b. 08/02/1876 Gillingham, Kent. d. 06/12/1917 Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
DATE OF AM ACTION: 06/12/1917 Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Albert was one of five children born to John and Ann Mattison (nee Bennett). There were also 5 half-siblings from his father’s first marriage. Tragically, his mother died when he was 8 and his father when he was 11. In February 1891, Albert enlisted with the Royal Navy, as a 15 year old boy cadet. On 29th September 1898 at St Mary’s, Chatham, Kent, he married Annie Alice Abrahams and they had 12 children, though sadly four of them died before their 1st birthdays. In 1907, the family emigrated to Canada and settled in Toronto. Albert and Annie’s last child Patricia was born only three months before his death.
On the 6th December, 1917, the French Steamer ” Mont Blanc,” with a cargo of high explosives, and the Norwegian Steamer ” Imo” were in collision in Halifax Harbour. Fire broke out on the ” Mont Blanc ” immediately after the collision, and the flames very quickly rose to a height of over 100 feet. The crew abandoned their ship and pulled towards the shore. The commanding officer of H.M.C.S. ” Niobe,” which was lying in the harbour, on perceiving what had happened, sent away a steam boat to see what could be done. Mr. Mattison and six men of the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve volunteered to form the crew of this boat, but just as the boat got alongside the ” Mont Blanc ” the ship blew up, and Mr. Mattison and the whole boat’s crew lost their lives. The boat’s crew were fully aware of the desperate nature of the work they were engaged on, and .by their gallantry and devotion to duty they sacrificed their lives in the endeavour to save the lives of others.
BURIAL LOCATION: BODY LOST.
ON HALIFAX MEMORIAL, HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA. PANEL 1.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: CANADIAN WAR MUSEUM, OTTAWA, CANADA.