DARDEL, James Henry (1888-1941) +

Modified on Tue, 27 Mar 2018 13:42 by Con — Categorized as: Biography - All, Biography - Students, Geelong College, Biography of War - World War I, Biography of War - World War II

DARDEL, James Henry (1888-1941)

Henry James Dardel was born at Geelong on 15 August 1888, the son of James Henry Dardel and Helen nee Thompson. He was a student at the Geelong College entering in 1903. His address at the time was Chaumont, Batesford.

On leaving the College he was employed a an engineer at Humble’s Foundry in Geelong. Later he went to Scotland to take up a position as marine engineer with the shipbuilding firm of John Brown & Co. He was often known as ‘Harry’.

While in the UK he joined and served with the Royal Australian Navy during World War I. The Australian War Memorial (AWM) Collection holds his diary while on service with HMAS Sydney from July 1914, and holds detailed entries including tracking charts relating to the battle with the German naval ship, Emden on 9 November 1914.

The newspaper, News of the Week on 8 November 1917 reported that letters received from J H Dardel indicated that he was on furlough in England, where he had the great pleasure of meeting his brother L/Cpl E W Dardel, who was also on furlough from France. As they had not met for four years, the joy was mutual. A further report in the Geelong Advertiser newspaper told of their meeting with their younger brother: 'Shortly before leaving England for Australia, he and his brother Eric had the pleasure of meeting their youngest brother, Gunner Frank Dardel, who was over from France on furlough. They were in the vestibule of their hotel when they saw ‘an artillery chap’ wearing Frank’s colours, so they decided to speak to him to see if he knew anything of Frank’s movements. By this time the gunner waded in with, “Ain’t I in this?” The ‘artillery chap’ proved to be their brother Frank, whom one had not seen since he was a boy of fourteen five years before, and the other four years before. The elder brothers would never have known him. The three had a good time together in London, and then spent the rest of their furlough in Scotland.'

He married Daisy Elizabeth Dare, daughter of George and Elizabeth Jane Dare in 1919.

Pegasus of August 1921 reported: ‘J H Dardel, HMAS Adelaide, gained commissioned rank in the Royal Navy. Three months ago he was promoted to warrant-engineer, then further promoted to Engineer Sub Lieutenant.’

Upon retiring from service in 1933 he gained a Meritorious Service Medal. Afterwards he was appointed constructive engineer with the State Electricity Commission at Yallourn, and retained that position until the beginning of the Second World War, when he was recalled for service at the Navy Office.

He died on 19 May 1941, aged 52, at Heidelberg House, Melbourne, while serving at HMAS Lonsdale as an Engineer Lieutenant Commander, and was cremated at Springvale.

His brother, Aurel Louis Dardel (1893-1917), who also attended College, died on 8 May 1917 during World War I, of wounds suffered the day before at Noreuil, and is buried at Grevillers British Cemetery. His other three brothers, Alfred Eugene Dardel (1890-1939), Eric Walter Dardel (1897-1954), and Frank Roy Dardel (1899-1984), were also educated at College.

Sources: Based on edited extracts from 'Geelong Collegians at the Great War compiled by James Affleck pp164-5 (citing Australian War Memorial; News of the Week 8 November 1917; Pegasus; National Archives) and 'Geelong Collegians at the Second World War' p23 (citing Pegasus; Australian War Memorial).