The AIF Project

Clarence Herbert DAKIN

Regimental number1187
Place of birthNorth Sydney, New South Wales
SchoolNorth St. Leonards Public School, Sydney, New South Wales
Other trainingExperiment Farm, Bathurst, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
AddressWoodford PO, Woodford, Blue Mountains, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Height5' 9"
Weight140 lbs
Next of kinFather, Herbert Dakin, Woodford PO, Woodford, Blue Mountains, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed for 2.5 years in the 1st Regiment, Citizen Military Forces.
Enlistment date26 March 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name20th Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/37/5
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A35 Berrima on 26 June 1915
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll2nd Machine Gun Battalion
FateKilled in Action 15 April 1917
Place of death or woundingNoreuil, France
Age at death23
Age at death from cemetery records22
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Herbert and Ida Costance DAKIN, Holm-Glen, Woodford, New south Wales. Born at North Sydney
Family/military connectionsCousin: Roy McIntyre WARREN, Reg No. 3973, 4th Light Trench Mortar Battery, killed in action 11 April 1917; Cousin: Tom DEAN, Reg No. 2382, 19th Battalion, died of wounds 27 August 1916
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (Gallipoli Campaign), 16 August 1915.

Promoted Corporal, 4 November 1915.

Promoted Sergeant, 21 November 1915.

Disembarked Alexandria, ex-Mudros, 9 January 1916.

Taken on strength of 5th Machine Gun Company, Moascar, 8 March 1916.

Promoted to Provisional Company Sergeant Major, 8 March 1916.

Promoted Company Sergeant Major, 8 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 17 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 March 1916.

Promoted Second Lieutenant, 26 August 1916.

Promoted Lieutenant, 29 January 1917.

Killed in action, near Noreuil, 15 April 1917.

Buried approximately 1000 yards south-east of Maroeuil.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, DAKIN Clarence Herbert

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