Are you related to Alfred John DALE of Victoria, Australia?
A First World War medal (1914-1915 Star) posthumously awarded to Private Alfred John DALE has been purchased by Medals Gone Missing. With the Centenary of the Great War and Gallipoli campaign approaching, we are seeking to have this medal returned to his family.
IMAGE RIGHT: The 1914-1915 Star awarded to Private Alfred John DALE from Warrnambool in Victoria. This First World War medal was won at auction on ebay and we are seeking to have the medal returned to his family in time for the Centenary of Gallipoli and the Great War.
Alfred John DALE was born during January 1894 in Warrnambool Victoria. Alfred was the son of Ellis DALE, residing in Alfred Road, Warrnambool. A quarryman prior to the war, he enlisted into the AIF (Australian Imperial Force) on the 13th January 1915. Alfred John DALE was allocated the service number 1933 as part of the 5th Reinforcement to the 6th Infantry Battalion, AIF. His unit embarked aboard HMAT Hororata (A20) from Port Melbourne on the 17th April 1915.
IMAGE LEFT: The purple over red colour patch of the 6th Infantry Battalion, (Australian Imperial Force). Amongst the first units raised for the AIF during the First World War; the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Battalions were formed in Victoria. These four battalions, formed the 2nd Brigade.
The battalion was raised within a fortnight of the declaration of war in August 1914 and embarked just two months later. After a brief stop in Albany, Western Australia, the battalion proceeded to Egypt, arriving on 2 December.
Alfred joined the main 6th Battalion force at Gallipoli on the 10th July, 1915. This unit formed part of the attacking force upon the Turkish positions at Lone Pine as a part of the August Offensive. As Alfred remained on the Gallipoli peninsula until the 5th October (where he was evacuated to Mudros due to illness) it is highly likely that he participated in the Lone Pine attack. He rejoined his unit in the Dardenelles five days later and it is believed that he remained at the front line until the time of the evacuation in December, 1915.
IMAGE RIGHT: Lone Pine Cemetery at Gallipoli, August 2011. This photo was taken at 5.30pm on the 6th August 2011 during the 96th Anniversary of the August Offensive. The view is from the Turkish positions, looking towards the Australian trenches. Gallipoli Historical Tours conducts tours of the Gallipoli battlefields and will be conducting a special August offensive tour in 2015 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the attack.
Alfred suffered from a bout of bronchitis whilst in Egypt, but recovered to join the British Expeditionary Force with his unit, shipping to France on the 25th March, 1916. Alfred was serving on the Western Front for less than two months, when he suffered gun shot wounds to the shoulder and chest on the 5th March, 1916. He was transported to the Number 7 Casualty Clearing Station. Sadly, Alfred John DALE succumbed of his wounds and died the following day, being the 6th May 1916. Alfred was buried in the Merville Communal Cemetery. Merville is a town located 15 kilometres north of Bethune and about 20 kilometres south-west of Armentieres. This town was the site of a railhead until May 1915, and a billeting and hospital centre from 1915 through to 1918.
It is of interest that twenty one (21) Australians lie buried in the Merville Communal Cemetery. From various battalions of the First Australian Division, their dates of death range from 31/03/16 to 25/05/16. Subsequently, these men were amongst the first Australians to fall on the Western Front. during the Great War. To view their names, please CLICK HERE to view the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (C.W.G.C) records.
This 1914-1915 Star was purchased on the 30th January, 2013 by Medals Gone Missing and is not for general sale. It will only be sold back to a direct descendant of Alfred John DALE upon strict proof of relationship.
IMAGE LEFT: To contact the Medals Gone Missing Administrator about this medal or make inquiries about the 100th Anniversary August Offensive pilgrammage being conducted by Gallipoli Historical Tours, please CLICK HERE.