SC Arthur Frederick Matts MBE

Born in 1893 and married to Florence Beatrice Hailstone – Arthur was rewarded for his considerable efforts and bravery during the intense bombing Coventry suffered during 1940. He put himself on duty during every single air raid, commanding special constables and co-ordinating other emergency services. This was finally recognised in February 1941 when he was put forward for an MBE. The citation by his Chief Constable reads: ‘On the night of the 14th and 15th November 1940, the temporary offices of the Police Civil Defence Section were seriously damaged by an enemy H.E. Bomb during a very severe air attack on Coventry. The main building was all on fire. Commandant Matts led a party of police officers and succeeded in recovering all important documents and records, returning again to complete the task although under great danger from falling bombs and masonry, and from fire in the building, where some of the papers had actually caught alight. Throughout the period of the war, Commandant Matts has been on duty every day (except two where he was absent through illness), serving long hours without pay, and he has maintained a high standard of efficiency in the Special Constabulary by his own devotion and personal example. Everything he does is done with zeal and complete willingness to serve’. His award was announced on the 4th March 1941. Injured during another heavy air raid on the 8th April where the main Coventry police station on St. Mary Street suffered a direct hit, he succumbed to his injuries on the 9th April, having probably never received his medal.

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