21 August 2020

Lancelot Matthews - WWI

Following a property search, the Victorian Police recovered three WWI medals, a set of dog tags and numerous badges. Senior Constable Mikael H contacted the Directorate of Honours and Awards and Wes M referred him to me. 

The medals were awarded to 360 Lancelot Matthews who served in the 8th Battalion, AIF. This search was a bit confusing to start with as Lancelot's full name was Lancelot Vivien Matthews. The records sometimes gave the name as Vivien Lancelot or spelt Vivian. However, Lancelot never used his middle name. Lancelot was born in 1890 and was a farmer in Gippsland. He was 23 years old when he enlisted. This was the first piece of information I could find about Lancelot after WWI.

Following WWI he returned to farming and in 1928 married Edith Frances Harris. Lancelot and Edith had two daughters, Edith Ann and Judith Vera. I've added screen shots below from the Victorian BDM website which helped me unravel all the conections. Lancelot died in 1936. 'Smith's Weekly' paper published Lancelot's death in their 'Gone West' column. 

This is the probate notice published after Lancelot's death.

Edith died in 1957.

I found that Edith Ann married Kenneth Ophel. This led me to an Ophel family tree on Ancestry. The tree owner is Kerry and she was able to put me in touch with Edith and Kenneth's son, James. I've now connected James and Senior Constable Mikael. Pictures of Lancelot's medals, dog tags and all the other badges are below.

Thanks to Kerry and Wes for their part in this return. The returned medal tally is now 2515.


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