Dundon Collection
Certificate, Commemorative

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Collection Dundon
Abstract War Service record for World War 1. Originally in a brown cardboard roll (see 2002.092.0045).

The certificate says, "The Great War 1914-1918, certificate of services in the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces of 6/1276 Private William Thomas Dundon, who gave his life for his country. Signed by Governor General Jellicoe. Theatres of war in which actually served, Egyptian 1915, Balkan, Gallipoli 1915. Awarded 1914, 15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal. War Service: Date commenced duty 20.10.1914; Date embarked 15.12.1914; Date of death 5.6.1915; Place of death Gallipoli. Signed by (unreadable) Minister of Defence."

The frame this object is in is to be used for display during ANZAC celebrations.
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Regarding Dundon's rank:
He was born William Dundon, but is William Thomas Dundon in the nominal roll volume 1 number 6/1276, a Lance-Corporal in the second draft, Canterbury Infantry Battalion, single, last New Zealand address Shades Hotel, Christchurch, next of kin J. Dundon, father of Blenheim (from World War 1 services personnel and reserves index). From the dictionary, a Lance-Corporal in the British Army is a private acting temporarily as a Corporal, without the extra pay.

Private William Thomas Dundon was killed in action in the Dardanelles and is buried in Shrapnel Valley cemetery, Turkey. He was aged 24 when he was killed and his death notice is in the Otago and Southland newspapers. There is a headstone for him in the Omaka Cemetery in Blenheim. His portrait is from, Auckland Weekly News 1915. It's caption is: L.Corp. W.T. Dundon, Cant. Inf. Batt. Killed in action.

Archives New Zealand has his military file so I’ve emailed them enquiring about him enlisting and dying (according to the Auckland Weekly News) as a Lance-Corporal, but his death scroll saying Private. [Jenny Pierson, 7 March 2013].

Email reply from Phil Beattie, 7 March 2013:
To answer the question from Jenny, what we're talking about is the difference in rank between embarkation and subsequent service in the field. Men who demonstrated some leadership ability, or who had solid military experience from the Volunteers/Territorials were often promoted during training in New Zealand. Essentially, a reinforcement draft had to have the standard military hierarchy of rank in order to function until they got to Egypt or England. So Dundon was good enough to get a stripe, and serve as a Lance-Corporal until he reached Egypt. This is the rank given on embarkation.

On arrival in theatre, these men almost always lost their rank - usually back to private. They were not experienced in the field, having freshly arrived from NZ, so were required to demonstrate leadership etc in actual battle conditions in order to start progressing back up the ranks. For this reason Dundon, and most like him, reverted in rank on arrival in theatre and were posted to existing units. If you checked a range of ranks on embarkation, versus that at death, you'll find many men sailed as Corporals, Sergeants etc but reverted to private/rifleman in theatre and were killed as that rank. Given time, they would have likely earned promotion in the field, but time wasn't always granted to them.

Bear in mind that there will be exceptions - for a variety of reasons, some men retained their 'New Zealand' rank, but generally not.

Please let me know if I can help further

Cheers
Phil

SGT Phil Beattie
5 Squadron Maintenance | RNZAF Base Auckland
DTelN: 399 7486 | Mobile: 027 3519159
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See Notes for Marlborough Express information on W.T. Dundon.
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Dundon's war record can be viewed at this link: http://archway.archives.govt.nz/ViewFullItem.do?code=20999223&digital=yes a summary is as follows:

About half way down in a Record of Service it says Lance-Corporal on 20/10/1914, posted to main body (Ismailia) 5/2/1915, Reversion to Private 1/3/1915. There is no reason given, but it wasn’t for bad behaviour, so will be as Phil Beattie says. His father is Jeremiah Dundon, his religion is Roman Catholic and his birth date is 12th [possibly March] 1890, his age is 24. His last employment was as a shepherd to J. O’Halloran at East Oxford, Canterbury. He had previous military training at Marlborough High School Cadets, Victoria College Officer’s Training College, Military training in Wellington.
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Object ID 2002.092.0024
Object Name Certificate, Commemorative
People Dundon, William Thomas
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Last modified on: January 16, 2015