The AIF Project

Henry Constantine DAWSON

Regimental number2720
Place of birthLithgow, New South Wales
SchoolCatholic School
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationCinema operator
Address118 Glebe Street, Glebe, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Next of kinFather, Samuel Dawson, 118 Glebe Street, Glebe, New South Wales
Enlistment date22 May 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name1st Battalion, 8th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/18/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A54 Runic on 9 August 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll45th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour Circular"He had five other brothers at the front. His eldest brother was the Samuel Dawson who swam the River Jordon. Another was killed in France, on 22nd November, 1916 and another Brother died after his return from France. There was six brothers at the front." Details from Mother.
FateKilled in Action 7 April 1918
Place of death or woundingAlbert, France
Age at death20
Age at death from cemetery records24
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: Samuel and Catherine DAWSON, 68 Taxteth Road, Glebe, New South Wales. Born at Lithgow, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 6548 Pte Hughie Francis Carlin DAWSON, 17th Bn, discharged on account of desertion, 1 April 1920; 19362 Sapper John Owen DAWSON, 1st Signal Squadron Engineers, returned to Australia, 30 August 1918; 3136 Pte Paul Richard DAWSON, 45th Bn, discharged on account of desertion, 1 April 1920; 17967 Sapper Samuel DAWSON, Anzac Mounted Division Train, returned to Australia, 26 August 1918.
Other details

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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