Private John William (Jack) Dawson

Service number 1737
Birth Date 1891-12-14
Birth Place Australia: New South Wales, Moama
Final Rank Private
  • Victorian Rangers
  • 13th Australian Infantry Battalion
Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918

Sergeant Jack Dawson, number 1737, was born on the 14th of December 1891 in Moama New South Wales. He was the fifth child of James and Margaret Dawson of Moama. There were five boys in the family and two girls. He enlisted in the 13th Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force (AIF) at Liverpool NSW on the 12th January 1915. He indicated on his enlistment form that he had had previous military service in the Militia with E Company Rangers in Echuca Victoria. Jack was allocated to the Fourth Reinforcement draft for the 13th Infantry Battalion and embarked on His Majesty’s Australian Transport (HMAT) Shropshire at Sydney on 17 March 1915 and arrived in Egypt in April. He did not go to Gallipoli, but was employed in various base duties until late 1915 and subsequently appointed Acting Orderly Room Sergeant in Zeitoun, Tel-el-Kebir and Moascar depot camps.

On 2 July 1917 Jack joined the Imperial Camel Corps (ICC) at their Training Depot at Abbassia and reverted to the rank of Private. He was promoted to Temporary Corporal on 1 September. In October 1917 he was Court Martialed, found guilty and reduced to the ranks. However, the sentence was declared void on review and the proceedings quashed. Jack joined The 18th Company of the 4th ANZAC Battalion ICC Brigade in Palestine on 21 November 1917. He served with the ICC in Palestine and the Jordon Valley until the Brigade’s withdrawal and disbandment in May 1918.

In July 1918 he was transferred to Light Horse Details and subsequently 5th Light Horse Brigade Details in Egypt as a consequence of the re-organisation of the ICC. After the end of the War he served with the 14th Light Horse Regiment in Egypt. He embarked on troopship Dongala at Port Suez in July 1919 and disembarked in Melbourne on the 25th August 1919. He was discharged from the Australian Imperial Force in Melbourne Victoria on 24th October 1919. He was entitled to the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal.



Date of birth 14 December 1891
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 12 January 1915
Date of embarkation 17 March 1915
Date returned to Australia 25 August 1919
Date of discharge 24 October 1919