Richard William DEWSON MC, DCM


DEWSON, Richard William

Service Number: 501
Enlisted: 21 August 1914, Kensington, New South Wales
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: 3rd Divisional Train
Born: Newton-Le-Willows, England, 25 July 1880
Home Town: Hobart, Tasmania
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Career Soldier
Died: Killed in Action, France, 27 May 1918, aged 37 years
Cemetery: Longueau British Cemetery
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Hobart Roll of Honour
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

21 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Warrant Officer, SN 501, Kensington, New South Wales
18 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Warrant Officer, SN 501, 1st Divisional Train, HMAT Afric, Sydney
18 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Warrant Officer, SN 501, 1st Divisional Train, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Warrant Officer, SN 501, 1st Divisional Train, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
7 Sep 1915: Wounded Warrant Officer, SN 501, 1st Divisional Train, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli, Shell wound (knee)
3 Jun 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, 3rd Divisional Train, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
3 Jun 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Captain, 3rd Divisional Train, HMAT Persic, Melbourne
27 May 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, 3rd Divisional Train, "Peaceful Penetration - Low-Cost, High-Gain Tactics on the Western Front"

Help us honour Richard William Dewson's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout, Australia and NZ in WWI

Today, it is with deep gratitude in my heart that I wish to pay a very respectful tribute to Captain Richard William Dewson MC who fought in the 3rd Divisional Train of the Australian Army Service Corps and who was killed in action 102 years ago,on May 27, 1918 at the age of 38 on the Somme front.

Richard William Dewson was born on July 25, 1882 in Newton-Le-Willows, Lancashire, England and he was the son of Pelham and Sarah Jane Dewson and was married to Margaret Dewson.

Before the First World War, Richard served in the British army in the 2nd battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment at the age of 18 and he was discovered as a stow-away on the SS Kildonan Castle en route to South Africa, he had been keen to do his bit in the Boer War but was not yet the legal age of 19 to serve overseas.

Between 1900 and 1904 he was variously promoted and demoted from Private to Corporal, to Sergeant for his good work and misdemeanours, as well as being awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal during his service in the South African Campaigns. By 1913 he was living in Perth and when war was declared in 1914, Richard Dewson was a serving officer of the Australian Army Services Corps in Tasmania. Unable to enlist from Tasmania as quotas quickly filled, he traveled to Sydney where he was then sworn in to serve with the 22nd Australian Services Corps, Third Division Train.

He served with great bravery at Gallipoli where He received a bullet wound to the left knee and was returned to Australia for discharge. He returned to the front in France on 3rd June 1916 on board “HMAT Persic” as Captain and Adjutant 3rd Divisional Train (Army Service Corps) Headquarters.By June 1917 Richard Dewson had shown his true colors, his experience and strength of years of military service saw him recommended and awarded the Military Cross. Seriously wounded with a gun shot wound to his chest, neck and arm, he was invalided to England for treatment, before rejoining his unit in France.

On the 28th August 1917 he was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in personally taking a convoy of ammunition to its destination under exceptionally difficult circumstances. In spite of intense gas shelling and having to deal with an almost impassable river, trenches wire and other obstacles he brought his convoy through with the greatest skill and initiative setting a splendid example to his men.

"From PLoegsteert Wood on the night of 8th / 9th June 1917, only a few hours after our advance he personally took a convoy of 90 mule loads of ammunition to Schnitzel and Bethleem Farm. This work was done by night and over most difficult country. Whilst on the Messines road the convoy was shelled with gas shells. The River was impassable and a crossing was made by grouping animals, thus providing spare men for making a crossing. After crossing numerous difficulties were encountered, viz: - trenches, wire and other During the latter part of the journey a searchlight detected the presence of the convoy and enemy shelling commenced, but in spite of all difficulties, the ammunition was delivered to its destination. This Officer showed great initiative and bravery throughout, and was a splendid example to his men, he has shown marked ability during the recent operations. It was mainly through his efforts that the Pack Transport has reached its present stage of efficiency."

Unfortunately, Captain Richard William Dewson was killed in action on May 27, 1918 near Amiens, Somme, and today he rests in peace with his brothers in arms at Longueau British Cemetery, Somme.

Thank you Richard, today we stand in front of you to honor you with respect and love but also with the gratitude that you deserve, you who have lived all your life in the army, facing the horrors of most terrible battlefields, from Gallipoli to Belgium then the Somme in France, you served and fought with loyalty and devotion for your country until your last breath by having been an example of courage for your men but also for us and today, australia and france stand united in the friendship that you have built by your courage and by the blood that you have shed and we protect the peace for which you fell and for which you sacrificed your life , we do not forget your past or the common past of our two countries and it is together that we are building the future today without ever forgetting that it is thanks to you, Sir and all your brothers in arms that we live in a peaceful world and I will always be there to honor your memory and that of all the men who fell here in the Somme. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember him, we will remember them🌺