Matthew Henry Stead was born at Kirkdale on the 1st October 1894, the son of Matthew Henry Stead and Ellen (nee Johnson) who were married in 1892 in the Toxteth Park Registration district.
 
1901 Census - 84 Antonio Street, Bootle cum Linacre - Parents Matthew Henry and Ellen with children Matthew H and Albert. 
 
1911 Census - 240 Gloucester Road, Bootle - Parents Matthew Henry and Ellen (Married 19 years with 4 children born and 2 still alive) and Matthew Henry and Albert.
 
Matthew Henry junior was a stores clerk in 1911. His father was a foreman mason at the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board and was born at Welshpool, Wales. His wife was a native of Liverpool.
 
His service records have survived. They show that Matthew enlisted on the 10th November 1914 at Liverpool aged 20 years 1 month. He was a clerk, 5ft 7 inches tall and weighed 108lbs with a 34inch chest, fresh complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. His religion was C of E.
 
He was killed in action on the 18th October 1916.
 
A report on his death appeared in the Bootle Times on the 3rd November 1916. His photo appeared in the report and is reproduced here with the kind permission of the Liverpool Daily Post & Echo.
 
DEPUTY ORGANIST OF CHRIST CHURCH.
LANCE-CORPORAL HARRY STEAD KILLED IN ACTION.
   The sympathy of a wide circle of friends in Bootle will we extended to Mr. and Mrs. M.H. Stead, of 240, Gloucester-road, in the bereavement they have suffered by the death of their eldest son, Lance-Corporal Matthew Henry Stead, K.L.R., who was killed in action.
   A career full of promise was before the young soldier, when shortly after the outbreak of war he decided that it was his duty to offer himself for service. He voluntarily resigned his position in the stores office of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, although at that time no arrangements had been formulated as to reinstatement or salary allowances in the case of men joining the army. On the first occasion that Harry - as he was affectionately known to his friends - offered himself for enlistment, he was rejected owing to his chest measurement being half-an-inch under the required standard. He then went in for a course of physical exercises, and in November, 1914, again presented himself. This time he was successful, and a year later was drafted to France. He had gone through numerous engagements, and had seen many of his friends fall on the field of battle, but himself came through unscathed, until early this week the parents received a letter from his officer and another from a comrade conveying the sorrowful news that, a gallant soldier to the end, he had made the ultimate sacrifice.
   Matthew Henry Stead was 22 years of age on October 1st. He was educated at Bedford-road school, Bootle, and at Beaumaris Grammar School, and subsequently entered the service of the Dock Board. He was an able and painstaking young man, and enjoyed the confidence and esteem of his superiors. A devoted student of music, he studied under Mr. Frank Dibb, Mus. Bac., F.R.C.O., and his exceptional ability led to his appointment as deputy-organist of Christ Church, Bootle. All who knew the late Lance-corporal Stead, and especially the congregation of Christ Church, will join in offering their sincere condolence to the parents who have lost so gallant and promising a son.
   Lieut. Fox has written to Mr. Stead as follows:- "Will you please tell his mother how much I miss him. He always did his job, and was one of the coolest men in the company under fire. Please accept the sympathy of myself and the other officers of the company."
   A comrade, Corporal H. Pugh, wrote:- "As one who was present, and also an old school chum of Harry's,  I thought you would like to know the circumstances of his death. I can assure you it was instantaneous, and that he suffered no pain whatever. At the time the platoon was standing to under heavy shell fire, expecting a counter-attack by the Germans. Harry was struck by a piece of shell, and died doing his duty as a true British soldier. We buried him as the first opportunity in a soldier's grave on the battlefield. As a soldier and a non-commissioned officer, he always turned out smart and clean, and did his work well without hesitation or fear, liked by officers and the rank-and-file and all who knew him in the course of duty. As a man and a chum he was a true friend, and though out-spoken would never willingly give pain to anyone. I think it will please you to know that Harry was always glad of the opportunity to attend church parade, and whenever discussion arose he was never afraid to express his own opinion and belief. He very often mentioned Mr. Dibb to me, and I should like you to let Mr. Dibb know the circumstances."

Bootle Times 3rd November 1916

 
A death notice appeared in the Evening Express
 
Newspaper (date) Evening Express (02-Nov-16)
Rank, Forename(s), Surname Lance Corporal M H (Harry) Stead
Regiment, Regimental No, medals Kings Liverpool Regiment
Cause and date of death, age Killed in Action
Information contained in notice Eldest son of Matthew and Ellen Stead address 240 Gloucester Road Bootle
   
 
The next of kin report in his service records, dated July 1919, shows he was survived by his parents at 240 Gloucester Road, Bootle and his brother, Albert age 19 at HQ Office 10th Corps, British Army of the Rhine.
 
His father died at 240 Gloucester Road on the 21st March 1923.
 
His mother died at Ty Tawel Llanfaes near Beaumaris, Anglesey on the 18th July 1942. She was survived by her son Albert Stead, a civil servant.