MATTHEWS, Charlotte Henrietta
(Service number 22/254)
|Aliases||Known as Lottie|
|First Rank||Nurse||Last Rank||Sister|
|Date||12 March 1885||Place of Birth||Opihi, Pleasant Point|
|Address at Enlistment||Waverley|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||Mrs F. O. MATTHEWS (mother), Waihike, Ngutuwera|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||New Zealand Army Nursing Service Corps|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||Hospital Ship No. 2 "Marama", 1st Voyage|
|Date||5 December 1915|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With|
|Service Medals||British War Medal; Victory Medal|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
|Date||25 April 1977||Age||92 years|
|Place of Death||Durban, South Africa|
|Memorial or Cemetery|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Charlotte Henrietta Matthews, known as Lottie, was born on 12 March 1885 at Pleasant Point (probably at Opihi) and baptised at St Albans Anglican Church, Pleasant Point. She was the second daughter of Frank Octavius Matthews, from Wales, and Elizabeth (née Collett) Matthews, of Raincliffe Station. Frank and Elizabeth, who had married in 1883, had a family of thirteen, although one daughter and one son died in infancy. Eleven of the children were born in South Canterbury. Charlotte was educated at Opihi School along with many of her siblings in the 1890s. There, in 1899, she received a Standard VII prize. Mr Matthews served on the Opihi School Committee, at some time as chairman. He was also a member of the Pleasant Point Sports Committee and the Pleasant Point Caledonian Society. At the Opihi School annual picnic and distribution of prizes in December 1905, Mrs Matthews received second prize for the “yearling class” in the judging of babies – baby Mary Priscilla Gwendolyn Matthews, the second youngest of the Matthews children and last to be born at Opihi. Lottie and her sister (Bessie?) were held in high esteem by the people of Opihi and Totara, and when they moved into Timaru in early 1906, they were presented with a gold dress ring each. Their brother Walter (known as Jack) said that the presents would remind them of the happy days spent at Opihi. About 1907 the family moved to Waihika in the North Island and subsequently to Waverley.
Charlotte Matthews did her nursing training at Masterton Hospital. In late 1915 she was selected for service abroad, for the hospital ship Maheno. In the event, in early December 1915, she joined the hospital ship Marama. The ship left on 5 December “for her long voyage across the ocean to commence her work of mercy. . . . . , bound for service in Egypt . . . . . On this voyage, C. H. Matthews was not on the staff of the Marama. Owing to the fact that the ship left two days before she was expected to do so, the nurses called up from all parts of the Dominion and only a short time in town, were not given their usual farewell party, and the badges of the Army Nursing Service were presented to them on board by Her Excellency Lady Liverpool. . . . . Some of these names have already appeared in our last issue as going in the Marama, but for various reasons a change of the personnel was made, the correct list of the nurses on the Marama being: — Staff: . . . . ; Nurses . . . . . , C. H. Matthews, . . . . . . .” By March 1916 she had reached her destination. A Kakaramea soldier, writing home to his parents late in 1916, mentioned that when he was in hospital in Egypt, recovering from his wounds, he was nursed by Sister Matthews, of Ngutuwera “who had a pleasant surprise in meeting a patient from her own district.”
The return of members of the New Zealand Army Nursing Service which was published on 1 July 1916, listed 22/254 S/Nurse Charlotte Henrietta Matthews at 27th General Hospital, Abbrassia, Cairo. In a hospital report “from Home”, in February 1917, Nurse Charlotte Henrietta Matthews (Waverley) was listed as a severe case.
The Willochra’s Draft, which left Southampton on 8 March 1919 and arrived at Wellington on 15 April 1919, brought home 1068 of all ranks, which included Sister C. H. Matthews, 22/254. The Cenotaph Database records that Sister Matthews was “Brought to the the notice of the Secreatry of State of War” on 19 August 1919 for her work at the No 2 New Zealand General Hospital at Walton-on-Thames. Back home, Sister Charlotte Matthews, N.Z. A.N.S., formerly of Masterton Hospital, was transferred to the reserve list in June 1921. Sister Matthews was in Durban by 1922. There she was kept very busy. In 1925 she wrote that she was still with the “same private case”, but she intended to return to New Zealand as soon as her patient no longer needed her. In 1926 at Durban, South Africa, Charlotte Henrietta Matthews married Tony Hugh Colinbrander. She was living at Tugela, Zululand, when she visited New Zealand in 1927. She was a guest at a gathering of sisters and ex-sisters at Hataitai on 12 March, before leaving by the “Moeraki” en route for her home in South Africa. Charlotte Henrietta Colinbrander died on 25 April 1977 at Durban, South Africa.
Two brothers of Lottie Matthews served with the Hew Zealand forces, both being killed in action in 1918 – Ernest Frank Matthews and Frederick Collett Matthews. .
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [27 May 2021]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [27 May 2021]; Temuka Leader, 30 December 1899, Timaru Herald, 19 December 1905, 13 February 1906, Dominion, 10 November 1915, Kai Tiaki: The Journal of the Nurses of New Zealand, 1 January 1916, 1 July 1916, 1 April 1919, 1 July 1922, 1 July 1925, 1 April 1927, Evening Post, 4 April 1919, 11 September 1925, Wairarapa Daily Times, 27 November 1915, Patea Mail, 3 December 1915, 10 March 1916, 22 December 1916, 28 February 1917, Wanganui Chronicle, 9 December 1915, NZ Times, 13 June 1921 (Papers Past) [18, 28 & 31 May 2021]; NZ Electoral Rolls (ancestry.com.au) [28 May 2021]
Researched and Written by
Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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