People on board
James Matthews was born on the 5th of March 1896 in Greenmount, Castlebellingham, Co Louth to James Matthews and Mary Duffy. He was the second of their seven children, six of whom were alive in 1911. James Snr. was a Farm Labourer, able to read but not write, while his wife could neither read nor write. He died in January 1910 of T.B. aged forty-one. In the 1911 census Mary’s widowed mother and her thirty-five year old brother were living with her and four of her children. James, aged fifteen, was a Telegraph Messenger.
There has been only one transcript of James’s war records found and no originals. This states that his residence was Ardee, the nearest town, and that he enlisted at Dundalk in the Royal Field Artillery. There is no indication of when he enlisted or where he was posted. On the 10th of October 1918 he travelled on RMS Leinster. He was listed as ‘Shoeing Smith’ with the “B” 4th Reserve Brigade. He did not survive the sinking nor was his body recovered. His name is recorded on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton.