Saturday, May 28, 2011

William Joseph Dawbin - Feilding Memorial

William Dawbin was the son of William and Julia Dawbin of Awahuri.  He was born in Somerset, England.  He embarked with the Main Body on the 16 October 1914 attached to the Wellington Mounted Rifles.  At Gallipoli he was wounded at Gaba Tepe on the 29 May 1915 with a gun shot wound to the spine which resulted in paralysis.  He was transferred back to England on the 17 June 1915 to the Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley near Southampton where he deteriorated, contracted Pneumonia and sadly died on the 22 August 1915.  It must have been some small comfort to his parents to know that he was laid to rest at St Andrew's Churchyard in Somerset where he was born.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, may name is Peter Forrester and I am documenting Somerset Soldiers of World War One. I have this on William: "He was the son of William (formerly of Compton Dundon) and Julia Dawbin, of Awahuri, Manawatu, Wellington, New Zealand. Trooper Dawbin died of wounds to the spine received on 27/5/15 in action at Gaba-Tepe, Galliopol. He was paralysed because of his wound and died of Pneumonia in Netley Hospital near Southampton, Hampshire. The Western Gazette dated Friday 25/2/16 reported: “COMPTON DUNDON - MEMORIAL TO GALLANT SOLDIER - A handsome and valuable addition has recently been made to the picturesque churchyard of this village, in the shape of a unique headstone, erected by Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Dawbin, who was mortally wounded at the Dardenelles in May last. The stone, which weighs a ton, is a massive slab of white marble, on which is carved a large shield, bearing the following inscription:- "W.M.R. N.Z. In ever-loving memory of Trooper William Joseph Dawbin, Wellington Mounted Rifles, Makino, Fielding, New Zealand, son of William and Juliana Dawbin, formerly of Compton Dundon, wounded at Gaba Tepe, Darndenelles, May 27th, 1915, died at Netley Hospital, August 22nd, 1915, aged 27 years. 'In the midst of life, we are in death.' 'For King and country.'" At the top of the shield is engraved a wreath of laurels and a crown. In a panel above this stands a riderless horse, saddled and bridled. On the right side of the shield rest a pickaxe and shovel, over which droops a standard, and on the left a rifle, with fixed bayonet, is shown. Resting on the base is a Colonial hat and a pair of spurs. Curbing surrounds the grave, and the whole is a fitting monument to perpetuate the memory of a gallant young soldier, who left his home in New Zealand to give his life for his mother country. The whole is certainly a great work of art." He was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He also received the Gallipoli Medallion (New Zealand award). Sources: Commonwealth War Graves Commission -;" You might also like to know that William's grave lies in sight of a 1700 years old Yew tree that also stands in the village churchyard. Local legend has it that William's father lived in a house opposite the churchyard, and in his minds eye he could draw back the coverings to his bedroom window and look at his son's grave. Just a legend, I'm afraid, but a pretty one.