The AIF Project

Arthur Frederick MATTHEWS

Regimental number722
Place of birthBristol, England
SchoolWhitehall Board School, and St George Higher Grade School, England
Age on arrival in Australia27
ReligionChurch of England
Address36 Sydney Street, Newcastle, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation31
Height5' 4"
Weight140 lbs
Next of kinFather, James Matthews, Granville House, 86 Blacksworth Road, Bristol, England
Enlistment date12 July 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name30th Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/47/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A72 Beltana on 9 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll30th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 19 July 1916
Place of death or woundingFleurbaix, France (Battle of Fromelles)
Age at death32
Age at death from cemetery records32
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsV.C. Corner (Panel No 2), Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: James and Amelia MATTHEWS, 86 Blackswarth Road, Bristol, England. Native of Redfield, Bristol
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 9 November 1915; disembarked Suez, 11 December 1915.

Embarked Alexandria to the join the British Expeditionary Force, 16 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Reported missing, 20 July 1916.

To be reported killed in action, 20 July 1916 on the evidence of Private Goodsir, 668, 15 May 1917.

Statement, Red Cross File No 1740209, 741 Pte R. RAYSMITH, 30th Bn, 28 August 1916: 'I saw them [MATTHEWS and 686 W. INGLIS] lying together wounded, about 10 on the 19th. July at Fleurbaix. Matthews was very badly wounded and was either dead or had fainted when I last saw him. He was hit all about the back and down the spine and was lying on his face.' (Note on file: 'One of the most intelligent and reliable witnesses I have met.')

Second statement, 696 Pte G. KIRKPATRICK, 30th Bn: 'Informant states at Fleurbaix, [he] saw Matthews lying on edge of a shell crater with head smashed in - dead.'

Third statement, 668 Pte J. GOODSIR, 30th Bn (patient, 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, England), 2 December 1916: 'Witness states that he was lying by the side of the above man about 8 p.m. on July 19th at Bois Grenier, Fleurbaix[,] and saw him hit in the head. The splinter entered the top of his head and came out at the chin, and must have killed him on the spot.'

Fourth statement, also by GOODSIR, 3 May 1917: 'We were lying about a yard apart and conversing when a shell burst overhead. A big piece struck the shrapnel helmet of Matthews and knocked it some distance away. The piece of shrapnel from what I could judge, was the size of a billiard ball, which entered the top of his head and came out under his chin, smashing the front part of his face. The blow killed him instantly, for he never moved again while I was alongside him, which time being about five hours.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, MATTHEWS Arthur Frederick
Red Cross file 1740209

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