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Governor Matthews

Headstone, Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery, Egypt (photo B. Coutts, 2009) - This image may be subject to copyright

Headstone, Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery, Egypt (photo B. Coutts, 2009) - This image may be subject to …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Governor AWMM
  • Surname
    Matthews AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    7233 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    1 March 1905 AWMM PuketerakiOtago AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Unknown AWMM 77 Carson Street, Mornington, Dunedin, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs M. Matthews (mother), Karitane, Dunedin, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Unknown AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    7233 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Military Medal (MM) AWMM
      30 December 1941 AWMM
      "For courage and initiative. In every action that the battalion has taken part in, this soldier has showed courage and initiative in destroying enemy with rifle, mortar and sub-machine gun/ Though wounded in the arm at Maleme, he continued in the thick of every fight till the withdrawal; this included two or three bayonet rushes. At Suda Bay in one ditch, Pte. Matthews killed ten of the enemy with his sub-machine gun. (London Gazette 30/12/1941) The National Archives. Recommendation for Award for Governor, Matthews. (Ref. WO 373/27/493). Military Medal. 30 Dec 1941" AWMM
    • War Medal 1939-1945 AWMM
    • New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    Killed on Active Service, Cause of Death AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Governer Matthews was the son of Hoani and Makaretta Rutha Matthews, of Karitane, Otago, New Zealand.

    Corporal G. Matthews, MM; born Puketeraki, 1 Mar 1905; carpenter; killed in action 23 Nov 1941. (Source: Cody, J.F. 28 Maori Battalion. p.64.)

    'There was still some sporadic fire across the Mavroneri Gorge when D Company prepared to withdraw. Word was passed from man to man, mostly in Maori, to close in on the right and the platoons gathered at Company Headquarters. With the driving rain and complete darkness this took some time, and when at 8 p.m. the company was due to withdraw Lieutenant Logan had not arrived with 17 Platoon. It was nearly half an hour later before he reported with the information that Corporal Wipiti's section was missing.

    The platoon had concentrated around the reserve section and a runner was sent to inform Corporal Wipiti. He returned to say he had not been able to find them in the darkness but had called out and got a reply and had delivered the message. After waiting some time without any appearance of the section, it was assumed that it had moved up a track that had led from behind the section through the reserve platoon area to Company Headquarters. It was not there and yells of ‘E Wipiti! Haere mai!’ were unanswered. It was almost an hour behind time when D Company, with Corporals Matthews and Tainui in the rear, Spraying the darkness with Bren bursts, climbed up the ridge in Indian file.

    A Company's move out was unmolested, but on account of the darkness and rain and boggy track it was about midnight before the last of the men was through B Company's area, from where it will be remembered there was a track up to Battalion Headquarters. Captain Leaf was a tower of strength right through the night. He was a man of powerful physique and he heartened the men with jokes, helped those who slipped and fell to regain the track, and on occasion threatened dire punishment to any who showed signs of panic. Major Bertrand and Sergeant Vercoe checked the last of A Company through and then followed behind B Company.' (Source: Cody, J.F. 28 Maori Battalion. p. 64.) AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    23 November 1941 AWMM
    Age 36 AWMM
    Western DesertNorth Africa AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery, Egypt AWMM 16. E. 5. AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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