Matthew Alexander Bonner

#21180, b. June 1889, d. 21 March 1918

The ARRAS MEMORIAL commemorates almost 35,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand who died in the Arras sector between the spring of 1916 and 7 August 1918, the eve of the Advance to Victory, and have no known grave.

Individual's Timeline

Birth RegJune 1889Matthew Alexander Bonner1
Death21 March 1918Matthew Alexander Bonner

Primary events

  • Birth Reg: Matthew's birth was registered in the quarter ended in June 1889 in the Great Yarmouth registration district.1
  • Death: Matthew died on 21 March 1918 in France (Aged 28 years and 9 months, worked back from recorded birth date).
  • Burial: He was buried in April 1918 in Arras Memorial, Bay 2 and 3, France, Son of Thomas and Amy Bonner, of 7, Park Place, Newcastle-on-Tyne; husband of Hannah Bonner, of 17, Park Place, Newcastle-on-Tyne. Born at Yarmouth. Aged 29.

Secondary circumstances

  • Occupation: Matthew was coal miner hewer.

Census details

Some aspects of Matthew Alexander Bonner's life. The story of Matthew's last days, from Chris Baker's site The Long, Long Trail

9th Entrenching Battalion

Formed at Bailleulmont on 16 February 1918 under Lt-Col A. G. McDonald DSO. Had an original strength of 4 officers and 1342 other ranks. Men came from the 11th King's Own, 26th Northumberland Fusiliers, 12th South Wales Borderers; 2/5th South Staffordshire, 17th Welsh and 2/8th Sherwood Foresters. On 22 February marched to Arras and next day began work on defences at Tilloy. Moved by train to Fremicourt on 10 March, for work on defences on the Fremicourt-Beugny road.

When the German attack began east of this area on 21 March 1918 the battalion was out at work as usual, despite enemy shellfire "bursting all around the camp". Some casualties were incurred. At 5.30pm the battalion moved to the main Bapaume road and awaited orders; at 6.15pm it was ordered to entrain to join VI Corps Reinforcements but no train was available and the men were billeted in cellars. Next day the battalion marched to Rocquigny to entrain for Puchevillers. The train left at 4pm, going via Albert and Achiet-le-Grand. A German aeroplane bombed the train at Achiet. Arriving at Puchevillers at 3.30am on 23 March, the men then moved to Pommera where they arrived at 8.30am. A draft of the 26th Northumberland Fusiliers left to reinforce their regiment's 23rd Battalion, but it was soon recalled. A Divine Service was held at Mondicourt on 24 March, with music from the band of the 40th Division. There were no casualties from an air raid that night. By 26 March there were rumours that the enemy had now reached Souastre. Orders were received to fill a gap near Couin but on reaching Authie this was cancelled and the battalion returned to Pommera. On 29 March the battalion commenced work loading ammunition at Mondicourt. Next day the battalion entrained at Bertaucourt-les-Dames and arrived early next morning at Vignacourt. Many drafts now departed for other battalions. The much reduced battalion marched to Bruchamps on 7 April and two days later went to Gorenflos.

The diary ends on 27 April with the battalion still at Gorenflos.


  • 1914, 26140
  • 1918, France, Matthew was said to be with the Northumberland Fusiliers, 26th Battalion (Tyneside Irish), and the Commonwealth War Graves show that he was attached to the 9th Entrenching Battalion. The 26th were formerley disbanded 3es Feb 1918. He was a private

Family of Matthew Alexander Bonner and Hannah Davy


  1. Free UK BDM index from 1837, online, Name:      Matthew Alexander Bonner
    Year of Registration:      1889
    Quarter of Registration:      Apr-May-Jun
    District:      Yarmouth (1837-1924)
    County:      Norfolk
    Volume:      4b
    Page:      5.