The centenary of the First World War is under way, and the prime ministers of New Zealand and Australia have this week been in Albany, Western Australia, marking 100 years since the first time troops of our two countries joined together to go to war. Of the 8,500 men who sailed away in that first convoy of troops, four were named Matheson or Mathieson. In total 81 New Zealanders named Matheson (or a variant) served overseas in that conflict.
I’ve looked at the records of each of them and summarised their stories in this article. It make sobering reading, with more than half of those who joined up either killed or wounded so seriously they weren’t fit for service. No-one came through unscathed.