Mather, Frederick

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay

Name / Enw: Mather, Frederick

Regiment/Catrawd: Welsh Fusiliers 5th Bn

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Corporal 240541 (formerly Private 1570)

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Jerusalem Memorial

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Panels 20 to 22.

Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: Israel

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory & British Medals

Date of Death: 26th March 1917

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

Killed at Gaza, Egypt on the 26th March 1917 aged 36.

The 1891 census has the Mather/s  family living at 60, Maes-y-Dre, Mold, Flintshire. Charles Mather 43, was bilingual and a Tinman who had been born in Holywell. His wife Jane Mather 49 had been born in Liverpool, Lancashire. Their three sons were James 14, a Bricklayer’s Labourer,   William  9 and Frederick 11. All three had been born in Mold.

The 1901 census reveals that Charles had died. The family was now living at Alun Terrace, Mold, Flintshire. Mother Ann J Mather 57 was a widow.  William J  20, was a Tinplate Worker, Fred Mather 16 was a ‘Catcher’ at the Tin Mills. There was a Boarder 19, a Hair Dresser named Philip S Maddocks.

Fred was called up to serve in the First world War right at the beginning which suggests he was a reservist. There are some surviving Army Service Records that tell us he enlisted on 23rd April 1902 in Wrexham and that at that time he was already serving in ‘the militia’. He was 18 years and 10 months old. There is a description of him which says he was 5 feet 6 1/2 inches tall, weighed 123 lbs, had a chest measurement of 32and  1/2 inches. His complexion was ‘fresh’ his eyes grey and his hair light brown. His religion was Cof E. These early records tell us he spent 62 days in hospital on two separate occasions in 1904.  There seem to be no surviving records from his time in World War 1.

Frederick married Margaret Doyle on 14th August  in 1907 in Liscard,  Birkenhead.

The 1911 census sees Fred and his family  family living at No 6 Fron Road, Connah’s Quay, Flintshire.   Frederick stated on the form that they had been married 4 years and that 2 children had been born, but 1 had died.   Frederick was  29 and an ‘Ironworker Catcher’.   His wife Margaret  29 had been born in Minera, Denbighshire.  Their daughter Mabel, 12, had been born at Soughton, Flintshire.   They had 4 Boarders.

UK soldiers who died in the Great War 1914 -19, accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms the regimental information above and adds that Fred was born in Mold and enlisted for the First world War in Connah’s Quay

Frederick’s’s medal card also accessible on ancestry, records his medal details and also tells us that his first theatre of war was the Balkans and that he entered it on 8th August 1915. It is this source that gives us his previous regimental number 1570.

Frederick Mather in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the sole Legatee was his widow Margaret who was paid £3. 19s 1d for herself and children on the 26th September 1917 and his War Gratuity of £13 on the 7th November 1919. There was a recharge to the Regimental Paymaster of £1. 0s 6d on the 30th August 1917.

There is an index card for Frederick Mather in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at The County Record Office at Hawarden. (Flintshire WW1 Index Cards F43) The regimental details above are confirmed. The address given is 1, Spring Street, Connah’s Quay.  It adds that he served from 8th Aug 1914. The card says he was killed at Gaza, Egypt and ‘buried by the enemy’.The card was signed on the 24th September 1919 by Mrs Mather.

The County Herald on 22nd June 1917  listed those reported dead, wounded or missing. The list included ‘Magher 1570 Copl Connah’s Quay Royal Welsh Fusiliers’. The name is misspelled and the number is his old one but it is him.

Frederick Mather is also named on the Mold Memorial.

He is also named on the  Memorial Plaque in St.Mark’s Church, Connah’s Quay.