Topic: Trooper John Russell Dawson

Topic type:

A soldier of the Great War killed in action at Gallipoli.

Trooper John Russell Dawson  - 5/322A Dawson John Russell 

John was born 6th July 1888 in Christchurch, son of William and Margaret Dawson, Dunsandel. Before enlistment he was a farm labourer for G. Cummings in Hawkes Bay. He was 5ft 9in tall with a fair complexion, grey eyes and fair hair.

John enlisted on 20 August 1914 when he was living at Bells Boarding House in Bealey Ave. He was assigned to the Canterbury Mounted Rifles and embarked 16 October 1914 with the Main Body, bound for Suez. He disembarked in Egypt at Alexandria on 3 December 1914 and later sailed to Gallipoli. He was wounded on June 12th 1915 and after a period of recovery in St Andrews Hospital, Malta was sent back to the front on arriving on 14 Aug 1915. During 25 August the Canterbury and Otago Mounted returned to the trenches of Hill 60. An attack was planned on 27 August at 5pm to consolidate positions on Hill 60 and the Canterbury Mounted were in the first wave. On the 19 September he was declared to be missing believed killed on the 28th August, aged 27. A court of enquiry in January 1916 confirmed him believed dead. As his body was not recovered or identified his name is recorded on the Hill 60 Memorial to the Missing, Gallipoli. In New Zealand John is remembered on the Irwell Plaque of the Ellesmere County War Memorial.

 Researched and written by L M Seaton

CWGC Cemetery locale history: At the beginning of August 1915, Hill 60, which commanded the shore ward communications between the forces at Anzac and Suvla, was in Turkish hands. On 22 August, it was attacked from Anzac by the Canterbury and Otago Mounted Rifles,  it was partly captured on 27-29 August.  The Hill 60 (New Zealand) Memorial is one of four memorials erected to commemorate New Zealand soldiers who died on the Gallipoli Peninsula and and whose graves are not known. This memorial relates to the actions at Hill 60. It bears more than 180 names. Hill 60 Cemetery lies among the trenches of the actions of Hill 60. It was made after those engagements, and enlarged after the Armistice by the concentration of graves from Norfolk Trench cemetery and from the battlefield. There are 788 burials and commemorations in the cemetery. 712 of the burials are unidentified, but special memorials commemorate 34 casualties known or believed to be buried among them.

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Trooper John Russell Dawson


First Names:John Russell
Last Name:Dawson
Date of Birth:6 July 1888
Place of Birth:Christchurch
Date of Death:28 August 1915
Place of Death:Gallipoli, Turkey
Memorial or Cemetery:Hill 60 Memorial, Gallipoli
Age at death:27
User Name:L. M. Seaton
Occupation before enlisting:Farm Labourer
Marital Status:Single
Regiment or Service:Canterbury Mounted Rifles, N.Z.E.F.
Country:New Zealand
Enlistment details:20 August 1914
Parents or Next of Kin:Son of William and Margaret Dawson, of Dunsandel, Christchurch
Service Number:5/322A
Rank last held:Trooper
Embarkation:16 october 1914
Place of Embarkation:Lyttelton
Transport:Tahiti or Athenic
Theatres of War:Gallipoli
Cause of Death:Killed in action