Melbourne Hubert Randolph Matthews

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Melbourne Hubert Randolph Matthews
Matthews MHR 1.jpg
Matthews MHR.jpg
Aust Fighting Sons of the Empire - Page 216
Personal Information
Date of Birth unknown
"unknown" contains an extrinsic dash or other characters that are invalid for a date interpretation.
Place of Birth Parkside, Adelaide, South Australia
Death 1955 Sep Qtr
Place of Death Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England
Age at Enlistment 20 years, 8 months
Description 5' 7" (1.70m) tall ; 109 lbs
49.442 kg
; dark complexion ; grey eyes ; dark brown hair
Occupation Clerk
Religion Church of Christ
Address Kelmscott, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Sidney Matthews
Military Information
Reg Number 3903
Date of Enlistment 20 Aug 1915
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 11th Battalion, 12th Reinforcement, A Company / 3rd Brigade, 1st Division
Date of Embarkation 22 Nov 1915 ‒ 14 Dec 1915
Ship Embarked On RMS Mongolia
Date of Return 9 Feb 1919 ‒ 24 Mar 1919
Ship Returned On HMAT A11 Ascanius
Fate Missing in Action, later Prisoner of War 16 Apr 1917 Louverval
Repatriated to UK 15 Dec 1918
Returned to Australia
Monument Kelmscott War Memorial (North panel)
Kelmscott Congregational Church Honour Board
The Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial Ballarat, Victoria
Medals 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

Mother was Emma Beatrice 6 Jul 1917

War Service

During his initial training at Blackboy Hill camp he received specialist training as a signaler. On arrival in Egypt he spent time with the Training Battalion, before being taken on strength by the 11th Battalion at Habieta, a base 12 miles (20 kilometers) east of the Suez Canal on 2 Mar 1916. He was posted to 'A' Company. Along with the rest of the battalion he boarded a train for Alexandria where on 30 Mar 1916 they boarded the HMT Corsican for Marseilles. The 11th Battalion arrived in France on 5 Apr 1916 and they were transported by train to Fletre (about 10 km east of Hazebrouck).

The Battalion War Diary gives no indication of actions on the 16 Apr 1917 that would have resulted in his capture by the Germans, but his individual record states that he was captured at Fleuricourt. There was an action 24 hours earlier where a piquet of 'A' Company was surrounded by the enemy, and when out of ammunition they had charged a large group of the enemy with their bayonets. It is likely that Matthews (a member of 'A' Coy) was captured at that point.

Initially interned at Kriegsgefangenenlager, Limburg, Germany, and transferred to Friedrichsfeld in Oct 1917. A letter dated 27 Jan 1918 has Melbourne interned at Altdamm. There is an erroneous entry in his Red Cross File relating to his burial on 18 Apr 1917. [1]. Repatriated to Ripon in the UK on 15 Dec 1918 despite an entry in his Red Cross files by a member of the 10th Battalion that speaks of him being buried on 18 April 1917. On arrival back in Australia, Melbourne was discharged by the 5th Military District on 17 May 1919.

Casualty List 299 includes M.H.R. Mathews of Kelmscott as Missing.[2]

In the same paper is the following entry "Mr. And Mrs. S. Matthews, Kelmscott, have been notified that their son, Private Hubert Matthews, has been reported missing since April 16.[3]

Post War

During 1923 in Melbourne he married Irene Pearl McLean. Electoral Roll entries - 1923 with Pearl at Francis street, Mt Lawley with MHR working as a secretary; In 1931 - 37 they have moved to 49 Woodville street, Balkatta, and by 1936 to Stanley street, Nedlands (clerk).


It would appear that his mother Emma Beatrice Matthews was placed on a pension of 25/- per fortnight at some point after he was declared to be missing. It was cancelled from 6 Jul 1917 when it became known he was captured.

  1. "Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files - Melbourne Hubert Randolph Matthews". Australian War Memorial. 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018. 
  2. "WAR CASUALTIES.". The West Australian. XXXIII, (4,720). Western Australia. 19 May 1917. p. 7. Retrieved 25 July 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  3. "WAR CASUALTIES.". The West Australian. XXXIII, (4,720). Western Australia. 19 May 1917. p. 7. Retrieved 25 July 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 

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