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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

David Sonnie Dewar and John Lancelot Austin Dewar


dewar92

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Hello everyone. I am Tom Dewar, and recently i have been on a pilgrimage to France to visit the graves of my dear relatives Jack and David Dewar, who served in the marine light infantry and machine gun corps respectively in the great war.

I found out a considerable amount of information about Jack, killed at the battle of the somme in november 1916 and buried in Ancre British Cemetery.

Info about David "Sonnie" Dewar, however, was rather scarce. I know he previously served in the West Yorks Regiments before joining the 14th battallion of MGC and died on March 22nd 1918, aged 24 and is buried in Seraucourt British Cemetery in Aisne.

There is a few things i would like to know

If there are any photographs of David Sonnie Dewar, either of him in the West Yorkshire Regiment or the Machine Gun Corps 14th battallion?

If he had any service history?

Or when he joined the war?

I know he was mentioned in dispatches also.

I apologize if my questions have already been similarly asked, it it just me and my family, particularly my father would dearly love to find out more about his great-cousins.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Tom Dewar

PS i have attached a photo of Jack's grave also.

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Hello Tom,

Welcome to the forum

Probably the best place to find a photograph of David would be in the local newspaper at the time of his death. You may also find details there of the reason for his mention in despatches.

He may have a surviving service record, but as an Officer it is not available online. This would mean a visit to Kew.

David first landed in France on 7th January, 1917, according to his medal record card. This is available on Ancestry.

Regards,

Alf McM

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The Additional Information supplied by the family completing the Verification Form seems to differ from your version of Jacks Names.

Name: DEWAR, LANCELOT JOHN AUSTEN (JACK). Rank: Second Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Royal Marine Light Infantry. Unit Text: 2nd R.M. Bn. R.N. Div.

Age: 20. Date of Death: 13/11/1916. Additional information: Son of Annie M. I. Dewar, of 31, Gledhow Gardens, South Kensington, London, and the late Rev. David Dewar, M.A.

Grave/Memorial Reference: II. C. 38. Cemetery: ANCRE BRITISH CEMETERY, BEAUMONT-HAMEL

It may be possible to obtain the War Diaries for the days surrounding their deaths in order to establish what was happening (if you haven't already done so!)

Were they members of their school cadet force, as a 2nd Lt at 20 was fairly impressive.

Their old school or college may have a Memorial Book which could provide photos and some further details, again if you haven't already trodden that path.

It's possible that Sonnie may have initially been buried elsewhere and brought into Plot VI at Grand Seraucourt some time later, so always worth checking with the CWGC if they have any further information.

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Hi,

Thanks for the help.

I already knew Jack's full name, but thank you for your input.

I found out that David Sonnie Dewar was originally buried in Jussy Communal Cemetery, like Seraucourt, in Aisne. Does that mean his corpse was lost or his remains were simply moved?

I would also like to confirm to my parents where a bounce my relatives died and which battles, i think David was killed in the battle of St Quentin and John Lancelot (Jack) died on the first day of his combat in the somme, is this correct?

I am unable to access Ancestry, even though i know there are a handful of documents referring to my relative. Also, would anyone know which is the best local newspaper to obtain a photograph? I know he lived in Loughborough so even a list of the county newspapers would be fine, or what i would fancy would be for a request for someone to help me find a photograph.

Finally, i tried looking on the London Gazette to find information on David and why he was mentioned in despatches, but no success.

Thanks,

Tom

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There is a Medal Index Card for Lt David Dewar, noting Killed in Action 22/3/1918.

It further shows entitlement to the 1914 Star, presumably prior to being commissioned, so we need to trace his original unit that he went with to France.

It also notes that "Mrs Dewar forwards acknowledgement for medals and also applies for Star (this means the Clasp and "rose" on the medal ribbon) and enquires re Mention in Despatches dated 13/2/1922" (must be the date of her letter as an MiD so long after his death would be unusual).

The address shown is Mrs D Dewar, 352 Camden Road, London N7.

The MIC clearly shows the reference to the Emblem, but then shows his Date of Entry into Theatre as 7/1/17, no mistake about the figures!!

The MGC wasn't formed in 1914, so there has to be another MIC for him, before he was an officer.....

Any ideas about which Regimant he may have had prior service with in 1914?

(Unless the reference to "Emblem" is in respect of the MiD oakleaf...?)

I'd suggest asking for any information in the respective unit War Diaries that may show where they were when they were killed.

Officers usually warranted a mention by Name, not so often for "Other Ranks"....

Incidentally, I was highlighting the difference you had for Lancelot John AustEn (as per the headstone photo) whereas you showed his Names as John Lancelot AustIn.... and did you have the Great Britain Royal Naval Division Casualties info?

Name: Lancelot John Austen (Jack) Dewar

Service Branch: Royal Marines. Unit: 2nd Royal Marine Bn.

Rank: Temporary 2nd Lieutenant, Death Date: 13 Nov 1916

Cause of Death: Killed in action. Burial: Ancre British Cemetery, Beaumont-Hamel (FR 339)

Service History: Commissioned Temporary 2nd Lieutenant RM 15/1/16 ; Draft for BEF 8/7/16, joined 2nd RM Bn. 12/7/16-13/11/16 (Date of Death).

Notes: Buried 57d.Q.17.d. Gordon Trench & No man's land. ; b.Northampton 8/10/1896 ; Younger son of the Rev. David Dewar M.A. (died 5/8/21 age 59) & Annie M.I. Dewar, of Holy Trinity Vicarage, Loughborough (later of 31 Gledhow Gardens, South Kensington, London) ; ADM/171 = V.B. issued to Mother; Brother, Temporary Lieutenant David (Sonnie) Dewar MiD 14th Bn. MG Corps KIA 22/3/18.

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Hello Tom,

The London Gazette of 4th August, 1916, shows 2nd Lieutenant D.Dewer {Dewar} transferred from The West Yorkshire Regt. to the Machine Gun Corps as of 27th March, 1916.

Regards,

Alf McM

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  • 1 month later...
Guest CBrown33

My family just found this photo of David "Sonnie" Dewar. The back of the image reads as follows:

David (Sonnie) Dewar L.L.B.B.A Cam. Aged 24 (mentioned in Despatches) Killed March 22nd, 1918

9040eb50-2f6f-4e06-9ebd-708bd91878bc-1.jpg

Hope this helps.

Sincerely,

Crystal

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Hi Crystal,

In the photo he is wearing the insignia of a Lieutenant in the Machine Gun Corps.

Rgds

Tim D

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just come back here. Wow. Great find Crystal. When me and my family went to the Cemetery David's brother Jack was buried in, there was a photo of Jack Dewar in the rugby team of his old school. The photo is below. By the way, Crystal, how did you find this photograph? I never thought i would know what he looked like. Many thanks :)

Tom

post-72852-0-78069000-1311966357.jpg

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According to his MIC, David Dewar entered France & Flanders on 7/1/17 and is only entitled to the BWM & VM with an MID emblem. So it appears that he was not entitled to a 1914 Star and therefore had no o/r service overseas prior to his being commissioned.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Tom,

PFA a partial copy of an original photo of the Oakham School cricket team 1914. LJA Dewar is on the far right of the middle row. All the boys are named on the bottom of the mount and sadly at least three of his fellow cricketers also died in the Great War. (HAV Wait - 2nd Berks, JE Atter - 1/5th Leics and DA Hall - 10th Y&L). According to the CWGC, another possibility is WR Hill (4th attd 12th DLI). However, I cannot confirm that he was an Oakham old boy and hence the same WR Hill in this photograph.

I also have the 1915 team photo that again features LJA Dewar. (this time with AF Taverner 1 KSLI and LA Kingham 1 Berks who were also to fall in the war). If you'd like a copy of this photo (or indeed, a better copy of the attached please feel free to PM me.

Email me

Mike.

post-59858-0-62284400-1315947832.jpg

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Hi,

My attention has been called to the thread about David Dewar MGC.

There is a full file of papers on him held at National Archives, Kew under reference WO339/33847.

Also, it appears that he was originally commissioned into the 11th Bn West Yorkshire Regt.

Compliments MGC Old Comrades Asscn.

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Hi,

My attention has been called to the thread about David Dewar MGC.

There is a full file of papers on him held at National Archives, Kew under reference WO339/33847.

Also, it appears that he was originally commissioned into the 11th Bn West Yorkshire Regt.

Compliments MGC Old Comrades Asscn.

Thank you very much, Patesian. I am now in the process of trying to arrange a visit with my parents to the said National Archives in Kew, but living in Doncaster, we are quite a long way away, and may take a few weeks to fit in. In the meantime, have you please any more information about David, like how he was killed, and why he was mentioned in dispatches?

Many thanks again, Tom

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi again.

Patesian, thanks for your help, i have now ordered the reference you gave me of D. Dewar online so that will be sorted out.

I have found recently a few pages of the London Gazette referring to David, but would there be a page about him being MiD?

Tom

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