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Frederick Keith Matthew was born on 9th March 1889 to Frederick William Ford Matthew and Alice. At the time of his christening at the Church of St Alban a month later the family were living at 25 Darlington Terrace, Cheetham Hill. His father was a mantle manufacturer/buyer.

When the 1901 census was taken Frederick K Matthew was twelve years old and boarding at Cambridge House school in Margate, Kent. By the time the 1911 census was taken ten years later he was back living with his parents and assisting his father in his silk making and draping business.

Frederick  married Edith (nee Crabtree) in Flyde in July 1914 and was commissioned into the 4th Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in 1915.

On 10th January 1916 he set sail for France and joined the 1/4th Battalion in the Field.

captain frederick keith matthews

Frederick Keith Matthew was promoted to Captain in August 1916 and for his actions during the Battle of the Somme in August/September 1916 he was mentioned in despatches (MiD), london gazette 4th January 1917. The recommendation for his MiD read;

“During the operations near GUILLEMONT from 2/8/16 to 7/8/16, and in DELVILLE WOOD from 9/9/16 to 12/9/16 this Officer showed great ability and devotion to duty. He took over command of men and dealt with situations in a most soldier like and able manner.”

On 2nd December 1917 he was wounded in leg during the tank advance on the Cambrai salient and was awarded the Military Cross in the 1918 New Years honours list. His citation read;

“For consistent good work and devotion to duty during the last six months. This Officer, by his energy and personal example, has raised his Company to a very high standard of efficiency and discipline. He is quick to grasp a situation and cool in an emergency; particularly was this noticeable when his Company completely defeated an attempted enemy raid north east of YPRES on the night 18/19th May, 1917.”

In December 1918, due to his injury Frederick was given a Silver War Badge numbered 45737. He asked that it be dispatched to Orrish Meres, Harboro-road, Ashton-on-Mersey.

His entry in Kelly’s Directory for 1923 noted that his address was now The Mount, Prestbury, Macclesfield, but by the time he applied for his medals in 1927 he had returned to Fishergate, Preston.

Frederick Keith Matthew died in Christchurch, Hampshire in mid-1968. He was 79 years old.

Paul McCormick
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