Matthew Farrelly was born at Bootle in 1890. He was the son of Matthew Farrelly and Rose (nee Farrelly) who were both born in County Cavan, Ireland. They were married at Bootle in 1885.
 
He was one of eight children, two of whom had died by 1911. His known siblings were Mary, John, Peter, Rose Ann and Michael.
 
His father was a dock labourer and the family home was at 30 Johnstone Street, Bootle from 1891 until 1917.
 
Matthew enlisted for the Australian Expeditionary Force using the name Farley at West Maitland, New South Wales on the 15th January 1916. His service records include a physical description and can be seen at Discovering Anzacs. He was 5ft 6 inches tall, weighed 146lbs and had a medium complexion, brown eyes and brown hair.
 
He embarked for Europe from Sydney aboard the Hororata on the 2nd May 1916. He arrived a Plymouth aboard the Aragon on the 23rd June 1916.
 
He proceeded to France almost a year later on the 14th June 1917. He was at the front for little more than a month when he was killed in action.
 
His records record that he was buried "In a shell hole a few yds to East of Chappelle Du Voleur in front of R.A.P. Messines" After the war his body could not be recovered and identified so he is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.
 
His parents received a pension of fifteen shillings per fortnight from the Australian Government after Matthew's death.