The AIF Project

George Roy McGregor DEY

Date of birth8 January 1891
Place of birthYunta, South Australia
SchoolSt Peter's College, Adelaide, South Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationBank clerk
AddressGoodwood Road, Clarence Park, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation25
Height5' 11.5"
Weight145 lbs
Next of kinMr A McGregor Dey, Goodwood Road, Clarence Park, South Australia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date30 June 1915
Rank on enlistment2nd Lieutenant
Unit name10th Battalion, 15th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/27/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board RMS Mongolia on 9 March 1916
Rank from Nominal Roll2nd Lieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll10th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 23 August 1916
Age at death from cemetery records25
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
Commemorated in St George the Martyr's Anglican Church, Goodwood, Adelaide, South Australia. Inscription reads: 'To the Glory of God. In Honour of Our Lady, Blessed Michael the Archangel, Blessed George the Martyr & of all the Blessed Saints. To the dear Memory of all those who went forth from this Altar, where they offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ, to give their lives in the Great War. This Screen is Blessed on Anzac Day 25 April 1922 being the Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist.' Parents: Alexander McGregor and Hannah Elizabeth DEY, High Street, Burnside, South Australia
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 20 May 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 26 May 1916.

Taken on strength, 10th Bn, in the field, 24 July 1916.

Reported wounded and missing, 23 August 1916.

Court of Enquiry, 19 June 1917, declared fate as 'Killed in action, 23 August 1916'.

Note on Red Cross File No 0920101D: 'No trace Germany. Cert. by Capt. Mills. 10.10.19.'

Statement, 771 Lance Corporal P. STRANEY, B Company, 10th Bn (patient, 1st Birmingham Hospital, England), 31 December 1916: 'Informant states that on 23rd August at Mouquet Farm, Lieut Dat [sic] was killed by a shell. His body was left on No Man's Land.'

Second statement, 3700 Pte R. BROWNETT, B Company, 10th Bn, 27 October 1916: 'He was wounded at Pozieres on August 21st. He was found in a wounded condition by Pte. G.W. Alcorn, S/B. B. Coy. and left for safety in a shell hole. Cpl. Tinderman, VI pl. B. Coy. stayed with him in the shell hole. The Germans started bombing the hole. Tinderman got out. The Germans threw several bombs in as he left. He believes Mr. Day [sic] was bombed and killed. He said Mr Day's wounds were so bad when he left, that he could not have lived.'

Third statement, 4587 Pte F. TESTER, 10th Bn (patient, 2nd London General Hospital, Chelsea, England), 26 December 1916: 'On the 19th Aug. in evening time we were badly shelled. we were hopping over to a partly dug new trench at a farm which sounded like Barrackas. Lieut. Day [sic] rose up out of the trench and said "Come on lads, I think we are right!" [W]ith that he fell killed instantly by a sniper. I myself saw him lying dead. He was a simply splendid lad, I'd go anywhere with him, all the boys just worshipped him.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, DEY George Roy McGregor
Red Cross File No 0920101D

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