Arthur James Dein

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DEIN, Arthur James

Service no: 5634 [1]

Place of birth: Wellington, 1898

Address: 59 Lords Place, Orange

Occupation: Porter

Next of kin: Mary Jane Dein (mother), 59 Lords Place, Orange

Date of enlistment: 15 February 1916

Place of enlistment: Dubbo

Age at enlistment: 18

Fate: Embarked HMAT Euripides, Sydney, 9 September 1916. Proceeded overseas to France 13 December 1916. Joined Battalion 17 December 1916. Hospitalised for scabies 20 Feb 1917 Rejoined 20th Battalion 28 Feb 1917 Wounded in action sustaining shrapnel wounds to the head 11 March 1917. Died of wounds, France, 12 March 1917.

Date of death: 12 March 1917

Buried: Bazentin-Le-Petit Military Cemetery, France, Plot 1, Row F, Grave 22

Arthur James Dein was born at Wellington in 1898, the son of Edward Jacob and Mary Jane Dein. At the time of his enlistment, 15 February 1916 at Dubbo, his mother was given as his next of kin, living in Lords Place, Orange. Arthur’s father had died in 1910.

Arthur was a porter on the railway at the time of his enlistment. His unit, 20th Battalion 15th Reinforcements, embarked from Sydney on board HMAT A14 Euripides on 9 September 1916 and proceeded to France. Arthur received a shrapnel wound to the head on 11 March 1917 and died at the Advanced Dressing Station the following day.

Private Arthur James Dein was buried at Bazentin-Le-Petit Military Cemetery, France, Plot 1, Row F, Grave 22.

The Orange Leader reported Arthur’s death on 30 March 1917:

Mrs. Dein, of Lords Place, is at present grief stricken over the loss of her son, Private Arthur Dein, aged 20,
who has been reported killed in action. Prior to joining up he was employed as a railway porter at Orange,
and was noted for his manliness and courteous disposition. It is the loss of lads of his calibre that hurts,
and we feel for his mother whose only consolation must be that he died for his country like a true Australian soldier.
Sleep the sleep that knows not breaking;
Dream of battlefields no more,
Days of danger, nights of waking,
Soldier, rest! Thy warfare o'er [2]

Arthur James Dein’s name appears on the Orange Public School Honour Roll (as A Dean), the Orange East Public School Roll of Honour, the Holy Trinity Church Orange Honour Roll, the World War 1 Roll of Honour on the southern face of Orange Cenotaph and on panel number 90 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

He is also remembered in Newman Park in Orange, where his name appears on a plaque commemorating former Orange East Public School students who were killed in action.

On 25 April 1917 the second ever Anzac Day service in Orange was held at the Orange Public School. Mayoress McNeilly placed a laurel wreath on the Union Jack for each fallen soldier who had attended the school, including Arthur Dein. [3]

In July 1917 a tree was planted at Orange Public School in Arthur’s memory. It was one of 26 trees planted in honour of fallen soldiers who had attended the school. [4]

In 1923 the Anzac Memorial Avenue of trees was planted along Bathurst Road to commemorate fallen WWI soldiers. A tree was planted in honour of “Pte AJ Dein”; it was donated by Mrs LH Ross. Very few of the trees are still standing today.

Arthur’s brother Private Edward Henry Fredreal Dein, SN 4369, also served in WWI, with the 13th Field Ambulance. He returned to Australia on 25 January 1919.

  • Sharon Jameson and Margaret Nugent, January 2019
Group portrait of 15th Reinforcements, 20th Battalion at Liverpool Camp, NSW. Arthur James Dein’s position is not known. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.
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