Albert Edward (Ted) Matthews

 

Albert Edward (Ted) Matthews - The Last ANZAC

Ted Matthews was born at Leichhardt, an inner suburb of Sydney, on 11 November 1896, and was only 17 when he enlisted in the First World War. He subsequently became a signals officer to the 1st Infantry Brigade, 1st Division Signals.

Just after the first ANZAC landing at Gallipoli on April 25 1915, Mr Matthews was hit in the chest by a pellet of shrapnel but survived thanks to a thick pocket-book he was carrying - a present from his mother. After Gallipoli, he went on to fight on the Western Front, participating in the remarkable feat of arms achieved by Australian forces at Villers-Bretonneux.

Like so many to have witnessed the full brutality of the First World War, Ted Matthews spoke publicly of the futility of such conflicts and regarded ANZAC Day as "... not for old diggers to remember, it's for survivors to warn the young about the dangers of romanticising war."

Ted Matthews holds a special place in Australia's history as he was the last veteran of the Gallipoli landing, which took place at what is now known as ANZAC Cove, on 25 April 1915 - ANZAC Day. He passed away in his sleep on the night of December 9, 1997, and was accorded a State Funeral in recognition of his service and special place in the Nation's history.

  • Premier of NSW - Press Pelease - State Funeral for the Last ANZAC (PDF)
  • Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet - Media Statement [Ted Matthews] (PDF)
  • A Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Albert Edward (Ted) Matthews. St Stephen's Uniting Church, 197 Macquarie Street, Sydney. (PDF)
  • A Family Tribute [delivered at the funeral service for Ted Matthews] (PDF)