Charles Henry Dunn, the son of a carrier, John Dunn and Catherine Elliott, was born 1890 at Rosemeath, near Bombala, NSW (7311/1890) .
Aged 24 years and 8 months, he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) on October 19, 1916 at Goulburn, NSW. The enlistment papers record he was just 5 feet 3.5 inches tall, weighed 122lbs and had a chest measurement of 31-34 inches. They also record he had a dark complexion, grey eyes, brown fair and a scar on the right side of his jaw.
After enlistment at Goulburn, he was transferred to the 55th Battalion and then to the 12/30th Battalion at Liverpool, Sydney. He left Sydney on November 25, 1916 on the the “Beltana”, a troop vessell which took him to Plymouth England. After arrival in England, he was with the 8th Battalion, and was given some basic training. After a short period of time in hospital, on May 3, 1917 he left Folkstone, Kent for service in France. As a member of the Fifth Division he was marched out for service in Etaples on the coast of France a few days later.
On October 12, 1917, he was shot in the left leg and spent much of the next few months in the field hospital in Buchez, France. He then returned to his battalion and on December 12, 1917 was transferred to the 15th Australian Field Artillery. His record for 1918 contains little detail, except that between January 29, 1919 and February 28, 1919, Charles was seriously ill in hospital with influenza. He left Le Havre, France on May 12, 1919 and arrived at Weymouth, England the following day. He disembarked on May 7, 1919 and on the voyage back to Australia, became sick with Celulitis, a diffuse suppurative bacterial inflammation of the subcutaneous tissue.
He arrived back in Australia at the Port of Melbourne on August 20, 1919. The Bombala Times of Friday September 5, 1919 reported simply…
Pte Charles Dunn, son of Mr John Dunn, returned home this week after doing duty with the A.I.F. on the battlefields of Europe.
Two weeks later, major celebrations were held in Bombala recognising the efforts of local servicemen. On Friday, September 26, 1919, The Bombala Times reported reported…
Both Halls were utilised for dancing and suppers, and they were both taxed to the utomost to provide dancing room and supper accommodation for the great crowd. To give an idea of the number of people assembled, it is estimated that 700 people were fed at the two Halls, and still there was food over. Nothing bigger than this has ever been known in Bombala.
Charles Dunn’s war record shows he was eligible for three medals, the Star Medal and the British War Medal (No. 65786) and the Victory Medal (63400). He also received a “Certificate of Appreciation” for his efforts and his name is listed on the War Memorial on the corner of Forbes and Maybe Streets
The re-integration of World War I veterans back into society can’t have been easy. According to “A Brief History of RSL in Bombala”
When local diggers…arrived home they soon found that they had come home to no bed of roses, the economic situation wasn’t good, and the returning heroes found what jobs were available were already filled, and the Government re-establishment promises were mostly promises, so the bulk of them were unemployed. A fund called the Provisional Trustees Returned Soldiers Fund had been formed to help returned soldiers get re-established. The fund wasn’t enough, so it was soon decided that each riding of the Shire and the Bombala Municipality would provide work and each man would have to work for what he got out of the fund. However The 50-pound grant given to soldiers who had resided in Australia for 14-years prior to the outbreak of the War ceased on October 31, 1921 In 1921.
At the age of twenty eight, and working as a labourer in Bombala, Charles married Bertha Ellen Rixon, an eighteen year old woman born at Pambula, currently in domestic duties at Bombala.Their marriage on January 19, 1921 (1921/002992) at St Matthias’ Church of England, Bombala took place with the permission of her mother, Ellen Rixon. They were married by D.D. Curthous in the presence of Ellen Rixon and J.P. Dunn.
As her parents were first cousins William Rixon and Ellen Laing, her father was not named on the birth certificate. She was born at Pambula on July 16, 1902 (21692/1902). Interestingly enough, Ellen was 27 years of age at the time which was possibly quite old not to have been married in that era. According to the Birth Certificate, Ellen was a Domestic Servant at the time of the birth, and the witness to the birth was a Mrs Miller. I wonder who Mrs Miller was?
At this stage, I know almost nothing about the early years of granny’s life, except that her father, William Rixon married and started another family when she was very young. I presume that she grew up with her mother (and possibly her grandparents) in the Pambula/Towamba district, and that by her late teens, she was probably living in the Bombala District. This requires further research.
The first child of Charles and Bertha, Bertha Ann, arrived on February 7, 1922. After their marriage, Charles obtained worked as a linesman for the PMG. His work took him to a number of locations in NSW, including Orange, although to date I have been unable to confirm the locations in which he worked based on electoral roll data. I can confirm, however, they had left Bombala by 1925.By the mid-30s with a young family in tow, they moved to Lismore on the NSW North Coast. Initially, When they arrived in Lismore (probably in 1935-1936) they lived at 37 High Street, Lismore Heights (the house is no longer there). Over the next few years, they also lived at 8 Baillie Street (now an empty paddock) and in Ballina Street , before moving to 13 Union Street (probably about 1941).
Charles Dunn died at Lismore Base Hospital on Saturday, July 24, 1943 due to heart and lung disease. A funeral announcement appeared in “The Northern Star” on Monday, July 26, 1943.
DUNN – The FUNERAL of Mr Charles Henry Dunn, of 13 Union Street, south Lismore, will move from Our Lady Help of Christians Roman Catholic Church, South Lismore, TO-DAY (MONDAY) following a service commencing at 4pm for the Roman Catholic portion of the Lismore cemetery. WILL. RILEY & SON, Funeral DirectorsR.S.S.A.I.L.A. LISMORE SUB-BRANCH – The members of the above sub-branch, all all returned soldiers, are requested to the attend the FUNERAL of their late comrade, Charles Henry Dunn, to move from the Roman Catholic Church, South Lismore, TO-DAY after a service commencing at 4pm for the Lismore cemetery. H.C. NOTT, Secretary.
An obituary appeared in “The Northern Star” the following day.
MR C.H. DUNNMr Charles Henry Dunn, a returned soldier, of 13 Union street, South Lismore who died in Lismore on Saturday night, was buried yesterday afternoon in the roman Catholic portion of the Lismore cemetery. The remains were conveyed to our Lady Help of Christians Roman Catholic Church at South Lismore, where a service was conducted by the Rev. Father Daniel McGrath, who also officiated at the graveside. The casket was draped with the Union Jack and at the conclusion of the graveside service Mr. Elwyn Roberts sounded the “Last Post”. The pall bearers were Lieut H.C. Nott (Secretary), and Messrs R. Stoker (Returned Soldiers’ League), W. Rutley, J. O’Brien, L. Winkler and E. Eggins. The wreaths were carried by Messrs T. G. Lovett (RSS and AILA) and TD Cleary. Messrs Will Riley and Son conducted the funeral arerangements.
Anecdotal family history records that Bertha worked as a cook for a number of years at Lismore’s “Mecca Cafe”, though I am unsure if this was before or after the death of Charles. I do recall, however, from my own childhood that on the odd occasion that granny cooked a meal, they were quite good. Her jam tarts, in particular, were memorable.Bertha continued to live at 13 Union Street South Lismore until about 1959. Her children, Arthur (and wife Frances), Joan, Edna and Leslie John also lived in the house for varying periods of time.Then in about 1959, she and her son, Leslie John moved into 21 Kyogle Street, Lismore with her daughter, Bertha and son-in-law. A very vague childhood reference I recall was that granny had some sort of “breakdown”.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the children of Charles and Bertha married and raised families of their own. Most remained in the Lismore district, including at Casino and Alphadale Crossroads, while one daughter, Edna, moved to Brisbane.Family photographs record a visit to Sydney in the 1960s (probably about 1968), possibly related to the move to Hong Kong by her grand-daughter and son. Family history records a visit by Bertha to her sister Ruby (known as Molly).
Bertha Rixon died January 16 and was buried at the Lawn Cemetery, Goonellabah on January 19, 1987. The funeral notice appeared in “The Northern Star”.
DUNN, MRS. BERTHA ELLEN (”LIZZIE”) – Jan 16 1987 at St Vincent’s Hospital, Lismore, late of 195 Casino Street, South Lismore, widow of the late Charles Henry Dunn, loved mother and mother-in-law of John (Lismore), Arthur and Frances (Casino), Joan and Don Connor (Lismore), Edna and Ossie Ianna (Brisbane), Betty and John O’Brien (both dec’d.), Eunice (dec’d) and Len (Lismore), and fond “granny” of all their children, loved sister of Molly (Sydney), Barney (dec’d.) and Maisie Rixon (Mullumbimby), and fond friend of Doris and Ray Grace (South Lismore), and their family. Aged 86 years. Relatives and friends are invited to attend her funeral service, which will leave Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church, South Lismore, TODAY (MONDAY), after a service commencing at 11am for the City of Lismore Lawn Cemetery, Goonellabah. WILLIAM RILEY & SON, AFDA (NSW)
* Bertha Ann Dunn was born at Bombala on February 7, 1922. She married Albert Bernard O’Brien in Lismore. They met, married and raised a family of four daughters and one son. For more information, click on the link.
* Charles Arthur Dunn (known as Arthur) was born at Bombala in 1922 or 1923 (this needs confirming).
Thanks to Judy Richards for locating his war service record which indicates a birth at Bomala of June 7, 1922 (conflicting information with his sister’s birth record which needs checking), a date of enlistment of July 25 1942 at South Lismore, a rank of Private, service in New Guinea and a discharge date of November 16, 1944. NX110023 (N166292)
He married Francis Ina Smith at Lismore in 1946 (4400/1946).
For many years, Arthur worked on the tick gates at places including Tabulam.
He died at Casino on August 15, 1987. The funeral notice appeared in The Northern Star. Francis is still living.
DUNN – CHARLES ARTHUR “Arthur” – 15th August 1987, peacefully at Casino Memorial Hospital, late of 14 High Street Casino, formerly of Mallanganee, dearly loved husband of Frances, loved father and father-in-law of Dianne and John Betts, June and Paul Murphy, Charlie, Julie and Des Whitton, Peter and Deborah, loved Poppy of their children, loved son of Henry and Bertha Dunn (both dec’d), loved brother and brother-in-law of Enice (dec’d), Betty and John O’Brien (both dec’d), John, Edna and Ossie Ianna, Joan and Don Connors. Aged 64 years. Relatives and friends are invited to attend his funeral to leave St Mary’s Catholic Church Casino, TOMORROW (TUESDAY) after prayers commencing at 2pm for the Casino Lawn Cemetery. BERIC AND DIANNE LEES AFDA NSW Ph Casino 623154,
CASINO SUB-BRANCH RSL OF A – Members of the above sub-branch are invited to attend the funeral of their late comrade, CHARLES ARTHUR DUNN, as per above family notice. G Brand, Secretary.
Eunice Lorna Dunn (known as Noonie) was born in 1927. She married Leonard Arthur Adams at Casino in 1946 (18545/1946). She died at Lismore on September 27, 1978 (106555/1978). Len later remarried and then died on March 10, 1999, aged 76.
ADAMS – The death occured on Wednesday September 27 of Mrs EUNICE LORNA ADAMS, RMB 902A, Nimbin Road, formerly of Alphadale, beloved wife of Leonard Arthur Adams, loved mother of LOrna. Following a private family service, interment took place at the City of Lismore Lawn Cemetery, Goonellabah. HILL AND VIRTUE FUNERALS Lismore Phone 217033
A week later, the following return thanks messages appeared in “The Northern Star”.
We wish to THANK everyone for the kidnness they have shown us in the recent sad loss of our daughter, sister and sister-in-law of the late Eunice Adams, Mrs Bertha Dunn and the late Charles Dunn, Betty and John O’Brien of Lismore, Arthur and Francis Dunn of Casino, Joan and Don Connor of LIsmore, Edna and Ossie Ianna of Brisbane, John of LIsmore
Mrs Bertha Dunn and Betty O’Brien wish to express their sncere THANKS to St Vincent’s Hospital and Rev Sheppard, also Doris and Ray Grace for their kindness in our sad loss. Mrs Bertha Dunn.
* Joan Kathleen Dunn (known as Joanie) was born in about 1928. She married Donald Ewin Connor in 1954 (25507/1954). Don was born March 4, 1926 at Dorrigo, NSW. He was a Leading Aircraftman, number 151793, 84 Operational Base Unit, Royal Australian Air Force Military Service 6 Apr 1944-27 Feb 1946 WW2.Don died on July 12, 2007.
* Edna Teresa Dunn was born in about 1930. She married Oswald Mannix John Ianna at Lismore in 1951 (21785/1951). Thanks to information on Monaro Pioneers He served in the military as a Private, number NX141290 (N436276), 2/14 AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY BATTALION, Australian Army from November 27, 1942 to June 28, 1946 in WW2. . Ossie died March 2012 at the Greenslopes Hospital, Brisbane and was buried at the Northern Rivers Memorial Park, South Gundurimba via Lismore.
* Lesley John Dunn (known as John) was born in 1935. He died at Lismore on January 25, 2006.
DUNN, JOHN LESLIE (CAPTAIN) – of South Lismore, passed away suddenly. Loving son of Charles and Bertha Dunn (both dec), loving brther and brother-in-law of Betty and John (both dec), Arthur (dec), Frances, Eunice and Len (both dec), Edna and Ossie and Joan and Don and their loving families. Aged 70 years. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend Prayers for John to be held on FRIDAY January 27th, 2006 at OUr Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church, South Lismore commencing at 9.00am followed by burial at the Lismore Lawn Cemetery, Goonellabah. PARKVIEW FUNERAL HOME – Lismore. “Family-owned and 100% Australian” NFDA 1800 809 336 FDA NSW
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