Friday, February 06, 2009

G/1974 Pte Cecil Edward Matthews, 8th Royal Sussex Regt

Chailey Parish Magazine notes in October 1914 that Cecil Matthews is serving his King and Country.  In October 1915 it adds: Matthews, L-Corpl C, 8th Royal Sussex, France 

In April 1916, the parish magazine notes that Cecil has been invalided and in November 1916 that he has been discharged.  This information is then repeated up to and including March 1917 after which there are no further references to this man.

Surviving papers in WO 364 record that Cecil attested with the Royal Sussex Regiment at Lewes on the 4th September 1914 and was subsequently given the regimental number G/1974. He served overseas between 24th July 1915 and 11th February 1916 and was discharged on 11th September 1916 as no longer physically fit for war service. His entry on the silver war badge roll confirms he was discharged as a result of wounds.

The 1901 census for England and Wales also lists a five year old Cecil E Matthews in Chailey village who is noted as the grandson of the head of the household, Janus C Smith.  The household comprised Janus C Smith (head, married, aged 36, working as a gardener), his wife Mary Ann Smith (aged 53) and three children: William C Smith (aged 21, also working as a gardener), Kate L Smith (aged 16) and Edith B Smith (aged 13).  Frank, aged eight, and born in Charlton, Kent, is noted as a nephew.  The household is completed by Cecil aged five and recorded as a grandson.
Again, this may be the same man who served with the 8th Royal Sussex Regiment and if it is, two other members of the 1901 household – William C Smith and Frank Peacock – also served during the First World War.

Medal index card courtesy of Ancestry.

No comments: