|Place||Europe: France, Nord Pas de Calais, Nord, Lille, Fromelles|
|Physical description||Animal horn|
|Location||Main Bld: First World War Gallery: Western Front 1916: Pheasant Wood|
|Date made||c 1915-1916|
First World War, 1914-1918
Toothbrush head : Private F A Dyson, 54 Battalion, AIF : Pheasant Wood mass grave, Fromelles
Toothbrush head made from animal horn, with fifteen rows of four holes to hold the bristles, and four long grooves in the top of the head. The bristles are missing.
Toothbrush head found with the remains of Private Frederick Arthur Dyson, 54 Battalion, AIF in the Pheasant Wood mass grave at Fromelles.
The 54th Battalion was raised in Egypt on 16 February 1916 as part of the “doubling” of the AIF. Half of its recruits were Gallipoli veterans from the 2nd Battalion, and the other half, fresh reinforcements from Australia. Reflecting the composition of the 2nd, the 54th was predominantly composed of men from New South Wales. The battalion became part of the 14th Brigade of the 5th Australian Division.
Moving to France in June 1916, the 54th fought its first major battle on the Western Front at Fromelles, on 19 July. It was a disaster. The 54th was part of the initial assault and suffered casualties equivalent to 65 per cent of its fighting strength. Casualty rates among the rest of the 5th Division were similarly high, but despite these losses it continued to man the front in the Fromelles sector for a further two months.
Dyson was born in Yarravel, Kempsey, New South Wales. He was working as a labourer and was 19 years and two months of age when he enlisted on 4 November 1915. He was reported killed in action on 19/20 July 1916.