DEAN, Alfred Warren (1895-1917) +

Modified on Sun, 10 Mar 2019 21:32 by Con — Categorized as: Biography - All, Biography - Students, Geelong College, Biography of War - World War I

DEAN, Alfred Warren (1895-1917)

Alfred Warren Dean was born on 17 December 1895 in Warrnambool, the son of Alfred Dean and Gladys, nee Walker.

He was educated at Kew State School and then enrolled at Geelong College in February 1910. His address was listed as '42 Lisson Grove, Hawthorn account to trustees'

He entered the Royal Military College, Duntroon, spending two years there, but failed his examinations. He was serving in the Melbourne University Rifles when he enlisted (No 5328) on 4 March 1916, age 21, at Warrnambool, and embarked on HMAT A28 Miltiades on 1 August, 1916 as part of 14 Reinforcement Group. He embarked for France from England on 19 November, attached to the 6th Machine Gun Company 24 Battalion. Pte Hugh Colin Reid (of Broadford) wrote to the Red Cross Information Bureau, telling of the circumstances of

Dean’s death at Second Bullecourt on 3 May 1917:
‘Killed at Bullecourt near Railway Embankment and I helped to bury him behind the old front line at Bullecourt Railway Embankment on 3rd May. Put a cross up over him. Fair fresh complexion, tall, was attached to our Machine Gun Company at the time. Padre said he would send his effects back to his people.’

W A Carne wrote of the death of Private Dean in 'In Good Company':
‘The six teams allocated to the railway embankment carried out their programme of placing an indirect fire barrage in front of the area attacked by the Brigade. Lt Bice supervised the three left-hand guns, and Lt Callister the others. From zero to zero plus 1 hour 15 minutes, it fell in front of the second objective, then for 45 minutes just ahead of the first phase of the third objective; and finally for twenty minutes beyond its last phase. During the firing, No 3 Section lost two men – Privates C W Franklin and W Hayward – both killed by shells detonated by the new 106 fuse. This new device caused the shell to burst immediately it touched the ground, thus increasing the radius of effective action. They became known to the troops as ‘grass cutters’ on account of the lateral spread of the shell fragments. During the morning, Lt Callister, of Privates H J Cook and A W Dean were talking to Cpl Tuohy, who had shortly before reported himself wounded. Just as Callister moved away, a ‘pineapple’ bomb burst right on the party. Dean was killed outright, while Tuohy received five additional wounds; Cook was unharmed and went on with his work. Three of the signallers’ telephones were destroyed by the explosion. Recovering from his injuries, Tuohy received an appointment in London and did not return to the Company.'

Deans’ Casualty Sheet with his Official Record notes that he was ‘buried in the vicinity of Bullecourt’ , but his grave was lost before it could be registered by the Grave Registration Unit, thus his name is commemorated on the Villers Bretonneux Memorial, France.

Sources: 'Geelong Collegians at the Great War' compiled by J. Affleck. pp28-29 (citing Pegasus; W A Carne, In Good Company: an account of the 6th Machine Gun Company AIF, in search of peace 1915-1919; Australian War Memorial).