What is RSL Life Care? Find out
Ted-Matthews-standing-small | RSL LifeCare - provide care and service to war veterans, retirement villages and accommodation, aged care services and assisted living
April 24, 2019

Ted Matthews, the last living ANZAC from the Gallipoli landing

On ANZAC Day we remember “the originals”, the men who fought for King and Country in the First World War – men like Ted Matthews. Ted was a resident of “The War Vets” Village at Narrabeen (now RSL ANZAC Village). He was one of the last men to be evacuated from Gallipoli in 1915 and one of the last surviving ANZACs.

Ted’s memory is upheld in the RSL LifeCare’s Remembering the War Vets publication and by Patti Page, former Manager, video below.

Ted Matthews, n180, 1st Division Signals, First World War

Resident of “The War Vets” ANZAC Village

Albert Edward Matthews (Ted) was born on the 11th of November 1896. On 29th September 1914, seven weeks after war was declared Ted signed up to fight, innocently believing that the war would be “fun”. Ted joined a signals division and sailed from his homeland on 22 December, landing at Gallipoli on 25th April, 1915.

His was a baptism of fire – struck in the chest by shrapnel on his first day on that fateful beach, surviving only because the projectile met a thick notebook in his breast pocket. “The AIF was the best infantry in the world. Mind you, we had to keep our heads down too.” Ted was one of the last soldiers evacuated from Gallipoli, under cover of darkness, on the 19th December 1915.

“He had a cranky old exterior but was lovely on the inside … once you got to know the guy. He hated politicians but hated war even more.”

Now joined with the Australian 4th Division in France and Belgium, Ted was sent to all the hottest spots. “I rode a horse for three hours then marched for nineteen to get to Villers-Bretonneux.” The actions of the Division are today memorialized at Bellenglise.

After the war Ted returned to his trade as a carpenter. He married Stella and they had two daughters. The Depression years had a much greater effect on him than the War, “I only had myself to look after in the War. I had a family in the Depression”. He would walk from his home in Belmore to Circular Quay to register for work, then to Railway Square to collect food parcels twice weekly, a distance of over twenty kilometres.

Later in life Ted moved to the United States to live with his daughter and her family. But as one of his nurses, Patti Page, said “He wanted to come home, he wanted to die at home. So they packed him up and came back. Ted was quite reserved. I can see him in the room now … he was a real dinky die Aussie. All the men loved him, they warmed to him straight away.”

Ted’s Welfare Officer in the Village, John Cameron, says “He had a cranky old exterior but was lovely on the inside … once you got to know the guy. He hated politicians but hated war even more.”

When Ted turned 100 he was the last living ANZAC from the Gallipoli landing. He died peacefully in his sleep, 9th December 1997, aged 101.

As written by Daniel Nemtsev and Matthew Howard, Year 10 students, Pittwater House School

Blog Posts

Help for Vets in Need

Veterans’ Services

Find out more

Latest News

array(2) { [0]=> int(175) [1]=> int(41) }

The Incredible Journey of John Currie: A Life Anchored in Service​

"I was born in Western Australia as an only child to a family with proud Scottish heritage. Growing up, my roots lay in the Methodist church,...

Read more
Grace Lane

Embracing Life’s Symphony: Grace Lane’s Remarkable Journey

"Life at RSL LifeCare has been a surprising adventure for me. When I first arrived, my plan was simple - to do absolutely nothing. Little...

Read more

Peter Boughton: A Life of Service and Treasured Memories

Peter Boughton was born on February 18, 1951, at the Sydney Women's Hospital. His early years were filled with beautiful memories, especially his close bond...

Read more
Queanbeyan VWC Announcement

RSL LifeCare receives $5.445 million in funding to deliver a new Veteran Wellbeing Hub in Queanbeyan

RSL LifeCare, in partnership with RSL NSW, will receive a $5.445 million grant from the Federal Government to develop a Veterans’ and Families’ Hub in...

Read more

Jacquie’s 16 Years of Heartfelt Volunteering at RSL LifeCare

"I'm Jacquie, short for Jacquelyn Finley. I'm 76 years old, and I've been a volunteer at RSL LifeCare John Goodlet Manor for nearly 16 years now.​ You...

Read more

Margaret’s Journey: From Humble Beginnings to Cherished Community Life​

"I was born in the lively neighbourhood of Willoughby and soon moved to Balgowlah Heights at the age of five. Growing up in a bustling...

Read more
Joan Herringe

Joan’s Creative Pursuits: Knitting, Puzzles, and Cherished Moments at RSL LifeCare​

Many residents at RSL LifeCare love to participate in a variety of hobbies that keep their minds and hearts engaged. One such resident is Joan Herringe from RSL LifeCare Connie Fall. One...

Read more

Positive impact of Intergenerational Relationships

The power of intergenerational relationships has been demonstrated on ABC's Old People's Home for Teenagers, featuring residents from RSL LifeCare's Le Hamel Retirement Village and students...

Read more
Veteran Wellbeing Centre community event

RSL LifeCare secures $1.7 million funding to establish Central Coast Veteran and Family Hub and $243,000 for a centre at Bardia Barracks

RSL LifeCare has received $1.7 million in funding from the Albanese Government’s Veteran Wellbeing Grants One-Off Program to establish a veteran and family hub-like experience...

Read more

RSL LifeCare awarded $520,341 in government funding to enhance Veteran wellbeing services in Riverina

RSL LifeCare has secured $520,341 in funding from the Albanese Government’s Veterans Wellbeing Grants One-Off program that will be used to expand its services and...

Read more

George Carpenter’s Inspiring Dedication to Preserving Military History

George Carpenter, an 87 year old resident of RSL ANZAC Village in Narrabeen, has been volunteering at the RSL LifeCare War Museum for three years...

Read more

RSL LifeCare Nowra Community Unveils Visionary Expansion, Elevating Retirement Living to New Heights

RSL LifeCare has today announced Stage 2 release of its Dumaresq Retirement Village at RSL LifeCare Nowra Community. The expansion brings an array of new...

Read more

Download a brochure

We'll never share your email address and you can opt out at any time, we promise

Career Application Single

  • Accepted file types: docx, doc, pdf, Max. file size: 50 MB.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Contact Veteran Services

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Are you ready to explore a new operations role with extra benefits?

Take your career in a new direction RSL LifeCare.

Search for an operations role at an RSL LifeCare Residential Aged Care facility in the Southern NSW region. Take a look at all our current positions here.

1. 100% funding on participating certifications

Undertake a participating certification through the RSL LifeCare Earn and Learn Incentive Program1 and you could be eligible to have your learning fully funded.

2. Cash bonus of up to $1000 (less income tax).

Through the RSL LifeCare Sign-on Bonus, you could be eligible for two split payments of $500 (less income tax), when you start a new role with us.

Contact Homes for Heroes today