b. 24/07/1887 Hammersmith, London. d. 06/12/1917 Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
DATE OF AM ACTION: 06/12/1917 Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
The son of Frederick and Sarah Beard (nee Lunt), he was born in Hammersmith on 24th July 1887. At a young age, he emigrated to Canada, and in 1914, he enlisted at Halifax, Nova Scotia in RCNR and began to serve on HMCS Niobe.
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 their 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: LOST AT SEA – ON HALIFAX MEMORIAL, NOVA SCOTIA.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: CANADIAN WAR MUSEUM, OTTAWA, CANADA.