John Francis DANN


DANN, John Francis

Service Numbers: 2844, 2031
Enlisted: 4 June 1915, Keswick, South Australia, Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 27th Infantry Battalion
Born: Gumbowie, South Australia, Australia, 16 May 1889
Home Town: Oodla Wirra, Peterborough, South Australia
Schooling: State School
Occupation: Loco Fireman SAR
Died: Died of wounds, France, 27 March 1917, aged 27 years
Cemetery: Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension
Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension (Plot VI, Row E, Grave No. 23), France, Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension, Dernancourt, Picardie, France
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide South Australian Railways WW1 & WW2 Honour Boards, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Oodla Wirra Roll of Honor WW1, Peterborough 'LOCO' S.A.R. Roll of Honor, Peterborough Oodla Wirra Town Hall Roll of Honor WW1, Peterborough St Anacletus Catholic Church Honour Board WW1, Peterborough War Memorial, Ucolta Memorial Hall (Remains)
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World War 1 Service

4 Jun 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Keswick, South Australia, Australia
23 Aug 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2844, 27th Infantry Battalion
23 Aug 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 2844, 27th Infantry Battalion, RMS Morea, Adelaide
26 Aug 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, RMS Morea
27 Mar 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2031, 27th Infantry Battalion
Date unknown: Involvement 27th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières

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The Narracoorte Herald (SA: 1875 - 1954) Tuesday 22 May 1917

Local and District War Items

The death is reported from wounds received in action on March 27 of Pte. John Francis Dann, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Dann, of Coolta. Pte. Dann was 26 years of age, and enlisted in May, 1915. He sailed for Egypt on August 26 of the same year, and was attached to the 27th Battalion. After a few months in Egypt he sailed for Gallipoli, where he served until the evacuation, when he proceeded to France. He was wounded on August 4, 1916, in the battle of Pozieres and sent to England, returning to the firing line in January, 1917, where he met his death. Pte. Dann resided for some time in the South-East, chiefly at Narraooorte and Mount Gambier, but was transferred to Petersburg about, two years prior to enlisting. Pte. Dann is the second son of Mr. and Mrs. Dann to make the supreme sacrifice, his brother George having died of wounds on December 29,1916. Pte. Dann when connected with the loco. department of the railways here made a number of friends, and was a footballer. (

Daily Herald (Adelaide, SA: 1910 - 1924) Wednesday 22 May 1918




The story of a deceased soldier's missing will was related before their Honors the Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Buchanan in the Full Court yesterday, when a motion was presented by Mr. D. Water- house for letters of administration be granted to the Public Trustee in respect to a copy .of the will of John Francis Dann, who died in France on. March 27, 1917.

Mr. Waterhouse explained to the court that Dann was a member of the A.I.F. and was killed in action. He had executed a will signed on February 15, 1917, in which he left all his estate to his mother. A certified will was before the court. The personal effects of the de- ceased were in conformity with the usual custom forwarded to the base records office in London, and the will was in the pay book. The usual course followed was for an officer to make copies of the will received in this way, and then to forward the original by post to the military office in the country from which   the soldier had unlisted. The will of the deceased was posted in London in May, 1917, but had never come to hand. A copy was posted later, and this had been received. The presumption was that the original was among the mail matter on the steamer Mongolia, and had been lost when that vessel went down.

The Chief Justice said that there was no proof that the will had been lost or that the signature was that of Dann.

Mr. Waterhouse pointed out that it   would be extremely difficult, if not quite impossible, to secure such proof. The estate was a small one—about £318—and in the circumstances he asked the court to either grant letters of administration or in the alternative to declare an in- testacy. In either case the effect would practically be similar, as the estate was left to the mother of the deceased, and if an intestacy were declared it would go to the father of the deceased as the next of kin. In either case the money would be utilised for paying for the family house.

The Chief Justice observed that the matter was one of considerable importance, the probability being that there   would be a number of similar cases in the future.

Mr. Justice Buchanan considered that a simple way out of the difficulty would be for the mother of the deceased, as   sole beneficiary under the will, to consent to an intestacy by abandoning any claim which she might have in the matter.

Mr. Waterhouse said the mother was agreeable to such a course, but he did not consider it was necessary. The only difficulty was in regard to £200 for which the deceased was insured and which the insurance company refused to pay without the court's authority.

After further argument the court made an order that administration go to the Public Trustee without any will being annexed. (