MATHESON, Roderick Ewen 9/311

Known as Bluey, and brother of Duncan James Matheson (53224).  Born in 1895 at Riverton, the son of Ewen (Hugh) Matheson and Louisa Hardman.  He joined up early and served as a lance corporal in the Otago Mounted Rifles at Gallipoli.  The book Travis VC by James Glasson records that when Dick Travis, W H Mackay and Bluey Matheson went out on patrol together one night they were possibly the first New Zealanders to use Mills bombs (hand grenades) in combat.  The book By ‘Chance’ to Victoria records that Bluey was among the last soldiers to hold the line during the evacuation of Gallipoli.

Bluey returned to Southland and worked at Te Anau and on Stewart Island.  He had a bach at Te Anau and worked in gangs harvesting fescue (grass seed), and in the off season made fenceposts.  He didn’t marry, and died in 1967 and is buried in the RSA section of the Otautau cemetery.

Source: By ‘Chance’ to Victoria: John and Elizabeth Matheson, Christopher and Ann McRae and their descendants, 1800–2001, by Mary Webb.

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