Thomas Joseph Dalton 1893-1979

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Thomas Dalton. Image courtesy Rosemary Serisier.

DALTON, Thomas Joseph

Service no: 402 [1]

Place of birth: North Sydney, 1893

Address: 50 Kite Street, Orange, later 78 Byng Street Orange

Occupation: Grazier

Next of kin: Mary C Dalton (mother)

Date of enlistment: 22 August 1914

Place of enlistment: Sydney

Age at enlistment: 20

Fate: Embarked HMAT A16 Star of Victoria, Sydney, 20 October 1914. Joined Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 9 May 1915. Proceeded to Gallipoli 11 May 1915. Promoted to Temporary Colonel 25 July 1915. Proceeded to Egypt 27 December 1915. Transferred to Artillery Division, Tukh-el-Kheil, Egypt, 5 May 1916. Joined AATD, Tel-el-Kebir, 5 May 1916. Joined British Expeditionary Force, Alexandria, Egypt 1 August 1916. Proceeded to England 10 September 1916. Transferred to 15th Field Artillery Brigade 26 October 1916. Rank reverted to Gunner 26 March 1917. Proceeded to France 26 March 1917. Admitted to 7th Canadian General Hospital, Etaples, France, 3 November 1917. Discharged to duty, Camiers, 9 November 1917. Granted furlough 7 January 1918. Rejoined unit 15 January 1918. Granted furlough 11 February 1918. Rejoined unit 28 February 1918. Returned to Australia 4 December 1918. Discharged 3 February 1919 due to medical unfitness.

Date of death: 20 December 1979, aged 86

Buried: Orange Cemetery, Catholic Lawn 3, Allotment 12, Row 21

Thomas Joseph Dalton was born at Wheatley in North Sydney in 1893. His father was Thomas Garrett ("Gatty") Dalton MA, LLB, and Mayor of Orange in 1903, 1904 and 1905. His grandfather, also called Thomas, built Duntryleague and founded Dalton Brothers Stores.

Thomas was the fifth of six children born to Gatty and his wife Mary Helene Condon. He spent his childhood at Killiney in Kite Street, a house built in 1875 by his grandfather, and now known as Mena. He was educated at St Ignatius’ College at Riverview.

20-year-old Tom was one of the first men in Orange to enlist, doing so on 22 August 1914. He attended camp in Sydney for several months before embarking in October, a Private in the 1st Light Horse Regiment. In May 1915 he joined the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force and proceeded to Gallipoli, where he was appointed Temporary Colonel.

Following the evacuation of Gallipoli Tom transferred to the 15th Field Artillery Brigade in Egypt. In March 1917 he proceeded to France and served on the Western Front at Passchendaele and Ypres.

Tom returned to Australia in December 1918 and dedicated his time to the Dalton Brothers family business. He later became chairman of the board of directors. In 1926 Thomas married Doris Morrissey and the couple had three children; Elizabeth, Thomas and Rosemary.

Thomas died in Orange on 20 December 1979, aged 86. He is buried in Orange Cemetery and is commemorated on St Joseph’s Church Orange Honour Roll.

Thomas’ brother James also served in WWI; he died of disease in 1918.

In December 1914 Thomas wrote two letters home in which he described the Australian Light Horse’s memorable reception in Cairo and the beauty of Egypt.

Leader, 28 January 1915, p. 1.

War Postbag [2]

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