a family story

John Roxborogh

Ernest Robert Matthews

Ernest arrived in New Zealand at 16. According to Doug he left Plymouth for Dunedin on the DORIC 3 November 1894.

The family name German until WWI when he and his brother took their mothers maiden name. March is the month of birth on birth certificate.

He was wounded on Somme and Ypres and in hospital in Plymouth when the War ended. Gas and Pneumonia. He was discharged in England as not considered fit to survive voyage to NZ in troopship.

Ernest returned to NZ via USA visited Grand Canyon. Cousin Matthews from the USA used to drive nails through timber in publs with the palm of his hand for bit till one day it came through his hand and had to be removed by a doctor.

Worked at Churchill over Waikato river from Rangiriri milk cows made cheese and took . . . across the river in Maori dug out canoe. Learnt to paddle canoe on one side and in a straight line.

His discharge from the Army includes the following information:

5’ 7” tall
Blue eyes
Brown hair
Complexion dark
Gunshot wound left shoulder in France 8.6.17
Gunshot wound left shoulder france 27.8.18
2 gold stripes
Conduct and character very good
Total service 2 years 282 days: 2 years 169 days overseas and 113 days at home
Birthday 27.2.1878