The Soldier's Details
- First Name:
- Charles Henry
- Nick Name:
- Regimental #:
- Attached 2/4th, Australian Army Postal Corps
- Place of Birth:
- Maidstone, Kent, England
- Father's Name:
- Not Known
- Mothers's Name:
- Not Known
- Church of England
- Pre-war Occupation:
- Epitaph, Labuan Memorial, Panel 31, Age 44.
- Selarang Carnp Changi
- 'B' Force Borneo
- Cause of Death:
- Place of Death:
- Sandakan No. 1 Camp
- Date of Death:
Charles Dunn aged 25 years arrived Fremantle from London on ‘Moreton Bay’ on 15.2.1924. His occupation was recorded as gardener. His last known address was The Green, High Halden, Nr Ashford, Kent. He was one of a large number of both females and males sailing to Australia to join our workforce.
In 1925 he was recorded working and living at Kellerberrin as a Farmhand for L.B. Maddison.
Charles Dunn married Doris Kendrick in 1929, Doris was born 6 December 1902, Birmingham, England arrived alone at Fremantle, Australia in 1927.
Charles and Doris had no family in Australia and would have relied community/churches for friendship and support.
Unfortunately the Australian Depression years of the 1930’s prove challenging for many. It is probably the main reason Charles enlisted AIF August 1940 – to gain permanent employment and a regular income.
In 1933 Charles and Doris tragically lost their daughter Lillian (Audrey) to illness aged three years.
They had two more daughters who with their eldest Margaret made a family of three girls.
Doris died in 1980, Perth.
Prior to enlisting Charles and Doris were living in Bayswater where he was employed as dairyhand/labourer.
Above: Charles provides his mother’s name Gertrude. If Gertrude is the name of his mother – According to Census 1891, as a young girl of 11 years Gertrude was one of 8 children to John S Dunn (48) Army Pensioner and his wife Elizabeth (42) Maidstone, Kent. The 8 children’s ages range from 7 to 21. Gertrude does have older brother Charles Henry.
‘Charlie’ Dunn was selected in Singapore with ‘B ‘Force Borneo.
Their ship departed for Sandakan May 1942.
It was reported Dunn was ill with malaria at Sandakan No. 1 Camp 21 March 1945. Charles was 44 years old. His body was recovered from Sandakan No. 1 Cemetery.
His name is included at the Epitaph, Labuan Memorial, Sabah, Panel 31 as well as the Sandakan Memorial at Boyup Brook and the POW Memorial Wall at Ballarat, Victoria.
‘WA. Paybook photograph, taken on enlistment, of WX8092 Corporal Charles Henry Dunn, Australian Army Postal Corps attached to 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion, Australian Army Postal Corps. He was one of over 2000 Allied prisoners of war (POW) held in the Sandakan POW camp in north Borneo, having been transferred there from Singapore as a part of B Force. The 1494 POW’s that made up B Force, were transported from Changi on 7 July 1942 on board the tramp ship Ubi Maru, arriving in Sandakan Harbour on 18 July 1942. Corporal Dunn, aged 44, died as a prisoner of the Japanese on 21 March 1945. He was the husband of Doris Dunn, of Bayswater, WA. He is commemorated on the Labuan Memorial Panel 31. (Photograph copied from AWM232, items 4 and 5. Personal information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Database.)’
- Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
- Sandakan - Borneo ***