4. James David Matthews and Jane Reeves Children

David Matthews and Jane Reeves had nine children.

Leslie William Mathews

Les was born on 11 February 1888 at Maryborough. His story is told in the next chapter.

David Reeves Matthews

Dave was born on 2 June 1890 at White Horse Reef near Amherst in Victoria.

He became Curator of Footscray Park in 1916, at the age of twenty six after serving an apprenticeship at the Alexandra Park in Ararat. At Footscray he won recognition from all over the state for his skill in landscaping and knowledge of trees. Later he designed the gardens for the Coolart homestead on the Mornington Peninsula. During the second world war he assisted the Department of Labour and National Service by advising farmers how to grow such essential commodities as flax. He retired in 1964 and went to live at Tecoma in the Dandenong Ranges where he died in 1970. [1]

Sylverton Ivy Matthews

Les & Marjorie Matthews; Ivy & Ted Cosstick - 29 October 1979Ivy was born at White Horse Reef on 10 October 1892.Sylverton Ivy Matthews at right.  Possibly 1912.  Others undientified.

She was given the unusual name of Sylverton Ivy. David's sister-in-law, Barbara (the wife of his brother William Frederick), had seen the name in a book and had named her son Mervyn Sylverton. Jane liked the name and so gave it to her daughter, although she was always known as Ivy. Ivy Matthews later married Richard Martin Cosstick, the son of James Edward Cosstick and grandson of John Cosstick of Surrey.

John Hilbert Matthews

Jack was born on 29 December 1894 at White Horse Reef.

Lt.John Hilbert Matthews Killed at Gallipoli 8 August 1915Jack had turned twenty on 29 December 1914. He enlisted in the army and was killed in the battle of Lone Pine on 8 August 1915.

A record of Jack Matthews' service reads:

2nd Lieutenant John Hilbert MATTHEWS, 14th Battalion, AIF. Born Amherst, Victoria. Single; Postal official, of 2 Lowe Street, Ararat, Victoria. Next of kin: Father; James David Matthews. Mother; Jane Matthews (nee Reeves), of same address and of 11 Geelong Road, Footscray, Melbourne, Victoria. Killed in action at Kaiajik Dere, towards Hill 971, northern Anzac, on 8 August 1915, aged 20. No Known Grave.[ ]

Ruth Irene Matthews

Ruth was born at Amherst on 6 June 1897.

During 1900 election campaigns were under way for the first Federal Parliament. Doctor Charles Carty Salmon announced that he would hold an election meeting at the Amherst Town Hall and most of the men of the district planned to attend the historic meeting. David Matthews had been out working all day and came home to find that his six year old son, Jack, and four year old daughter, Ruth, had been missing from White Horse Reef for most of the day. David immediately went into Amherst and informed those who were going to the meeting. A search party was formed and the election meeting cancelled.

In the meantime, Jack and Ruth had gone for a walk along the Bet Bet Creek bordering the Glenmona property, quite some distance from home, and had been found by the Chapman’s who then owned the property. The Bet Bet Creek had been a popular fishing and swimming place for members of the Matthews, Reeves and Marr families for many years [2].

Ruth later married Syd Bliss and then Edward Roy Cosstick.

Jean Matthews

Jean was born at Amherst on 22 September 1899.

William Basil Matthews

William Basil died aged only one year on 16 December 1902, having been born on 26 July 1901.

Wilfred James Matthews

Wilfred James Matthews was born at Ararat on 6 November 1903. He later married Violet Cumming.

Evalyn May Matthews

Evalyn (Effie) May was born on 30 September 1908. She later married Charles Smith.


1. Related by Sylverton Ivy Cosstick, 5 February 1980; Also in The Mail (Footscray Newspaper), 26 March 1964, pp.-3

2. Related by Leslie William Matthews, Tulligibeal, 20 January 1980

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