Search for Matthew Eddy by Ron Jackson

Richard Eddy from Perth in Australia is trying to trace information about his grandfather Matthew Eddy who went to South Africa in the 1890’s.

He writes - I have a gold medal which was handed down to me as the sole heirloom of my grandfather, Matthew Eddy, a Cornish farmer and blacksmith.

The medal is inscribed “Presented to M. Eddy by T Lees & Joe Goddard for defeating the Tasmanian Champion Boxer 19/12/96”

I have discovered that Messrs Lees and Goddard were heavyweight boxing champions who according to information were in Johannesburg at this time:

The medal, which is solid gold and beautifully inscribed, suggesting that the fight may have been of some significance even though not a championship bout.

There is a passenger list for the Norham Castle arriving in London from Cape Town in May 1899 in which an M. Eddy is described as a Miner, which I take to be him in the absence of any other near matches in passenger lists.

As mentioned above, the date of the fight inscribed on the medal is 19 December 1896.

The above is all I know of my grandfather’s time in South Africa, but it looks as though he was there for several years.

In saying “the Tasmanian Champion Boxer” the medal doesn’t indicate at what weight Matthew Eddy fought, but my guess is heavyweight because in Cornwall he was a blacksmith and both Tom Lees and Joe Goddard seem to have fought as heavyweights.

I have not been able to find out from Australian sources who the heavyweight champion boxer of Tasmania was in December 1896.

If anyone out there can help Richard please contact him at

Former SA Heavyweight Champion Pierre Coetzer and former WBA Junior Heavyweight Champion Piet Crous recently staged an
exhibition bout in aid of charity.