Bank: Coutts & Co
Place of work: London Strand office
Died: 27 March 1918
Joseph Henry Mathews was born in Bedford in 1897, the son of James Mathews, a solicitor's clerk, and his wife Mary Agnes. He was educated at Bancroft School in Woodford Green, Essex. In June 1915 he went to work for Coutts & Co in London's Strand.
During the First World War Mathews joined the army, leaving the bank in December 1915 to serve in the 28th (Artists' Rifles) Battalion of the London Regiment. He was promoted to Corporal during training and in June 1917 transferred to the Royal Berkshire Regiment as a Second Lieutenant. Mathews was killed in action near Albert, France, on 27 March 1918, while taking part, in his Colonel's words, 'in a most gallant counter-attack'. He was 21 years old.
Mathews' Adjutant later wrote in a letter to his father that he 'had won the hearts of both officers and men', and went on to say, 'Your son, during his year with the Battalion, set a noble example of self-sacrifice at all times, and cheerfulness in time of difficulty. He led his men with great bravery and I know that the Commanding Officer had marked him down for rapid promotion'.
Joseph Mathews is commemorated on a bank war memorial at Coutts & Co, London 440 Strand.
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