The Wartime Memories Project - The Second World War

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Those who Served

Allied Forces - Browse by Surname.

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Axis Forces - Browse by Surname.

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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.

    Pte. E. Matthews .    

    I have two photographs from 1942 showing a group of POWS at Stammlager XXA. Both are from Pte E Matthews POW No 20311. These photos were sent to my mother who lived in Maidstone, Kent. I believe that Pte Matthews was billeted with her at some point.

    Sgt. Edward Harry "Ted" Matthews .     Royal Air Force B Flt 77 squadron   from Worthing)

    I was a Flight Engineer with 77squadron. 1944 - 1945, flying Halifax 111 and V1s.

    Ernest Albert Matthews .     Royal Navy HMS Golden Hind

    My Grandfather was Ernest Matthews. I do not know much about his service history, but he joined the navy in 1942 and left in 1946. His service included Collingwood, Rooke, Golden Hind and the boom defence vessel called the Lionion. I have no information apart from that. We are unable to find any information about the Lionion, although we have been told that it probably was known by its number. Captains that signed his service forms are Graham, Cox, Lundy, and Brock - all guesses because the writing and signatures are so bad! He had several medals including the Atlantic Star, Pacific Star, Italy Star and Africa Star. If anyone can give me more information I would be appreciative.

    Cpl. George Meek Matthews .     British Army 2nd Battalion Cameron Highlanders   from Dundee)

    (d.15th Jun 1941)

    I'm trying to find out about how my great uncle, George Matthewa died. I have just been given his medals and would like to know more about him. All I have is he died in North Africa on the 15/06/1941.

    George Ernest Matthews .     Australian Army 2/1st Battalion   from Ashfield)

    My father was captured in Crete & was a prisoner of war at Stalag 3. He never spoke about it much but also never ever wanted to travel overseas once he arrived back in Australia. Dad has now passed away & I am only just learning the terrible suffering he endured, to the last minute of freedom, which was spent walking with the other prisoners on their long march of 200 miles a day, only to be rescued by the Red Army. My Dad, like all the other brave & humble men, are true heroes, whose stories & names must live on forever more so that their suffering was not in vain.

    Pte. Harry Pengriff Matthews .     British Army Northamptonshire Regiment   from Tredegar, Monmouthshire, Wales)

    My father Harry Matthews served in the Northamptonshire Regiment from 1939 to 1945 I believe. I know that he fought, as part of the Eighth Army, in North Africa and Italy. He never spoke much about the war but I did glean from an uncle that my father spent a time as a sniper. He passed away in 1985.

    Pte. Harry Pengriff Matthews .     British Army Northamptonshire Regiment   from Tredegar, Monmouthshire, Wales)

    Pte. Henry Matthews .     British Army 2/7th Btn. East Surrey Rgt. (d.12th April 1945)

    My great uncle Private Henry Matthews died on 12th April 1945 and is buried in Argenta Gap Cemetery. Does anyone have any information about him or his unit?

    Sgt I Matthews .     RAF 12sqd

    Iris Matthews .     Land Army

    My mother served as a land army girl she died 4 years ago but would love a badge to remember her by, and for her grandchildren, she was born 1917, in Wales, I have no knowledge of her rank or number

    J Matthews .    

    Sgt. Leslie Albert Matthews .     RAF navigator 12 Sqd

    Cpt. Lionel Colin "Duke" Matthews MC..     Australian Imperial Force 8th Divisional Signals   from Australia)

    (d.2nd March 1944)

    Lionel Matthews from Stepney, South Australia, had fought bravely in Malaya, gaining the Military Cross before becoming a prisoner of war. In captivity he was involved in secret underground activities until betrayed, tortured, and executed. During this ordeal he 'steadfastly refused to make admissions to implicate or endanger the lives of his associates'. He is buried at Labuan War Cemetery, Labuan, Brunei Bay Area, Borneo

    Norman Walter Matthews .     British Army Gloucestershire Regiment   from Gloucester)

    I am trying to trace what happened to my Dad, Norman Matthews when he was a POW. I have found several photographs with the Stalag VIII B stamp on the back. I hope someone can remember my dad or fill in what happened to him. I believe he was in the Gloucester Regiment and I remember him talking about a long march from Poland.

    Sgt. R. C. Matthews .     102 Squadron

    Able Sea. Reginald William Matthews .     Royal Navy HMS Acheron   from Epsom, Surrey)

    (d.17th Dec 1940)

    Able Seaman Reginald Matthews was my Grandfather. He served with the Royal Navy since the age of 16. He left in 1935 when my father was born. He was called up at the start of WW2 and served on HMS Acheron as a stoker until his death in December 1940. He was 35 years old and left behind his wife and my fathe.

    Sydney Matthews .     British Army 384 General Transport Coy Royal Army Service Corps   from Clavering)

    (d.15th Feb 1942)

    I am a local historian researching the names on the WW2 memorial in my village and have been told a story that I would like to check out, but I can't find anything online about it. It concerns one of the men commemorated on our village war memorial in Clavering, Essex, Sydney Matthews who served in the RASC and died 15 Feb 1942, his name is on the Alamein Memorial.

    The local story is that he was a PoW on a ship which was accidentally sunk by the Allies as it was not marked as a hospital ship. This would presumably be in the Mediterranean on 15 Feb 1942 but I can't find such a ship among the list of those lost.

    If anyone can direct me to some sources, I would be very grateful then we can record more about Sid Matthews, if it was him involved in this incident.

    Sgt T Matthews .     RAF 12sqd

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