Lieutenant Clarence Herbert Dakin

Service number 1187
Ranks Held Lieutenant, Private
Birth Date 1894
Birth Place Australia: New South Wales, Sydney, North Sydney
Death Date 1917-04-15
Death Place France
Final Rank Lieutenant
Service Australian Imperial Force
  • 2nd Australian Machine Gun Battalion
  • 2nd Australian Machine Gun Battalion
Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918

Clarence Herbert Dakin was born in the parish of North Sydney on 18 November 1894, the only son of Captain Herbert Dakin and Ida Constance Dakin. Four daughters were born after Clarence, but only Edna survived infancy. His father Herbert served at home in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and was the secretary of the National Rifle Association. Clarence attended St Leonards Public School in Sydney, and was working as an orchardist in Woodford, NSW, when he enlisted in the AIF in March 1915. He had previously served two and half years with the 1st Regiment as part of the Universal Training System.
He embarked from Australia on board HMAT Berrima in June 1915, and landed on Gallipoli on 22 August. Even before landing, his diary records two casualties from stray bullets as the men were being taken to shore. Clarence quickly settled in as a machine-gunner for the 20th Battalion and soon received a promotion to corporal, then to sergeant within a few days. He was one of the last to evacuate Gallipoli on 20 December 1915.
After further training in Tel-el-Kebir and Ismailia, he was attached to the newly formed 5th Machine Gun Company. Arriving in France in March 1916, the unit soon saw action around Bois-Grenier before taking part in its first major battle at Pozières. He was promoted to second lieutenant in August 1916 and lieutenant in January 1917. The unit was never far from the front line, and the only real break Clarence had was in late March 1917 when had 12 days’ leave in the UK. Clarence was killed in action near Noreuil 15 April 1917, five days after returning from leave. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial.
Clarence’s uncle Roy McIntyre Warren 3973 was killed in action 11 April 1917, and his cousin Tom Dean 2382 died of wounds 27 August 1916.



Date of birth 1894
Date of enlistment 26 March 1915
Date of embarkation 25 June 1915
Date of death 15 April 1917