I thought I would include some stuff about one of my relatives who I only learnt about very late in life, my family are a weird lot, not very communicative and lets be honest by the time you start to get interested in your forbears a lot of the relatives that could have told you about the people you follow on from have passed away and with them their memories.
This page is a little tribute to my great uncle Jack Matthews, a man I only found out about relatively recently, my Father had sometimes spoken about the family link to Wales, he used to tell me about a Welsh relative who had a Barbers shop and who was a staunch Socialist, apparently he used to get the customers talking about politics if and their politics differed from his he would send them out of the shop half shaved, Now whether this is true or not I will never know its just one of the few things I remember my Father recounting to me.
I found out about my great uncle Jack when I was going through a box of old family photos with my Sister, I asked about one particular photo and my Sister said "Oh that's Great Uncle Jack that died in The First World War", she couldn't tell me any more than he came from Plymouth, and he had served as a Royal Welsh Fusilier.
So my Wife and me decided to do a little digging on the internet and managed to find out about a little more about Jack, and with the help of the web we came across some interesting stuff, I don't have a picture of Jack in his uniform but the picture we came across in the box of old photos is below -
We found some references to Jack in the military records that can be searched on the web, and we learned that Jack had died aged 21 years old on May 16th 1915 at the Battle of Festubert in France. The entry below is held within a booklet we looked at whilst at the the War Graves Commission site.
When we first visited it was nearly exactly a hundred years to the day when Jack had tragically died so young alongside all the other men who were Sons, Fathers, Brothers, so someone waiting at home would sadly be informed of their death and mourn the loss of a loved family member.
We called Jacks soul home while we were there and both stood under a blue sky in that quiet place crying for someone we had never met and wondered if Jack could ever have imagined someone related to him would be thinking about him 100 years later,
As we regularly go to France for Holidays we decided to visit the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site where his name is recorded which is sited at Le Touret which was only an hour or so away from where we were staying, in fact we have visited twice.
On the day we visited apart from two other people we were the only ones there, it was a hot day with a blue sky and we were impressed by how well this memorial for so many men is kept looking neat by the people who look after it, it is a credit to their hard work.