Five Matthew Brothers Go to War

The Five Matthews Brothers sons of George Matthews & Emma (nee Frost)

Harry was the eldest brother  born in 1883 in Wath.  In 1891 the family were lodging with their In-Laws, Henry and Ann Frost at Midland Terrace, Wath on Dearne.  In 1901 the family were still living in Midland Terrace but now without the grandparents, Harry at this time was a Bricklayer’s  Labourer.  When Harry was 18  he joined the regular army 6 March 1900 3rd York & Lancaster Regt  but on the 3rd May, 1900 he deserted until 23rd May 1903  and stood trial.  Whilst in the army he served in Dublin, South Africa, Mauritius and India.  After serving his time Harry was  transferred to Army Reserves on the 21st April, 1911.  In the 1911 census Harry was living back home in Midland Terrace and was working in the pit.

Harry was mobilized on the 5th August, 1914 in the Northumberland Fusiliers (Service No. 6607)  serving in France .  Harry had a very chequered career  again being Absent without Leave on 11th August until the 13th September, 1916 and again on the 29th September until the 13th November 1916, also being charged with Deficiency of Kit.    Then Harry redeemed himself as he was promoted to Sargeant  for “good Services in the field”  on 12th September, 1917.  But yet again Harry went AWL, his punishment was he was reduced in rank and stoppages of pay until he has made good his deficiencies (31st December, 1918).

Harry  received a gunshot wound to his hand resulting in an amputated finger he was transferred to the Northern General Hospital (?) on 4th March, 1918 until the 13th April, 1918 then later on 22nd November until 7th December 1918 he was in Sunderland Hospital for Influenza.

He left the army in 1920.

Harry  married Charlotte Limer in 1911 in Wath but unfortunately she died shortly after childbirth with their first child who also sadly died, he did not remarry.

In 1939 he was recorded as a Labourer possibly with the council.

Harry died 14 July 1956 in Wath.

George born 18th April 1888 in Wath  In 1911 he was a Trammer  at Wath Colliery and  before the war  married  Hilda Wilhemina in Wath.

George joined  the York & Lancs Regt. (Pte 14984 ) before enlisting on 4th September 1914 as  Able Seaman in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve with the Anson Batln.

He received a bullet wound to the left thumb whilst on action in the Dardanelles.  While on board HMS Swiftsure he was sentenced 14 in the cells for drunkeness.  In November 1915 he was in hospital in Malta, re-joined his batln on 19 March 1916.  In May 1916 George was transferred to France.  Sadly George was reported missing, then  later reported killed in action on 26th October 1917.

He is listed on the War Memorial Wath and commemorated in the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Samuel born 2nd February 1890 in Bradford and in 1911 had the same occupation as his brother George, a Trammer at the pit.

On 12th May 1913 Sam married Marion Dean in Wath.

He enlisted with the  KOYLI on 10th September, 1914, then on the 6th January, 1915 he joined the Royal Navel Division, Drake Batln.  and fought in the Dardanelles  stationed at Hadra Camp.  Sam was taken ill and  transferred to Alexandria Hospital Egypt , being discharged to duty on 19th November,  1915 but in December he was back in the same hospital with jaundice then in January 1916 he was back on duty to Hadra Camp, later transferred to France in 1917.

Sam also became ill with Influenza and was returned to England in November, 1918.    He was demobbed on 20th January 1919 at Clipstone and returned to mining in Wath.

Sam died 4th September 1970.

Ernest  was born 16th February 1892 in Wath.

In 1911 he worked as a Pony Driver at the pit.  Out of the five brothers, Ernest is the least known, he joined  up on the 10th November,  1914 in the Yorkshire Light Infantry Defence Corp. (Pte 69686, Royal Defence Corp. Pte 61401)

Sometime during the action he was injured losing an eye, which led to him being discharged on  26th March, 1918.

After being discharged Ernest  was an Iron Foundry Worker in Derbyshire and possibly worked for Rolls Royce.

Ernest died in 1970.

William born 30th March 1896 in Wath – the youngest of the five brothers.

In 1911 William was living with his brother-in-law, Harry Webb who had married William’s sister Lucy they were living at 24 Midland Terrace, Wath.  William was a Coke Oven Labourer.  He enlisted on 3rd November,  1914 with the  York & Lancaster  Regmt   William saw action in France  and in January  1917 was blown up by a shell whilst going up to the trenches and was unconscious. William was taken to the Canadian hospital at Doulon and remained in hospital  for five weeks.  He suffered loss of speech, tremors and sleeplessness.  Following this William  received light duties for six weeks only to  returned to hospital  with headaches and tremors (shellshock) he was  then transferred back to England in April 1917.  William was  discharged as permanently unfit on the 17th October 1917 at  the war Hospital in Bradford.

William although never fully recovered,  return to work on the pit top in Wath as a shunter.

He married Margaret Peperoni in Wath on 12th April 1921.

William died on the 17th  September 1963 in Bolton on Dearne.

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