The AIF Project

Edwin Henry DIBBEN

Regimental number4183
Place of birthBuckland Newton, Dorset, England
SchoolBuckland Newton School, Dorset, England
Age on arrival in Australia29
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationCoachbuilder
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation32
Height5' 8.5"
Weight136 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Annie Dibben, Shorn Hill Green Farm, Buckland Newton, Dorset, England
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date23 August 1915
Place of enlistmentWarwick Farm, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name1st Battalion, 13th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/18/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on 20 December 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll54th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularArrived 1912 from New Zealand.
FateKilled in Action 19-20 July 1916
Place of burialFromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery (Plot I, Row F, Grave No 7), France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
158
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Allotted to and proceeded to 54th Bn, Zeitoun, 16 February 1916; joined 54th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 16 February 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 19 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 29 June 1916.

Reported missing, 19/20 July 1916.

German report, 2 August 1916 and confirmed, 13 October 1919, 'austr. Sold. Dibben, H.E. Nr.4183. 54. Batt. C.E. am 19.7.16. in Gegend Fromelles gefallen.'

Identification disc received from Germany. No particulars were afforded except that soldier is deceased. To be reported as killed in action, 19/20 July 1916, on the authority of the Assistant Adjutant General, ANZAC Section, War Office, 13 March 1917.

Red Cross File No 920103 has statement from 3497 Pte T. CLEARY, D Company, 54th Bn (patient, 14th General Hospital, Boulogne), 16 September 1916: 'On July 19th, we took two German trenches and six of us got into a gully 100 yards beyond the second trench. There Dibben was shot through the chest. I dressed his wound, but he was drilled right through, and I couldn't do much for him. We had to get back to the second line and leave him, and next day we went back to our old lines. He was dying when we left him.'

Second statement, 4407 Pte G.H. BUCKLEY, 54th Bn (patient, 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, England), 20 September 1916: 'He was killed getting into the German trenches, near Fleurbaix. I saw his body, know him well, but I cannot say how he was killed, shell, shrapnel, or bomb or bullet.'

Third statement: 4128 H.R. ARNOLD, 54th Bn (patient, Northants War Hospital, Duston, England), 22 August 1916: 'Informant states that on July 19th at Fleurbaix he saw Dibben and a man named Richardson who was reported killed, lying together out in front of them and he was told by Pte. Cleary, 54th A.I.F., that they were both dead.'

'The above name appeared on German death list dated 4-11-16.'

'Identity disc received from Germany and despatched to Next of Kin 11.5.17.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Originally listed as 'No Known Grave' and commemorated at V.C. Corner (Panel No 10), Australian Cemetery, Fromelles; subsequently (2010) identified, and interred in the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, France.
Miscellaneous detailsMother's address subsequently Shornhill Green, Buckland Newton, Dorset, England; Sister's address (1917): Miss Mabel DIBBEN, 3 Canal, Salisbury, Wilts, England; then Bookham, Piddletrenthide, Dorset, England; Brother, Mr John Dibben, Fernhill, Hastings, New Zealand
SourcesNAA: B2455, DIBBEN Edwin Henry
Red Cross file 920103

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