Mathew Lee
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Mathew Lee

Attached is an old photograph of Hodthorpe St. Martin’s 1910 and 1911.

The player 4th from the left is Mathew Lee who played at outside left.

Is there anyone who might have the full photograph and the names of other members of the team?

Mathew enlisted with the Cheshire Regiment in November 1915 and was “Killed in Action” on 19th July 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France, and on the Whitwell War Memorial.

His widow Edith Ann Lee received a letter from WW1 trenches. The letter transcribed reads as follows:

2069, Pte J Cummings
W Coy, 16 Batt,
Cheshire Regt

19th July 1916

Dear Mrs Lee.

This is the first chance I have had to write since July 19th, when we repelled a German counter attack.

I could not write to you before, I did not have your address. As you know Matt and I was the best of chums and it is my duty to inform you how Matt died. I was not near Matt when he was killed, but a chap in his Platoon told me how it all happened. The Germans bombarded 48 hours before they attacked. We drove them back for a little while. Things were quiet again. The Germans started shelling.

One shell dropped in the trench and killed Matt and two other fellows. That happened 19th July. I have not felt the same chap since we were such good Pals. He was so popular. There is this to say, he was always brave and always did his duty as a soldier. I have told you all, he died a soldier’s death on the 19th July. Cheer up my good woman and God Bless you and your little ones.

I remain

Yours Faithfully

J Cummings


I can send you a copy of the original letter if it is of any interest to your organisation.

Mathew was the son of Henry and Charlotte Lee who are interred in St. Lawrence Church graveyard. They had 15 children and, of these, four sons and five daughters were living at the time of Henry’s death in 1940. Henry died at the home of his son, Mr. David Lee – 108 King Street, Hodthorpe.

Henry was a well known and highly respected parishioner and was a founder member and trustee of the Hodthorpe Working Men’s Club.

I hope you find this information interesting and that someone can help to identify other people in the photograph.

 Yours sincerely

Mel Holdsworth (Matt’s grandson)


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