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Thomas Arthur Matravers

Rank: Private

Lifetime: 1888-1917

Reference: G/39293


Private Thomas Arthur Matravers

Private Thomas Arthur Matravers (G/39293) of the 2nd Battalion of The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) was killed at Bullecourt on 11 May 1917 (possibly on 13 May 1917) during the Battle of Arras which took place between 9 April 1917 and 16 May 1917. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

According to his details in UK Soldiers Who Died in the Great War, he was born in Hampton Wick and a resident of Hampton Wick when he enlisted in Guildford. He was baptised at St John the Baptist, Hampton Wick on 29 July 1888 according to the Parish Registers held by the London Metropolitan Archive. His parents were John and Eliza Matravers.

His father John is recorded in the 1881 Census as living, aged 21, with his parents (confusingly named John and Elizabeth) and his seven younger siblings and three others at a (presumably packed) house at 7 School Lane, Hampton Wick.

By the time of the 1911 census, Thomas (recorded as “Tom”), now aged 22, was living with his parents at 76 High Street, Hampton Wick, together with his sister, Alice, aged 14. His profession is given as “Laundry Workhouse Foreman”. By the time of his death, in 1917, the family had moved to 84 High Street, Hampton Wick.

According to his obituary in The Surrey Comet dated 30 June 1917, Thomas was an old boy of the Hampton Wick Endowed School. He had lived with his parents and younger sister, Alice, at 76 High St, Hampton Wick at least until 1911. However, by the time of his death in 1917 his parents had moved to 84 High St, Hampton Wick. He was his parent’s only son. By 1916, when he enlisted, he had moved to Guildford where he worked as an engineer at the Alexandra Laundry. He was sent to France in March 1917 where he was killed three months later, according to his obituary, “whilst capturing a strong German position”. He was described by his Commanding Officer as “always a cheerful and willing worker”. His date of death is given by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as 11 May 1917 which differs slightly from the date given in his obituary in The Surrey Comet of 13 May 1917.

The first phase of this Project is to gather information about the men commemorated on the Hampton Wick War Memorial who fought in the Great War, also known as World War I, WWI or the First World War.

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