MATHESON, Alexander Donald 7/1098

The brother of Angus Matheson 44132, who was killed at Passchendaele in October 1917 — both personnel files record the same next of kin: Mrs Annie Matheson (mother), Boath, Alness, Rossshire, and the father deceased.  His uncle Murdo Matheson farmed at Ardno, Five Rivers, Southland.

Alexander was, like his brother, a shepherd, but rather than being employed by a meat company he worked for Sir George Clifford at Stoneyhurst in North Canterbury.  He joined up in early 1915 and by the middle of the year had departed for Egypt.  He served at Gallipoli and in Egypt until the end of 1918, when he was sent for furlough in England and to await his return to New Zealand.  He died in a fatal fall from a horse at Christchurch on 9 May 1919.  It seems this was before he was discharged from the army, so it constitutes a death on active service.  He was buried at Sydenham cemetery.

Alexander is also remembered on a family gravestone in Alness cemetery, Ross-shire, Scotland.  The inscription reads: “and Alexander Donald New Zealand Mounted Rifles, accidentally killed at Belfast, Christchurch, New Zealand, after serving four years in Gallipoli and Palestine, aged 35 years”.

Three sons who died on active service are commemorated — as well as Alexander, Angus who died at Passchendaele and James who was wounded in Palestine in 1917 and died as a prisoner of war.

Clan Matheson Society New Zealand newsletter July 1995

Alness cemetery