MATHERS, Chapman

Service Number: 919
Enlisted: 18 September 1914
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 15th Infantry Battalion
Born: Rous, NSW, 2 November 1885
Home Town: Rous Mill, Ballina, New South Wales
Schooling: Rous Mill Public School, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Typhus whilst a Prisoner of War, Angora, Turkey, 17 February 1917, aged 31 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery, Baghdad, Iraq
Memorials: Alstonville Public School Great War Roll of Honor, Alstonville War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Ballarat Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial, Rous Public School Great War Honor Roll, Rous Public School Old Time Pupils Roll of Honor
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World War 1 Service

18 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 919, 15th Infantry Battalion
22 Dec 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 919, 15 Infantry Battalion AMF, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '11' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Ceramic embarkation_ship_number: A40 public_note: ''
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 919, 15th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
8 Aug 1915: Imprisoned The August Offensive - Lone Pine, Suvla Bay, Sari Bair, The Nek and Hill 60 - Gallipoli, Captured at Lone Pine
17 Feb 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 919, 15th Infantry Battalion, The August Offensive - Lone Pine, Suvla Bay, Sari Bair, The Nek and Hill 60 - Gallipoli

Help us honour Chapman Mathers's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Steve Larkins

Chapman Mathers was the son of  David and Rosetta Caldwell MATHERS, 'Newark', Rous, New South Wales and brother of 2178 Pte Thomas James MATHERS, 15th Bn, killed in action, 8 August 1915.

He gave up a farm and stock in order to enlist.  He was part of the landings at ANZAC on 25 April 1915 but was wounded in action between then and the 30th April (bullet wound, left foot: slight), and evacuated by sea and admitted to 17th General Hospital, Alexandria, 30 April 1915.  He was  transferred to a Comvalescent Camp, Mustapha, 13 May 1915; discharged to duty, 18 June 1915.

He re-embarked at Alexandria, 14 July 1915 for Lemnos and transferred to ANZAC, rejoining his Battalions on 19 July 1915.

On the 6th August the Battle for Lone Pine began as part of a wider 'August Offensive'  Chapman was wounded again (and his brother killed) on the 8th August.  Chapman was captured and taken Prisoner of War.

     The Red Cross, Cairo, 20 November 1915, noted: 'Unoff. reported prisoner in Constantinople'.

He was interned initially at Afio Karahissar, moved to Pozanti; transferred from Bilemedik to Angora, where he died of typhus, Angora, 17 February 1917.

Extract from letter, 958 Trooper G.A. ROBERTS, 1st Light Horse Regiment (POW, Angora, Turkey), Red Cross File No 1730810: 'We are not allowed to attend the burial of a fellow prisoner. When they die in Hospital they are taken to a room in the Hospital and washed, and then conveyed on a stretcher to the Hospital Grave Yard and buried by Turks (Shrouds are unnecessary luxuries to these people) There are no marks to shew (sic) who is buried in certain places. We know they are English that is all.'

Base Records wrote to father,  on 3 February 1928: '... I have now to inform you that the remains of this soldier [919 C. MATHERS] were originally reported to be interred in Angora Cemetery, Asia Minor. In accordance with the [Imperial War Graves] Commission's policy of concentrating all isolated burials in in established Military Cemeteries under British control the graves in this Cemetery were removed to Baghdad. Unfortunately in the case of your son and certain other members of the Imperial and Dominion Forces, no surface markings could be traced, and it was found impossible otherwise to identify the actual places of burial of these soldiers. In the circumstances it is proposed to erect a special Kipling Memorial in the Cemetery at Baghdad bearing he names and regimental partibulars of the Fallen, together with the Following wording: TO THE MEMORY OF THESE 265 SOLDIERS AND SAILORS OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE WHO DIED AS P. OF W. AND WERE BURIED AT THE TIME IN THE CEMETERY AT ANGORA, ADA, BAZER, BOZANTI, ISLAHIE BUT WHOSE GRAVES ARE NOW LOST. "THEIR GLORY SHALL NOT BE BLOTTED OUT." It is also the intention of the Commission to erect separate permanent headstones in the Memorial Plot at Baghdad in order to give suitable expression to next of kins' wishes for the addition of personal inscriptions, etc.'

So Chapman joined the long list of Australian service men and women with no known grave.  He is commemorated on the Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour in Canberra Australia.


Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal