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Person Details
07 Nov 1885
Arnold Ernest Mathews was born on 7th November 1885 in Radford and was the son of William Matthews, an assistant chemist and the late Sarah Anne Matthews née Pitman of Hill View Rd., Thorneywood, Nottingham, England. His father was born in 1850 in Cammeringham, Lincolnshire and his mother Sarah Ann Pitman was born in 1861 in Duffield, Derbyshire, they were married in 1884 in Nottingham and went on to have 3 children , Arnold Ernest b1886 Radford, Mable b1888 Southport Lancashire and William b1897 Lenton. His mother Sarah Anne died in 1907 in Nottingham aged 47 yrs. His father went to re marry Mary Elizabeth James (b1859 Sneinton) in 1910 in Nottingham. In the 1911 census the family are living at Hill View Road, Thorneywood, Porchester, Nottingham, and are shown as William 61 yrs as assistant chemist, he is living with his second wife Mary 52 yrs and his children Arnold Ernest 23 yrs a clerk and William Ewart 14 yrs a grocers assistant. Arnold later emigrated to New Zealand and was a farmer in the Auckland area when he enlisted in the New Zealand Army in 1915.
28 Sep 1916
1463609 - CWGC Website
Lance Corporal
1st Bn Auckland Regiment New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Lance Corporal Arnold Ernest Matthews, enlisted on 11th January 1915 he served with the 1st Battalion Auckland Regiment, N.Z.E.F. On 13th June 1915 he was sent to the Dardenelles , he was wounded at Chunuk Bair on 8th August 1915 a gun shot wound to his head. He rejoined his unit on 23rd August 1915. He embarked for France on 6th April 1916 and on 23rd July 1916 was promoted to Lance Corporal. He was killed in action on 28th September 1916, his name is commemorated on Caterpillar Valley (New Zealand) Memorial.
Included on Castle Gate Congregational Church ROH printed January 1917: L-Corporal AE Matthews, NZR (Nottinghamshire Archives ref DD2325/10) In memoriam published 18th October 1916 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “MATTHEWS. – Killed in action, September 28th, Lance-Corpl. Arnold E. Matthews, New Zealand Regiment, son of William Matthews, Hill View-road, Thorneywood.” Above in memoriam courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918 The regimental history records the circumstances of his death :- “Zero hour was fixed for 2.15 p.m. on the 27th September. All was ready. The steady line moved forward across No-Man's-Land. Down came a counter-barrage. Men were falling, but there was not the least weakening. The Hun trench was near. Canterbury had no difficulty—the wire in front of them was cut—and they passed right in. Otago were shot to pieces. Auckland came fair up against uncut wire. Held up by the unexpected obstacle they were delayed, while the barrage passed on and left them. The Huns in the line manned their parapet shooting, bombing and machine-gunning. They had the Aucklanders at their mercy. Desperate efforts were made to rush in through the gaps which had been torn every here and there. The Hun machine-guns were trained on these gaps, and the attackers were mown down in heaps. All, with the exception of the desperately brave, were down in the shell-holes sniping where a chance offered, bombing where they were close enough in. One or two Lewis guns got into action, but for a moment it seemed that no impression could be made. Then Sergeant Clarke, bombing a machine-gun into silence, rushed through the gap and obtained a lodgment in the line. Captain Alexander, Lieutenant Hogg, Lieutenant Ellisdon, Francis, Tribe, Lauder, Mitchell, Whitehouse, Prendergast, Bright, Torrens and others won in, and now the tide commenced to turn. The Huns lost their nerve. Instead of instantly concentrating on the gallant few who had entered the line, they wavered. Some drew back, some commenced to run. More of the Aucklanders came in. A Hun officer tried to rally his men, but was shot dead by a lipless man lying out in one of the shell-holes. Now the enemy were running all along the line. Quickly the Lewis guns were placed on the new parapet, and the fleeing enemy mown down. Another rush forward of fifty yards or so, and the support line was carried—this with little opposition. The objective was taken — but at what a cost! Eight hundred men went over against the Gird System. When the line was taken two hundred were left. Three times 1/Auckland had charged as a battalion — once at Helles, once at Chunuk, and again over the shell-torn field of the Somme — and on every occasion they had been slaughtered by a cruel concentration of machine-gun fire. The 16th Waikato Company had been especially unfortunate in this last charge, Lieutenant Hogg and six men being all that remained. Many brave men had fallen. Captain Dineen went over, leading the first wave of the 15th Company, to fall mortally wounded half-way across. The Regiment never lost a finer officer. Enlisting at the outbreak of war, he had trained for the Royal Flying Corps, and at the last moment, when his training had been completed, was rejected for some trifling defect in vision. He at once joined the N.Z.E.F., offering to throw in his commission and serve as a private in the ranks. He was not allowed to do this, and was attached to 1/Auckland as a captain. The trench warfare at Armentières had shown him to be the very finest type of soldier, a man endowed with a splendid physical self, of great mental ability, with a will like steel and a nerve that nothing could shake; absolutely conscientious, strict, but just and very thoughtful, a man who "reverenced his conscience as his king." He was the bravest man in his company, because he was the best. Terribly wounded as he was, he continued to direct his men as the successive waves passed him. The stretcher-bearers, Porter, Forrest and other gallant men made great efforts to save him, but after three of them had fallen in the attempt they were compelled to wait. He died on the way to the Base. Padre Gavin, a man of very quiet and gentle manner, but strong in faith, a man who loved much, and so had the mastery over fear, brought up the rations when the Quartermaster was incapacitated, buried the dead under heavy fire, and showed himself most worthy of his calling. “Next day, the 28th September, the remnants of 1/Auckland were relieved and went back in reserve, a battalion of the 2/Brigade taking over the newly-won line. 2/Auckland held from near the junction of Goose Alley and the Gird System to L'Eaucourt-Abbaye road. Communication to the front was difficult until the Maoris completed Turk Lane right through. The hottest part of the Battalion sector was on the road itself, round Battalion Headquarters and the Regiment Aid Post, which were so placed that the German artillery were able to fire right across the salient into the entrances of the dug-outs. Here Canterbury, with support from 2/Auckland, carried out a second attack on Goose Alley, in which they were completely successful. A feature of the attack was the use of flame projectors to assist the advance. Many scorched Huns testified to the success of the new weapon. Very early in the morning of October 3rd, 2/Auckland were relieved by a battalion of the Rifle Brigade, and went right back, moving in comfort through the great communication sap, Turk Lane, which had been pushed forward with wonderful speed by the Maori Pioneers. The Battalion concentrated below Mametz Wood, where the cooks were waiting with stew and hot tea, and then after the hot meal marched back from the battle area to King George's Hill, Fricourt. Next day 1st Auckland were relieved from Worcester, Dorset and Seaforth trenches, in the support area, and also marched out.” Above is from Burton, O. E., “The Auckland Regiment,” pp 114-116, Whitcombe and Tombs Ltd. (Auckland) 1922. and is courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918
Remembered on