Date of birth: 1877
Place of birth: Brighton, Sussex
Date of marriage: 7th August 1909
Place of marriage: Colchester, Essex
Service No.: 5259
Rank: Band Leader Sergeant
Regiment / Division: Bedfordshire Regiment
Battalion: 1st Battalion
Died: 11th December 1919 aged 42 years
Death Location: Home
Life before the War
Albert’s father was Henry Matthewman, who at the time of the Great War was living at 108 Montgomery Street, West Brighton, Sussex and shown as next of kin. Henry was born in 1851, marrying Harriet Marchant in 1873. Henry died in 1900. Harriet was born in 1850 and baptised in Brighton on 3rd February 1850 Brighton, dying in 1905.
Albert’s father Henry appeared before the Lewes Court, Sussex on at least two occasions. The first being on 17th October 1887 for attempted larceny, he was found guilty and sentenced to six weeks hard labour. He went before Lewes Court again on 2nd July 1888 for shop breaking and larceny but on this occasion found not guilty.
Albert’s siblings were:
Nellie b.1874, baptized 2nd July 1876, married Martin James Welch 1894, d.1959
Harriett b.1876, baptized 2nd July 1876
Annie Louise b.1880, married James Christopher W Gates in1897
Charles Henry b.1883 d.1969
Sarah Elizabeth b.29th November 1890 d.1971
In 1881 and 1891, the family lived in Clarendon Road, Hove, Sussex. Henry was working as a Plasterer in both census returns. In 1891, Nellie was a Servant.
By the cenus of 1901, Harriet was a widow. She, with her children, had moved to 74, Livingstone Road, Hove. Harriet was working as a Washer/Ironer, the same employment as her daughter Janice. Charles was employed as a Butcher. There was no mention of Albert, who was possibly serving abroad with the Army.
The census of 1911 shows Albert was living with his wife and daughter at 84, Lysons Road, Aldershot, Hampshire. He was serving as a Soldier as a Band Corporal.
On 7th August 1909, Albert married Rosa Ann Geer in Colchester. They had a daughter Rosa Ellen born 27th November 1910 Newhaven Sussex and Evelyn Francis Harriet born 29th April 1912 Aldershot, Hampshire.
Albert received a War Pension due to his length of service with the Army. He enlisted when he was 18 years old, attesting on 31st January 1895 in Brighton. He joined up for 7 years regular service and 5 years in the reserve service. He rose through the ranks and by 3rd March 1913, when he became Band Leader Sergeant. He continued his service during the war. As well as serving at home, he also served in India and France.
Albert died on 11th December 1919 at home from phthisis. He is buried in Newhaven Cemetery, Sussex, grave reference R. 63.
He is Remembered with Honour on the Southampton Memorial Wall.
Rosa married John W Packham in 1921 and was living at 92, Oxford Avenue, Southampton.
Albert was awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal as well as the 1914 Star, the British Service and Victory Medals.
Researched by Becky Lonergan November 2013