Leonard Warburton MATTERS

MATTERS, Leonard Warburton

Service Number: 271
Enlisted: 28 January 1901
Last Rank: Trooper
Last Unit: 5th South Australian Imperial Bushmen
Born: Semaphore, South Australia, 26 June 1881
Home Town: Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Journalist
Died: 30 October 1951, aged 70 years, cause of death not yet discovered, place of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials:
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Boer War Service

28 Jan 1901: Enlisted Australian and Colonial Military Forces (Boer War / Boxer Rebellion), Trooper, SN 271, 5th South Australian Imperial Bushmen

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Biography contributed by Steven Anderson

Leonard Warburton Matters was born in the district of Port Adelaide on 26 June 1881 to John Leonard Matters and Emma Alma Matters (née Warburton). Leonard enlisted for the Boer War on 28 January 1901 at the age of nineteen. He served as a Trooper (Regimental No. 271) for the 5th South Australian Imperial Bushmen for the Australian and Colonial Military Forces. Not much is currently known about the sites or nature of his military service, nor the exact date he was discharged to civilian life. The image of Leonard on a horse while on active duty was reproduced in a commemorative medallion produced by the Perth Mint in 2003 for their ‘Australians at War’ series.

Both before and after his service in the Boer War, Leonard pursued career as a journalist and writer. He travelled the world holding journalistic posts with newspapers in Australia, Argentina, California, Canada, Jamaica, Japan, China, before finally settling in England. He aligned himself closely with the political plight of the working classes and served briefly as a Member of British Parliament for Kennington between 1929 and 1931. He also wrote book length works about Jack the Ripper and the development of the Arctic trade routes in Siberia.

The fifth of ten children, he had two brothers who also enrolled in the armed forces (Keith Wylie Matters and Charles Adams Matters). He married twice – first to Emily Domela and later to Romana Kryszek. Lenore Matters (b.1911) was his only child, a product of his first marriage. Leonard was the younger brother of Muriel Matters, an Australian-born suffragist who helped women achieve the vote in Britain. In fact, he helped Muriel run her election campaign for the seat of Hastings in 1924. Leonard died of ill health at the age of 70 in his home at Much Hadham, England, in November 1951.

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