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Person Details
25 Dec 1893
Alfred Henry Matthews was Christened on 16th January 1894 at St Peters Church, Nottingham the son of Alfred and Elizabeth Matthews (née Bradbury) of Pym Terrace, Pym Street, St Ann’s, Nottingham. His parents were married in 1893 in Nottingham.
08 Oct 1918
586998 - CWGC Website
1st Bn King's Royal Rifle Corps
Matthews enlisted at Nottingham and landed in France on 7th April 1915. He was buried in Rumilly-En-Cambresis Communal Cemetery Extension Grave Reference: II.B.5
Matthews described his experiences at Festubert 15th/16th May 1915 in a letter to his mother, Elizabeth published on 27th May 1915 in the Nottingham Evening Post: “MOUTH ORGAN & TESTAMENT SAVE BRITISH SOLDIER’S LIFE. “We have been through hard times just lately, and are still continuing to so,” says Rifleman A. H. Matthews, of the King's Rifles, in a letter from the front to his mother, who lives in Pym-terrace, Pym-street, Nottingham. “You will have seen the papers that the French and British have been giving the Germans beans, and I will tell you what I have been through. Just before midnight on Saturday last (May 15th) we made a great night attack on the German lines. All day Saturday our guns had been reducing the barbed wire in front of the German trenches to bits, and no doubt killing many of the enemy. Then came the charge. We captured 1200 yards of trenches and took over 200 prisoners. .Our losses were not great, compared with the Germans’. “We got within few yards of their trenches before they saw us. Then they opened fire on us. M_____, and I were in the third line, and the other two in front of us, and I am pleased to tell you all of us came safely through. M____, T____ and I came through without a scratch, but F____ got a wound in the arm. He has gone down the line, but I don't think it is serious. M_____ had a marvellous escape. He got a bullet through each breast pocket. The first buried itself in a New Testament, and the other smashed a mouth organ to bits. “On Sunday our artillery shelled the German line further on, and the Germans ran out of their trenches towards us with their hands above their heads. There were about 500 of them. Since then have captured another line trenches.” Article courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.
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