Private Matthew Lowther


Matthew Lowther was born on 27 January 1895 in Monk-Hesleden, County Durham, the sixth or seventh of eleven children of labourer Matthew Lowther and his wife Dorothy Ellen (née Martindale). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Bog Villa, Hutton Henry near Castle Eden, County Durham, with his parents and six of his eight surviving siblings, and working as a labourer in a quarry.

Lowther enlisted in the Dragoons of the Line in early January 1915 (No.21106). Posted to the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons, he embarked for France in 1916 or the first half of 1917, possibly at the end of June 1916, having been posted to the headquarters establishment of the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment following the formation of that regiment in France from C and F Squadrons and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron. The headquarters, formed in England and comprising 40 officers and men, joined the new regiment in France at the beginning of July. (It is possible, however, that he did not join the regiment until later, for on 13 September 1916 he married Rose Marion Pink at Monk-Helseden.)

The 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment served as corps cavalry to X Corps until August-September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and its men were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Lowther, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. Lowther was issued regimental number 41382.

Lowther was wounded during the Battle of Cambrai, probably in the fighting for the village of Moeuvres on 22 and 23 November 1917. Nothing more has been discovered about his military service during the remainder of the war.

Following his discharge, Lowther returned to Castle Eden. The 1939 Register shows him living there at 14 The Foundry and working as a road foreman. He died at that address on 8 February 1971.