SERVICE NO: 2546
YEAR OF BIRTH: 1878
PLACE OF BIRTH: Heidelberg, Victoria
DATE OF ENLISTMENT: 6 April 1916
PLACE OF ENLISTMENT: Melbourne
AGE AT ENLISTMENT: 38
UNIT: 3rd Pioneer Battalion
EMBARKED: 21 October 1916
TROOPSHIP: HMAT A16 Port Melbourne
FATE: Killed in Action – 19 October 1917 – Passchendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Daniel Joseph Dunn was born in Heidelberg in 1878 to Edward and Margaret Dunn. From the turn of the century, Daniel lived at Station Street, Carlton. For a time, he worked as a driver for W.D & H.O Wills Tobacco company. Daniel remained single until he was thirty-six when he married Annie Louise Catterson in 1914. Annie was originally from Daylesford, the daughter of Cuthbert Catterson and Mary Jane Bell, and was six years older than Daniel. The previous year, Annie had divorced her husband George Gracie to whom she had a daughter Frances Dorothy Gracie, born in 1900. Once married, Annie and her daughter moved into Daniel’s home in Station Street, Carlton.
After Daniel enlisted in April 1916, on his second attempt, Annie moved to Hamilton to live with her mother. Mrs Mary Jane Catterson lived with her son Robert Catterson who ran a hairdressing shop in the town. Robert had enlisted the year before and Mary Jane was keeping the hairdressers operational. When Annie arrived, she helped out too, however, the 1916 Victorian Electoral Roll shows her occupation while in Hamilton as a nurse.
Meanwhile, Daniel was sailing to England with the 3rd Pioneer Battalion, 4th Reinforcements arriving in December 1916. By February 1917 he was on his way to France. During April, Daniel’s brother-in-law, Robert Catterson, serving with the 14th Battalion in France was killed. On 19 October 1917 at Passchendaele, Daniel was killed when hit in the head with a piece of exploding shell. His mates carried him six miles through the mud to give him a Christian burial at the Ypres Cemetery.
After Daniels death, Annie received several letters from those in his battalion, including Lieutenant Alexander Muntz. He told Annie of the great respect Daniel’s fellow soldiers had for him. After the war, Annie moved back to Melbourne and died in 1950 at St Kilda.
Despite the minimal time Daniel may have spent in Hamilton, if at all, he is duly remembered on the Hamilton War Memorial and a tree was planted for him along Anzac Avenue in June 1918.
Australian War Memorial – Roll of Honour – Daniel Joseph Dunn
Australian War Memorial WW1 Embarkation Roll – Daniel Joseph Dunn
Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Ypres Reservoir Cemetery – Daniel Joseph Dunn
National Archives of Australia – WW1 Service Record – Daniel Joseph Dunn
Newspaper Articles from Trove – Daniel Joseph Dunn
The AIF Project – Daniel John Dunn
The War Graves Photographic Project – Ypres Reservoir Cemetery – Daniel Joseph Dunn