginald Mathias .     British Army 102 (Pembroke Yeomanry) Medium Regiment Royal Artillery   from Haverfordwest, Pembs)

    (d.24th Apr 1945)

    My uncle 'Bobby', Robert Reginald Mathias, died 24/4/1945 at Argenta Gap, Italy, a few days after the Battle of Argenta Gap. I have only one photograph of him and would love to know if anybody knew him.He served in Africa and Italy as a gunner. I have found his grave in Argenta Gap War Cemetery, Italy. It is my ambition now to go there and just say he has not been forgotten. I never knew him as I was born in 1957. Any information or even a photo of his regiment would be so appreciated.




    RSM C Mathieson .     British Army 1st btn Gordon Highlanders

    We've been left medals for this man but don't know who he was, can you help?




    James Matilinos .       from Lowell, MA)




    Ronald J. Maton .     Royal Air Force 578 Sqd. (d.31st Mar 1944)

    Ronald Maton was a Wireless Operator in 578 Squadron, stationed at RAF Burn. He was killed on 31st March 1944 at Silverstone, whilst returning from raid on Nuremburg.




    Cpl. George Edgar Matson .     Army Air Corps 1st Btn. Parachute Regiment   from Aycliffe, Co. Durham)

    (d.17th Sep 1944)




    L/Sgt. William Albert Charles Matterface MID.     British Army Royal Artillery   from Chelsea, London)

    My dad, Bill Matterface was a soldier through and through, he was captured at Dunkirk and was on the long march to the concentration camp. He, from what he told us, was involved in the sport, getting the men involved in all sports and inter camp contests. He was MID for distinguished service, he never wanted the laurel leaf or his medals as he believed he was fighting to save the country and should not be rewarded for it. He was in Stalag XXA BAB 20 and captured for a good amount if the war, he never really spoke about the time before he was captured but told us stories of life inside the camp, how they entertained themselves with stage plays, baking cakes, making clothes, sport and much much more, he never did say where anything came from that was used in the making of the items they used. They suffered severe winters and many froze to death, they had rags on their feet when their boots fell apart and had to scrounge around for food and wood for a fire. He died on 11.11.1995 a very appropriate day.




    Cpl. James Archibald Paterson Matthew .     British Army Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders   from Edinburgh, Scotland)

    (d.22md May 1940 )

    James Matthew, Belgium 1940

    James Matthew was born in Hawick in 1911, the son of a career soldier later killed in WWI. He initially joined the Scots Greys but later transferred to the Cameron Highlanders. While billeted at Edinburgh Castle he met his future wife Mamie Day, and they had two daughters, Eileen in 1930 and Freda in 1934. He left the army about 1935, and worked as an electro-welder, which was a protected trade.

    When war broke out in 1939 he felt guilty that other younger men were dying while he was an experienced soldier, and so joined up, with the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders. He was killed on the retreat to Dunkirk on 22nd May 1940, his regiment fighting a rear-guard action to try to hold up the rapidly advancing German Wehrmacht and tanks (including Field Marshall Erwin Rommel), in a bid to help evacuation of British troops. About three-quarters of the regiment were captured or killed. He is buried in the war cemetery at Bruyelles, near Tournai, in Belgium.

    His widow married a New Zealand soldier and the family emigrated there after the war. James is well loved and remembered still by his family.




    Sergeant Albert David Matthews .     RAF (d.6th January 1942)

    My uncle, Sgt Anthony John Browne 643058 (Newmarket Cemetery) was killed on 6 January 1942 when a Wellington bomber from RAF Stradishall, No 3 Group Training Flight piloted by Flight Sergeant Frederick Thomas Miniken 903047 (Clacton Cemetery) crashed shortly after take off. Would anyone have any idea of the squadron markings as I am building a replica model?

    Others killed were

  • Sergeant John Philpin Williams 983072 (Uzmaston (St. Ismael) Churchyard)
  • C J Cornes
  • Sergeant Herbert Wolstenholm 545778 (Hucknall Cemetery)
  • Sergeant Albert David Matthews 615644 (Yeovil Cemetery)
  • Sergeant Reginald Alfred Butcher 1200354 (Dover (St. Mary's) New Cemetery)
  • A/C1 Thomas Menzies 1037647 (Manchester Southern Cemetery)

    RWH Lawrence and MT Coon survived.

    Any other information of the event or of my uncle would be most welcome. God Bless them all.




  • Alfred "Jimmy" Matthews .    

    My grandfather, Alfred (Jimmy) Matthews was in Stalag 8b from about 1940 to 1943. If anyone has information regarding him, please contact me.




    Alfred Leonard "Jimmy" Matthews .    

    I am trying to find information about my grandfather, Alfred Leonard Matthews (known as Jimmy). He was captured in 1940 and was in numerous Stalags. Does anyone have information about him?




    Gnr. Alfred Ernest Frank Matthews .     British Army Royal Artillery

    I would like to know more of what my gramp Alfred Matthews would have done in the war. He was in REME, but on his son's birth certificate in 1942,it states he was a Gunner, No. 1153620 RA. When I asked him what he did in the war, he said he would go ahead of the troops and make maps. He was in the territorials when he was younger. He lived in Cheltenham, Glos. I don't know whether that has any bearing on what regiment he would have joined. I have a photo of him, post card style, in uniform - but he is not wearing a cap. He had a ribbon though and I think it could be the War Medal, but the colours seem different.

    Editor's Note: He may have been in a Royal Artillery Survey unit who made maps and sketches of the local landscape for use when targeting the guns.




    F/O Arthur John Matthews .     Royal Air Force 76 Squadron   from Bath)

    My late father, Arthur John Matthews, known as Johnnie, served in the RAF as a Rear Gunner during WW2. He was based somewhere in Yorkshire and flew with the following crew in a Halifax Q named "Queenie" of the 76 Squadron:

    • Wing/Cdr Whyte (Chick)
    • Navigator P/O Wilkinson (Wilky)
    • Bomb Aimer F/Lt Simpson (Eddy)
    • Flight Engineer P/O Hughes (Sid)
    • Wireless Operator F/Sgt Allen (Bert)
    • Mid Upper Gunman F/O Souster (Harry)
    • Rear Gunner F/O Matthews (Johnnie)
    The picture enclosed of the Halifax plane was taken 25th April 1945 on their way to bomb Wangerooge in Germany, Coastal defence batteries.
    The Air Gunners training group is pictured with reference to Squad 4, No.122 Course d.d. 18th Oct 1943.

    My Dad did not tell war stories at all, but he did mention once that his squadron went out without him, due to his being sick with flu, and they were shot down by enemy fire. He was obviously devastated and never got over being the only survivor under such chance circumstances. I also had film taken from the rear gunner's position during a live fight, but unfortunately it was destroyed.

    If anyone has information on this squadron or specifically about my Dad, I would be very interested to hear more.





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