Sydney Clarence Owen Matthews

From Our Contribution

Sydney Clarence Owen Matthews
Matthews SCO.jpg
Australia's Fighting Sons of the Empire p.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 Adelaide, South Australia
Death 11 May 1915
Place of Death Shrapnel Gully, Gallipoli
Age at Enlistment 22 years, 10 months
Description 5' 9" (1.75m) tall ; 156 lbs
70.76 kg
; fair complexion ; hazel eyes ; sandy hair
Occupation Orchardist
Religion Church of Christ
Address Kelmscott, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Amy Beatrice Matthews
Military Information
Reg Number 1458
Date of Enlistment 14 Oct 1914 (Liverpool NSW)
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 4th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement, C Company / 1st Brigade, 1st Division
Date of Embarkation 2 Dec 1914 ‒ 11 Feb 1915
Ship Embarked On HMAT A48 Seang Bee
Fate Killed in Action 8:30am 11 May 1915 Shrapnel Gully trenches, Gallipoli
Monument Kelmscott War Memorial (North panel)
Kelmscott Congregational Church Honour Board
Australian War Memorial
Medals 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

War Service

Enlisted at Liverpool, New South Wales. Part of his training in Australia included a Signals course at Broadmeadows camp, Victoria.

A farewell letter written 1st May 1915 to his parents from Alexandria as he embarked for Gallipoli caused his mother to assume that he was already dead or severely wounded. Ironically she was right as he was killed on 11 May. His father received notice from a friend that he was seriously ill before 10 July, and the Army responded on 1 Aug 1915 saying that there is no report of him being a casualty. As late as in December 1915 the military authorities are suggesting that he was still doing his duty at Gallipoli, despite it appearing that his will and personal effects have been returned to Australia (Beneficiary of his will was advised that he was still alive).

One report to his parents suggest he was in Alexandria working in the 17th General Hospital. His death is not officially reported by his CO until 15 March 1916.

On his military file there is a note that contains a statement relevant to Syd's death.

"Informant (Signaller AG Blackham of 4th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcements) knew Matthews, a member of C Company, 4th Battalion, who was killed in the trenches at Shrapnel Gully about 10th or 11th May, 1915, and informant was one of the party who helped to bury him on the same day he was killed, at about 8.30am. Matthews had evidently been killed instantly..............Informant was in the Signal School with Matthews at Broadmeadows Melbourne.

His Red Cross File provides additional detail.

"About the 12th or 13th May, 1915, in the trenches at the top of Shrapnel Gulley, Matthews was observing through a porthole, when he was struck in the head by a bullet from a sniper. Informant saw him buried by Chaplain McKenzie in Shrapnel Gully. 1455 Pte L.E. Wilson.[1].

  • 4th Battalion Parade Ground Cemetery Anzac Cove CWGC
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission

In May 1916 a letter from Leah Heath now of 66 Evans street, Balmain makes claim for unpaid money as his Will beneficiary. The will gives her address at the time as Bridgewater street, Rozelle, Sydney. Leah is known to his parents as 'his young lady'.


Buried 4th BATTALION PARADE GROUND CEMETERY, ANZAC Row C, Grave 22, Son of Sydney and Amy Beatrice Matthews, of Kelmscott, Western Australia. Native of Parkside, South Australia.

  1. "Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files - Sydney Clarence Owen Matthews". Australian War Memorial. 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018. 

External Links