The AIF Project

Frederick Joseph DEARIE

Regimental number3810
Place of birthGranville, New South Wales
True NameABELL, Joseph Frederick
SchoolGranville Public School, New South Wales
AddressGeorge Street, Clyde, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 2"
Weight136 lbs
Next of kinSister, Miss E Strong, Fust Street, Clyde, New South Wales
Enlistment date28 August 1915
Place of enlistmentSydney, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name17th Battalion, 9th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/34/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A54 Runic on 20 January 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll17th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Medal

For conspicuous courage in carrying messages from the front line to rear during attack by enemy near Noreuil, the ground traversed being in full view of the enemy and under heavy fire.
Recommendation date: 25 April 1917

FateKilled in Action 3 May 1917
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

Military Medal

Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 169
Date: 4 October 1917

Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 20 January 1916; disembarked Alexandria, 26 February 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 21 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 27 March 1916.

Taken on strength, 17th Bn, in the field, 24 May 1916.

Wounded in action, 3 May 1917.

Now, 6 June 1917, reported 'wounded and missing, 3 May 1917'.

Court of Enquiry, 23 November 1917, concluded: 'Killed in action, 3 May 1917.

Statement, Red Cross File: 'No trace Germany. Cert. by Capt. Mills 10-10-19.'

Second statement, 867 Sergeant R.W. DILLON, C Company, 17th Bn, 3 September 1917; 'I knew Pte Fred Dearie of C Co., 9th Pltn. He was taken prisoner of war. The Q.M. of C Co. ... has written to Dearie's people giving this information.'

Third statement, Q.M. R. AUSTIN, 5 October 1917, denied having written to Dearie's relatives, and said that when his assistant wrote he did not say that Dearie had been taken prisoner.

Fourth statement (undated), 2293 Pte WHELAN, 17th Bn (patient, 5th Southern General Hospital, Portsmouth): 'Dearie was seen wounded at the German wire entanglements in the early morning. He was then seen to walk towards headquarters aided by somew man. He was never seen again and we have never been able to find the man who helped him.'

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, DEARIE Frederick Joseph
Red Cross File No 0901003D

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