b. 1891 Cassalis, New South Wales. d. 24/07/1943 Granville, New South Wales.
DATE OF EM ACTION: 27/10/1924 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Matthew was born in Cassalis, NSW, Australia, in 1891, the 5th of 14 children born to Alexander and Emily Alice Campbell (nee Taylor). His father hailed from the Isle of Skye in Scotland and he emigrated to Australia, where he met Emily who hailed from Mudgee, NSW. On 8th December 1917, he married Eileen Marion Juder in Sydney, and they had tbree daughters. In 1925, Campbell was awarded the Edward Medal and the Bronze Medal of the Royal Humane Society of N.S.W. Also in 1925, he had an affair with Mrs Amy Anastasia Agnes Merchant (formerly Stevens) who had six children by her husband. In 1926, Campbell’s wife divorced her husband on the grounds of his adultery with Mrs Merchant (who died in 1929 aged 34). In 1934, Campbell married Mabel Watson (1915-1985) in Sydney. He also had a son, James, born during an affair with Amy Stevens.
On 27th October, 1924, while Campbell, together with two other men named George Lawton and William Lambking, was working in a shaft of the Northern Suburbs Ocean Outfall Sewer at Sydney, New South Wales, a hammer used in pile driving gave way and carried away the greater part of the staging about 200 feet from the bottom of the shaft on which the men were working. Both Lawton and Lambking were injured, but Campbell who was unhurt managed to hold them one in each arm until his strength was exhausted and he had to loose his hold of Lawton, who fell to the bottom and was killed. Campbell managed to retain his hold of Lambking: he succeeded in placing him in a bucket and getting him drawn to the surface. He then went down to the bottom of the shaft alone to render any help he could to Lawton but, finding him dead, placed the body in the bucket and it was brought to the surface. By this time Campbell was absolutely exhausted and he collapsed but was extricated from the shaft by other workmen who came on the scene.There is no doubt that in holding on to the two injured men while standing on a very narrow plank Campbell incurred a grave risk of falling to the bottom and of losing his life. He displayed courage of a very high order in retaining his hold of Lambking and undoubtedly saved his life.
BURIAL LOCATION: ROOKWOOD CEMETERY, SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES.
M2 sect 15 Plot 3041 (UNMARKED)
LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.