The AIF Project

Arthur Frederick MATTHEWS

Regimental number4822
Place of birthNorwood, South Australia
SchoolMarist Brothers School, Norwood, South Australia
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressNorwood, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Height5' 6.5"
Weight126 lbs
Next of kinSister-in-Law, Mrs Mary Ellen O'Donohue, c/o T Fanning, 49 Grote Street, Adelaide, South Australia
Previous military service78 Bn Senior Cadets
Enlistment date21 December 1916
Place of enlistmentAdelaide, South Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name32nd Battalion, 13th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/49/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A30 Borda on 23 June 1917
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll43rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 July 1918
Age at death18.11
Age at death from cemetery records18
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William and Annie MATTHEWS
Family/military connectionsBrother: 3014 Pte William Robert MATTHEWS, 50th Bn, returned to Australia, 22 September 1919; Half-Brother: 2nd Lt John O'DONOHUE, 50th Bn, killed in action, 10 June 1917.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Adelaide, 23 June 1917; disembarked Plymouth, 25 August 1917, and marched into 8th Training Bn, Hurdcott, the same day.

Marched into 15th Training Bn, Codford, 5 November 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 18 December 1917; marched into Australian Intermediate Base Depot, Le Havre, 19 December 1917.

Proceeded to unit, 20 December 1917; taken on strength of 43rd Bn, in the field, 24 December 1917.

Admitted to No 11 Australian Field Ambulance, 8 January 1918 (trench toe); to No 2 Australian Casualty Clearing Station, 10 January 1918; to No 8 Stationary Hospital, Wimereux, 11 January 1918 (trench feet); to England, 14 January 1918; to Eastbourne Military Hospital, 14 January 1918; to No 3 Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, 24 January 1918; marched into No 3 Command Depot, Hurdcott, 15 February 1918.

Marched into Overseas Training Bde, Longbridge Deverill, 9 May 1918.

Proceeded overseas to France, 5 June 1918; marched into Australian Intermediate Base Depot, Le Havre, 6 June 1918.

Proceeded to unit, 12 June 1918; rejoined 43rd Bn, 13 June 1918.

Killed in action, 4 July 1918.

Note on B.103, 'buried at Hamelet Communal Cemetery, P.9 A 95 65, 200 yards west of Hamel (Sh.62D SE)'.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, MATTHEWS Arthur Frederick

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