Alan James MATHER

MATHER, Alan James

Service Number: 1983
Enlisted: 12 January 1916, Served in the Inverell Light Horse for 3 years.
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 33rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Inverell, New South Wales, Australia, November 1879
Home Town: Inverell, Inverell, New South Wales
Schooling: New England Grammar School, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Grazier
Died: Killed in Action, Belgium, 8 June 1917
Cemetery: Prowse Point Cemetery
Plot III, Row C, Grave No 1AA
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Baulkham Hills William Thompson Masonic School War Memorial, Inverell & District Memorial Olympic Pool WW1 Honour Roll, Inverell Intermediate High School Roll of Honour, Inverell War Memorial, Richmond University of Western Sydney WW1 Memorial, Sydney United Grand Lodge Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

12 Jan 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 1983, 33rd Infantry Battalion, Served in the Inverell Light Horse for 3 years.
4 Sep 1916: Involvement Private, 1983, 33rd Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '17' embarkation_place: Sydney embarkation_ship: HMAT Port Sydney embarkation_ship_number: A15 public_note: ''
4 Sep 1916: Embarked Private, 1983, 33rd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Port Sydney, Sydney

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

Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From Wouter van Dijken - 08 Dec 2014

The Australian Defence Force's Honour Guard bury a Digger after 97 years in Belgium : Pte Alan James Mather (#1983) a single grazier aged 36 from Inverell (NSW), who enlisted on 12 Jan 1916 with the 33rd Infantry Battalion, 1st Australian Imperial Force, embarked on 04 Sep 1916 from Sydney aboard HMAT Port Sydney (A15) - Pte Mather was killed in action at Ploegsteert on 08 Jun 1917, and is now interred with his mates at Prowse Point Military Cemetery, Wallonie, Belgium.


Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From Australian War Memorial 

Pte Alan James MATHER

On 12 January 1916, 114 men left Inverell, New South Wales, to fight in the war. This group was christened ‘The Kurrajongs’ after the hardy evergreen native trees that dotted the district. These men were the largest group to leave a country town together for service during the First World War.

Wearing white hats and with a large banner proclaiming them “Inverell’s 100 for the New Army”, the men marched from near the corner of Rivers and Otho Streets, to the Town Hall for the official farewell by the Mayor. The mayor gave the official farewell, proclaiming “this is one of the proudest days in Inverell’s history”.

The majority of the Kurrajongs were absorbed into the 33rd Battalion AIF, known as ‘New England’s Own’, being raised in Armidale. Following their initial training, the 33rd Battalion crossed the English Channel in November 1916 and landed in France. In total, around 1200 men and women from the Inverell district served during the war. Approximately one in five did not return.

Among those Kurrajongs who did not return was Private Alan Mather. Mather was a 36 year old grazier from Ashford when he enlisted in January 1916.
Alan served in France and Belgium where he took part in the Battle of Messines and was killed in action on 8 June 1917. As he had no known grave, his name was recorded on the Menin Gate Memorial, Belgium.

In 2008, while excavating an old trench site outside of Ploegsteert, Belgium, archaeologists found remains close to the surface, surrounded by battlefield debris and personal possessions: British-pattern boots, a souvenir German helmet, Australian shoulder titles, iodine ampoules, and mess kit.

Using DNA from relatives, Mather was formally identified in 2010 and given a full military burial service at Prowse Point Military Cemetery, Belgium on 22 July 2010.