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Matthew Colquhoun was born 1887 in West Ham to Matthew and Mary, and he had three brothers and a sister. He was working as a sugar boiler in the 1911 census. Matthew married Maria Goddard in St Marks,Victoria Docks on 5th August 1911.

At the time he enlisted on 7th December 1915 he lived at 20 The Slade, Plumstead Common, London with Maria and their two children Ivy (b. 1914) and Matthew (b. 1916).

On the 3rd February 1918, Matthew embarked at Folkestone and arrived in Boulogne later that day. On the 26th of that month he joined the 1/4th Battalion in the field.

Matthew Colquhoun died from gunshot wounds two days after being shot on 9th April 1918. Maria received Matthew’s personal effects, then later his British War and Victory Medals.

  • 1 x Identity disc
  • Letters
  • 1 x Photograph
  • 1 x Knife
  • 1 x Purse
  • 1 x War Service Certificate
  • Cap badge
  • Scissors
  • Regimental brooch

This action on 9th April was on the Festubert-Givenchy line, where early in the morning the Germans were found to be heavily bombarding the whole divisional front. Unfortunately this weakened the Portuguese troops that were on the left of the Division causing them to retire, which completely exposed the 55th’s flank.

The German infantry now attacked, and owing to the thick fog that morning, they were allowed to get so close to the British that they could not be engaged until they were within 20 – 30 yards. The Germans succeeded in their objective and breeched the 164th Brigades front, and managed to overrun their headquarters, and several other key areas

Eventually a counter-attack was organised which forced the Germans back, capturing many prisoners and machine guns in the process. By the end of the day the Brigade had won back every inch of the ground they had temporarily lost.

Matthew is buried in the Lilliers Communal Cemetery.

Rank: Private
Service no: 36573
Date of Death: 11/04/1918
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 13th Bn. Attd 1st/4th Bn
Cemetery: Lilliers Communal Cemetery,  V.F. 48


Paul McCormick
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