Author: Mac Benoy  May 2012
Wards of Dublin 
Udakis Family MATHEW
Born 1889 in the village of Zacizai (Zalakai?), christened in the parish of Vzvenciai, Lithuania.  Died 1949 in Leeds.  Lithuania in the 19th century saw much upheaval and violence and subject to Russian pressure which continued into the present century and up to the commencement of the First Great War in 1914.  Before this he had a good education to the 1st year of University and learned as well as his own language Russian, Yiddish, English and a little German.  Young male Lithuanians were being pressed or hijacked into the Russian army, whilst the proletariat in Moscow and St. Petersburg enjoyed privilege and good living, to be used to put down the unruly eastern Russian provincials who were showing alarming unrest and later to be a bulwark against Germany on the north and eastern fronts.  Many young men therefore escaped the country and fled to England and America.  He finished up in Leeds at an undefined date around 1910/13 where he obtained work, married and produced two children.  But what became of them or his two children is not known (they are believed to have died in the Flu Pandemic that claimed so many lives at the end of the Great war). Mathew had a brother but he emigrated to America and there is no information on him either.  In approximately 1918 he met and married Marcelli Bagdonas and they produced George, Stanley and Marcella.  Whilst in an earlier part of life Mathew became careless in drinking he always provided well for Marcelli and children and later, as the children entered their late teens he disciplined himself in this regard.  I first met him in 1939 and knew him as a quiet, calm and philosophical man with a sense of humour.  He could play the violin and concertina and loved gardening and going to the pictures.  He was a foreman clothes presser in the famous Montague Burtons, Tailors, and during a Russian VIP visit after the Second Great War he acted as interpreter.  He was patient and kind to my father who would visit their home in 20 Bellbrooke Grove, Leeds, during the later part of the War around 1942/4.  The young people also liked him when they visited No.20 being friends of George, Stan and Marcella.  He was invalided in 1947 in the early stages of which he stayed with us in Malahide for a short spell but when he departed for Leeds he was clearly a sick man.  He died of cancer of the throat in 1949 and is buried in the same plot as my mother in Killingbeck cemetery, Leeds.  His death was a sad blow to Marcella as his only daughter, and many times Marcella would relate the loving interchanges between them as a child and how he might spoil her with pretty gifts.  He was a good man.