Known as Pat to his family, Neil McLeod Matheson was the son of George Stafford Matheson and Monica Heaton (and brother of Donald Murray (71909), George Stafford (23/821) and James Alexander Matheson (3/2266), all of whom served in WW1).
When he enlisted at the beginning of the war Pat was a clerk for New Zealand Railways, and lived with his parents at 7 Oates Street in Roslyn, Dunedin. He marched into camp just a week after the outbreak of the First World War (in August 1914) and sailed soon afterwards as part of the Samoan Expeditionary Force. After that brief excursion he sailed for home in January 1915 and was soon discharged.
Pat was back in the army in October 1916. He served on the Western Front from September 1917 with the New Zealand Rifle Brigade. After just three months he died of wounds received in action in Belgium, and was buried in Lijssenthoek military cemetery near Poperinge. He was single, but left behind a sweetheart in Dunedin. She never married, and kept in touch with the Matheson family.
Fac et spera — do and hope — the Mathesons of Fourpenny. A manuscript by Monica Kidd, 1990.
Army personnel file, Archives New Zealand.
Otago Witness 30 January 1918
Headstone photo from New Zealand War Graves Project
Wellington railway station roll of honour photo by John Halpin, via Cenotaph
Dunedin railway station roll of honour photo by Andrew Matheson