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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Thomas Matte

In memory of:

Private Thomas Matte

December 20, 1941


Hong Kong

Military Service


Service Number:

H/6014

Age:

17

Force:

Army

Unit:

Winnipeg Grenadiers, R.C.I.C.

Citation(s):

1939-1945 Star, Pacific Star, War Medal 1939-1945, Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp.

Additional Information


Born:

March 12, 1924
St. Boniface, Manitoba

Enlistment:

September 4, 1939
Winnipeg, Manitoba

His full name is Thomas Joseph Matte.

Son of Theodule Joseph Matte and Eva Hearn of St. Boniface, Manitoba. Theodule enlisted on April 3rd, 1916 at Morris, Manitoba, in the 222nd Overseas Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, regimental number 292301, served in Manitoba, England, fought in France with the 44th Battalion, wounded at Vimy on April 8th, 1917, while assigned to the 10th Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers, then suffered severe nervous shock from a shell shock on May 18th, 1917, transferred to the 18th Reserve Battalion on August 21st, 1917, discharged at Winnipeg, Manitoba on June 8th, 1919. He was awarded the Military Medal (MM) on December 4th, 1918, The London Gazette number 31388 on May 14th, 1919, the British War Medal, the Victory Medal.

Brother of Private Clarence Félix Matte, regimental number H-7147, 1st Battalion Winnipeg Grenadiers, who died by accidental drowning on July 30th, 1942, at 9:30 p.m. in Terrace, British Columbia.

He enlisted in the Winnipeg Grenadiers - NPAM - in 1938, was integrated into the regular forces of that battalion on September 4th, 1939, served in Manitoba, Jamaica with Y Force, Hong Kong with C Force. He had 833 days of service, including 54 overseas.

To commemorate his sacrifice, the Manitoba government named Matte Bay located on Sispuk Lake in his honor in 1995.

Commemorated on Page 37 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page. Download high resolution copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

SAI WAN MEMORIAL
Victoria, Hong Kong

Grave Reference:

Column 26.

Location:

This SAI WAN MEMORIAL honours over 2,000 men of the land forces of the British Commonwealth and Empire who died in the defence of Hong Kong during the Second World War. The SAI WAN MEMORIAL is in the form of a shelter building 24 metres long and 5.5 metres wide. It stands at the entrance to Sai Wan Bay War Cemetery, outside Victoria, the capital of Hong Kong. From the semi-circular forecourt, two wide openings lead to the interior of the building. The names are inscribed on panels of Portland stone. The dedicatory inscription reads:


1939 - 1945 The officers and men whose memory is honoured here died in the defence of Hong Kong in December 1941 and in the ensuing years of captivity and have no known grave.

The northern side of the Memorial is open and four granite piers support the copper roof. From a commanding position 305 metres above sea level, it looks out over the War Cemetery where some 1,500 men lie buried, and across the water to Mainland China - a magnificent view of sea and mountains. The Cape Collinson area has many cemeteries. Walking up this narrow one-way traffic road, one will pass the Catholic Cemetery situated on the hillside to the left of the road, and the Hong Kong Military Cemetery on the right. Sai Wan War Cemetery is about half way up Cape Collinson Road and faces the Muslim and Buddhist cemeteries. One can also get a taxi from Chai Wan Terminus and follow the same route. Alternatively, one can board a public light bus, Route No.16M, which runs from Chai Wan MTR Terminus to Stanley. En route to Stanley the minibus will pass Sai Wan War Cemetery.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

Send us your images
  • Newspaper clipping– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Attestation paper– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Circumstances of death registers– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Document– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Letter– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Letter– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Telegram– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Photo of Thomas Matte– In memory of those who served in Hong Kong during World War II and did not come home. Submitted with permission on behalf of the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association by Operation: Picture Me.
  • Photo of THOMAS MATTE– Submitted for the project, Operation Picture Me
  • Newspaper Clipping– In memory of the men and women memorialized on the pages of the Winnipeg Evening Tribune. Submitted for the project, Operation: Picture Me
  • Newspaper Clipping– Private THOMAS MATTE was reported to have been Killed in Action in the Canadian Army's 242nd overseas casualty list of the war published in the Globe and Mail on January 8, 1943.
  • Canada and the Defence of Hong Kong– Source: Veterans Affairs Canada.
  • Canadian Casuatlies in the Defence of Hong Kong– Source: Veterans Affairs Canada.
  • Memorial– Private THOMAS MATTE is one of 27 members of the Winnipeg Grenadiers, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps who are commemorated on this panel of the Sai Wan Memorial. He was one of 290 Canadian soldiers killed during the defense of Hong Kong, from December 8th to December 25th, 1941.
  • Dedicatory Inscription of the Sai Wan Memorial– Dedicatory inscription of the SAI WAN MEMORIAL.  This memorial  bears the names of more than 2,000 Commonwealth servicemen, including 228 Canadians.
  • Unknown Marker– The Sai Wan Memorial is located at the entrance of Sai Wan Cemetery.  1,505 Commonwealth casualties of the Second World War are buried or commemorated at this  cemetery, of which 444 of the burials are the remains of unidentified soldiers, including those of 107 Canadian soldiers, most of whom were killed or died of wounds during the defense of Hong Kong, which took place from December 8th to December 25th, 1941. This is one such grave marker.  There is a possibility that the remains of Private THOMAS MATTE lie beneath this grave marker.  The unidentified soldiers are commemorated at the Sai Wan Memorial.

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