Sidney Alfred DEAN


DEAN, Sidney Alfred

Service Number: 13675
Enlisted: 3 November 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: Army Medical Corps (AIF)
Born: Surat, Queensland, Australia, 5 March 1886
Home Town: Surat, Maranoa, Queensland
Schooling: Surat State School, Queensland, Australia
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed in Action, France, 7 August 1916, aged 30 years
Cemetery: Pozières British Cemetery
Plot III, Row M. Grave No. 36.
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Surat War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

3 Nov 1915: Enlisted
29 Mar 1916: Involvement Private, SN 13675, Army Medical Corps (AIF), Battle for Pozières
29 Mar 1916: Embarked Private, SN 13675, Army Medical Corps (AIF), HMAT Kanowna, Sydney

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Biography contributed by Stephen Brooks

Sidney Alfred Dean was born and raised in Surat, Queensland and joined up as a stretcher bearer with the 12th Field Ambulance. He was a popular and well-known man around Surat.

He was well educated and wrote several letters to home describing Egypt and France, which were published in the local papers. His parents were Alfred and Louisa Sarah Dean.

Sidney was killed in his first battle, at Pozieres in 1916. His mother stated on roll of honour form that ‘He enlisted at Surat but was rejected in Toowoomba, but tried again in Brisbane & was accepted. Being a bit of a bush poet, he composed four pieces. Two of them appeared in the Western Star newspaper.’

Part of one of his letters published in the Western Star reads,

“France, on the other hand is a picture of greenery. When leaving Marseilles I went for a 60 hours train journey, and so you can guess I saw a decent scope of country. Since arriving at our destination from Marseilles, I have done considerable travelling about from one village to another, never more than a few weeks in one place, and that travelling, added to the train journey, has given me a good view of France. The greatest feature that impressed me was the vast amount of cultivation that is done here. Practically speaking, the whole of the country that is possible to work has had the plough in it.

All the houses here are built of brick, with tile roofs. Wooden structures are absolute strangers in France. The country (apart from its agricultural features) is most picturesque in the extreme. It is all beautiful hills and shady valleys dotted with villages. In my idea France is like a huge botanical garden. Just picture one's-self walking through the fern-houses in the gardens, the springs running through, and you can judge just a minute idea of the beauty of France. I cannot describe it, only as a paradise of beauty. Of course, it is spring here now and with it raining almost every day it certainly is at its best. It is quite the reverse to Surat and district when I left Queensland on March 28. I hope the drought has broken now.”