Service Number: 550
Enlisted: 4 March 1915, Keswick, South Australia, Australia
Last Rank: Lance Corporal
Last Unit: 27th Infantry Battalion
Born: Laura, South Australia, Australia, 14 November 1890
Home Town: Yeelanna, Lower Eyre Peninsula, South Australia
Schooling: Laura Public School, South Australia
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Killed in action, Pozieres, France, 4 August 1916, aged 25 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
No known grave
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Port Lincoln & District Honor Roll WW1, Port Lincoln Garden of Remembrance, Tumby Bay War Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

4 Mar 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Keswick, South Australia, Australia
31 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 550, 27th Infantry Battalion, Pozières
31 May 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 550, 27th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Geelong, Adelaide
4 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 550, 27th Infantry Battalion, Pozières

A Soldiers Story

Roy was born on 14 Nov 1890 at Laura (SA) to James Albert Dunn and Harriet Emilene Dunn (nee Basley). He was the eldest of 6 children in the family, 2 boys and 4 girls. His father was a farmer near Laura. The family moved from Laura to Yeelanna in 1903, where they purchased a scrub block.
Roy went to school at Laura. After the family relocated to Yeelanna he worked on the family farm and other farms in the area until his enlistment in the Army at Keswick (SA) on 4 Mar 1915 at the age of 24.
At the time he recorded his occupation as farmer and his home town as Yeelanna.
After enlistment Roy was sent to 2nd Depot Battalion (Bn) at Mitcham for training before being allocated to
27th Bn on 16 Apr 1915. On completion of training he embarked, with his unit, at Adelaide on 31 May 1915 aboard HMAT "Geelong" bound for the Middle East, disembarking at Alexandria.
After a further short period of training he embarked from Alexandria on 4 Sep 1915 bound for Gallipoli, landing on 12 Sep 1915.
On the withdrawal from Gallipoli he was one of the last of his unit to leave, returning to Alexandria via Mudros (Greece), disembarking on 10 Jan 1916. After another short period of training and unit reorganisation he was again on the move, embarking at Alexandria on 10 Mar 1916 bound for Marseilles (France), disembarking on 21 Mar 1916.
The Bn entered the front-line for the first time on 7 April 1916 near Armentieres; he must have acquitted himself well as he was promoted/appointed Lance Corporal at this time. The Bn took part in its first major battle near Pozieres between 28 Jul and 5 Aug 1916. It was deployed on the left flank of the 2nd Division attack aimed at capturing the heights above Pozieres. The Bn's axis of advance took it through the Windmill, or rather the ruins of the 17th Century windmill, which had the dominant view of the surrounding area. They captured it, and held it in the face of unrelenting artillery fire and counter attacks.
When the 48th Bn took over from the 27th Bn they reported that there was no one left alive in the forward positions; the area around the windmill is said to contain more South Australian DNA than any other piece of ground anywhere in the world save for metropolitan cemeteries in South Australia itself. The Bn suffered over 400 casualties during the action (approx 40% of its strength)
It was during this action that Roy was reported Missing in Action on 4 Aug 1916. A further 75 members of his Bn were also reported as Missing in Action at this time, many, like Roy have no known grave.
A Court of Enquiry convened on 30 Jul 1917 found that Roy had been Killed in Action on the date that he had been declared missing in action.
Then commenced the usual difficulty in ascertaining Next of Kin (NOK). Many soldiers had listed their mother as NOK, but the military only recognised male relatives. It was finally ascertained that Roy's father was the closest living male relative and his medals and scroll were forwarded to the family in Dec 1922, five years after the finding of the Court of Enquiry! The stress on the family must have been unbelievable.
Roy's name is recorded on the Villiers-Bretonneau Memorial with over 10,000 other Australian names of soldiers who have no known grave. His name is also recorded on the Tumby Bay Memorial.

Showing 1 of 1 story

Biography contributed by Steve Larkins



Roy Dunn was listed as Missing presumed killed following a major attack by the 2nd Division of which the 27th was part .  The attack successfully cleared and captured the Windmill feature overlooking Pozieres village.  The 27th Battalion was the unit which actually captured the position. 


Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Meda

The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA: 1889 - 1931) Monday 21 August 1916


Mrs. J. H. E. Evans, of Hawker's-road, Medindie, has received advice from France that her brother, Lance-Corporal Roy Dunn, is missing. Lance-Corporal Dunn, who is the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Dunn, of Yeelanna, left for the front in May, 1915. (