James Robert MATTHEWS
Rank: Private
Number: 10668
Unit: 8th Battalion CHESHIRE Regiment
Date of Death: 19 August 1915
Age: 22
Cemetery: Helles Memorial, Turkey

James was born in Stockport, the son of George and Annie, 61 Bann Street, King Street West. Nothing else is known of his personal life, but his service number indicates he volunteered for the army in August 1914 - within days of war being declared on the 4th.

After training, the 8th Cheshires embarked for Gallipoli on 26th June 1915. Once landed, the troops were subjected to constant sniper and artillery fire. On 15 August, Walter and his comrades were in positions at Chailak Ridge where, over the next few days, they dug trenches and constructed other defences. The Battalion's War Diary makes no specific reference to the day Walter was killed. As a record of the tour of duty, the Diary notes that the Battalion's snipers "did good work during this period". But it also mentions that "Enemy snipers caused some casualties here to the Battalion".

James is noted in Regimental records, published after the War, as having died from wounds received. It cannot be known for certain what happened, but it seems very likely that he was shot by the Turkish sniper. He would have been evacuated from the front line to a field hospital at the beach head. It is possible that he died here and the location of his grave was lost after the British withdrew from the Gallipoli Peninsula in January 1916. It is also possible that he was in the process of being evacuated in a hospital ship and died and was buried at sea. Either situation would account for the fact that he has no known grave and is commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing.

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