The AIF Project

Alan James MATHER

Regimental number1983
Place of birthInverell, New South Wales
SchoolNew England Grammar School, Armidale, New South Wales
AddressInverell, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation36
Height5' 8"
Weight154 lbs
Next of kinFather, Thomas Mather, Inverell, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in the Inverell Light Horse for 3 years.
Enlistment date12 January 1916
Place of enlistmentInverell, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name33rd Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/50/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A15 Port Sydney on 4 September 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll33rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 8 June 1917
Place of death or woundingMessines, Belgium
Age at death37
Age at death from cemetery records37
Place of burialProwse Point Military Cemetery (Plot III, Row C, Grave No 1AA), nr Ieper, Belgium
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Mary Ann and the late Thomas MATHER. Native of Inverell, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 4 September 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 29 October 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 20 December 1916; taken on strength, 33rd Bn, in the field, 26 January 1917.

Killed in action, 8 June 1917.

Note, Red Cross File No 1730808: 'No trace Germany[.] cert. by Capt. Mills. 10.10.19.'

Statement, 1227 Pte A.H. PITKIN, 33rd Bn (patient, No 1 Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, England), 28 August 1917: Messines he was blown to pieces by shell when in the trenches. I was right alongside of him when knocked.'

Second statement, 1924 Pte H.J. TAYLOR, D Company, 33rd Bn (patient, No 3 Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, England), 20 September 1917: 'I saw him killed at Messines. He was caught by a shell which hit him in the head, killing him instantly. I do not know place of burial as I was wounded the same morning and I cannot refer to anyone.'

Third statement, 2371 Pte O.L. OBERG, D Company, 33rd Bn, 28 September 1917: 'I saw Mather lying dead in No Man's Land at Plug St., (sic) Wood, on June 7th. He had been badly hit in the head with a shell. I examined him, and made quite sure he was dead. Cannot say if he was buried, as I left the battalion myself the same day, being wounded.'

Fourth statement, 1963 Pte J.J. ROSS, A Company, 33rd Bn (patient, Military Hospital, Devonport, England), 5 November 1917: 'I was told by Pte Ginger that he had buried Allan Mather after the advance at Messines on the field and that he had been killed instantaneously by a piece of shell.'

Fifth statement, 1142 Pte W.L. HADKINS, 33rd Bn, 7 December 1917: 'He was killed in the Messines advance on the morning of June 7th, but as to the correct place of his burial I am not certain but I might state that the majority of the boys of the 33rd Battn. killed in the Messines fight were buried at a place known as Dead Horse Corner situated on the edge of Ploegsteert Wood and St. Ives Avenue and from the above you may locate his grave.'

Sixth statement, 2371 Pte O.L. OBERG, D Company, 33rd Bn (patient, No 4 Australian General Hospital, Randwick), 8 January 1918: 'He was killed at Ploegsteert near Messines on 7/6/17 and I saw his dead body in No Mans (sic) Land not far from that of 1078 Bacon W.H. I am certain it was on the first day of the attack. Mather had been killed outright I could tell. I passed within two yards of his body which was almost on the edge of a shell hole and I am certain it was he. I was wounded in the advance on the same day and do not know where he was buried.'

Formerly listed as 'No known grave' and commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial (Panel No 23), Ieper, Belgium; positively identified in 2010, and buried at Prowse Point Military Cemetery, Belgium, 22 July 2010.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, MATHER Alan James
Red Cross File No 1730808

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