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Mathew Aloysius Stackpool. Image courtesy Sydney Morning Herald.

Mathew Aloysius Stackpool.
Image courtesy Sydney Morning Herald.

Mathew Aloysius Stackpool was born in Orange in 1880, the third eldest of five sons and two daughters born to Michael and Margaret Stackpool. The Leader reported that he was born in a cottage in Kite Street adjoining Orange Public School on the very day that Sir Henry Parkes laid the school’s foundation stone.

Mathew attended Orange Public School and the Patrician Brothers’ school. Following his education he operated a wood yard in Peisley Street.

Sometime after his father’s death in 1902 Mathew left Orange. He travelled extensively in Queensland, Western Australia and New Zealand, before settling in Lithgow and establishing a fuel and carrying business. The business later expanded to Katoomba, and Mathew also operated tourist coaches to Jenolan Caves. He took an active interest in Catholic affairs, and was treasurer of the Lithgow Hibernian Society.

When WWI broke out Mathew sold his coach business and volunteered for service. He embarked from Sydney in October 1914, arriving in Egypt in November. Private Stackpool was part of the first contingent of troops to land at Gallipoli; he was there for less than a week when he was killed in action. He is buried in the 4th Battalion Parade Ground Cemetery on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

On 20 June 1915 the Rev Father J Ryan of St Joseph’s Church paid tribute to Private Stackpool during the Sunday service.

In July 1917 a tree was planted on the exact location of Mathew’s birthplace at Orange Public School. It was one of 26 trees planted in honour of fallen soldiers who had attended the school.

Private Stackpool is commemorated on the Patrician Brothers’ Orange Roll of Honour, St Joseph’s Church Orange Honour Roll, the Katoomba Town Hall Honour Roll and on the World War I Roll of Honour on the southern face of the Orange Cenotaph.

In 1923 the Anzac Memorial Avenue of trees was planted along Bathurst Road to commemorate fallen WWI soldiers. A tree was planted in honour of “Pte MA Stackpool”; it was donated by the Orange Town Band. Very few of the trees are still standing today.

Leader, 19 June 1915, p. 6.
Orange Soldier Killed