DALMAIN, Herbert Clarence

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DALMAIN, Herbert Clarence

Enlistment Address

Myrtle Street, Gilgandra, NSW

Service Number

854

Unit

18th Battalion

Fate

KIA

Information

HERBERT CLARENCE DALMAIN         SERVICE NUMBER 854

Herbert Clarence Dalmain enlisted on 9th February 1915, aged 21 years and 7 months old. He was a labourer, 5ft 3 ½ inches tall and weighed 119lb. He had fair hair and a fair complexion with grey eyes.

He was with the 18th Battalion C Coy at Liverpool until they departed for Gallipoli on the ‘Ceramic’ on the 25th June 1915. He joined the MEF (Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (Gallipoli)) on the 16th August 1915.

The 18th Battalion was raised at Liverpool in New South Wales in March 1915 as part of the 5th Brigade. It left Australia in early May, trained in Egypt from mid-June until mid-August, and on 20th August landed at Anzac Cove.

The battalion had not been ashore a day when it was committed to the last operation of the August Offensive - the attack on Hill 60 - which lasted until 29 August and cost it 50 per cent casualties. Herbert was one of those casualties. His service record states he was missing between 21.8.15 to 25.8.15. A Court of Enquiry was held at Tel el Kebir, Egypt on 21.1.1916 and Capt Hall recorded it is reasonable to suppose Pte Dalmain was dead.

A report from the Red Cross society wounded and Missing Enquiry Files by Sig WF Simmons 993 of the 18 Batt C Co stated that

‘On Sunday 22.8.15 we made a charge: Dalmain was next to witness. The casualties were very heavy. After reaching the Turks’ trenches we had to retire. Dalmain did not reach the trenches, he was hit when about ten yards from them. A bullet struck him in the head. Witness saw him lying on the ground as they were retiring and called to him, but got no response. Dalmain was then quite motionless, bleeding from the head, and witness is nearly certain he was dead then. Other men in same co said they saw him lying there and they thought he was dead. Witness occupied same tent as Dalmain and they were chums. Dalmain came from Gilgandra. His name was Herbert and witness is sure as to his number. Witness describes him as a fine fellow.  Witness appears to be an intelligent and reliable man’

Herbert Clarence Dalmain was the third son of John and Susan Dalmain of Myrtle St Gilgandra. Many people will remember his sister, Beat Dalmain, who taught music for many years in Gilgandra.

‘John Dalmain was an old campaigner, having served for three years in Lord Napier’s Naval Brigade, in the Abyssian Campaign: and his grandfather served  through the Indian Mutiny: while three of his cousins are fighting with the British Forces in Flanders. Private Dalmain was an enthusiastic member of the local rifle club, and previous to enlisting was employed with his brother-in-law, Mr A Brummel, in farming pursuits.’ Printed in the Gilgandra Weekly 4.10.1915 , while Herbert was still missing and before the enquiry which found he was Killed in Action.

Herberts’ father received his 1914/15 Star, British War Medal, the Victory Medal and the Memorial Plaque and Scroll.

Herbert is commemorated on his parents’ headstone in the Gilgandra Cemetery, the Gilgandra District Honour Roll, the War Memorial, the Cooee Heritage Centre, the Lone Pine Memorial on Gallipoli and the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. A beautiful cross in his memory is in the St Ambrose Anglican Church.