Profile

DICK, Andrew Joseph
(Service number 6/809)

Aliases Known as Joseph or Joe. Enlisted as Joseph Andrew DICK.
First Rank Private Last Rank Private

Birth

Date 8 December 1883 Place of Birth Timaru

Enlistment Information

Date 18 August 1914 Age 31 years
Address at Enlistment Queen Street, Timaru
Occupation Slaughterman
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Mrs M. DICK, 1 Queen Street, Timaru
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information Height 5 feet 5⅜ inches. Weight 146 lbs. Chest measurement 34-37½ inches. Complexion dark. Eyes grey. Hair black. Eyes both 6/6. Hearing and colour vision both good. Limbs well formed. Full and perfect movement of all joints. Chest well formed. Heart and lungs normal. Teeth fair. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily and mental health. No slight defects. Small irregular scar middle of back of neck right side.

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation Main Body
Unit, Squadron, or Ship Canterbury Infantry Battalion
Date 16 October 1914
Transport Tahiti or Athenic
Embarked From Lyttelton, Canterbury Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Canterbury Infantry Regiment

Military Awards

Campaigns Egyptian; Balkans (Gallipoli); Western European
Service Medals 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date

Discharge

Date Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

7 May 1915 - reported wounded; admitted to Birmingham Hospital in May 1915. Wounds to left knee, right leg, left buttock, shoulder. 22 August 1917 - admitted to Walton-on-Thames Hospital, wounded with shrapnel in the left leg.

Post-war Occupations

Death

Date 17 December 1917 Age 34 yrs
Place of Death No. 2 Casualty Clearing Station, Belgium, France
Cause Died of wounds received in action
Notices Timaru Herald, 1 January 1918; Feilding Star, 2 January 1918
Memorial or Cemetery Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Memorial Reference XXVII. C. 3A.
New Zealand Memorials Timaru Memorial Wall (J. A. DICK); Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Dick Andrew J.)

Biographical Notes

Andrew Joseph Dick, born on 8 December 1883 at Timaru, was the second son of John Reid Dick, a wharf labourer, and Catherine (Kate) née Gallon, of Timaru. He was baptised soon after, on 25 December 1883, in the Roman Catholic Parish of Timaru. His mother died in April 1887 when Joseph was just three years old, and not long after the death of his youngest brother Robert. The following year his father married Mary O’Donnell, who became the mother he knew and was named as his next-of-kin. Joseph’s half-brother Francis died in 1898 at the age of nine. He was known as Joseph or Joe, enlisting and dying as Joseph Andrew Dick. As early as December 1906 he demonstrated a generosity of spirit, his subscription of 5 shillings to the Home Rule Fund being acknowledged.

Having enlisted on 18 August 1914, at the outbreak of war, he was a Private in the Second South Canterbury Company under commanding officer Captain D. Grant. Joe was a 31 year old slaughter man for the Christchurch Meat Company at Pukeuri, only 5 feet 5⅜ in height, with a small distinctive scar on his neck, single and Roman Catholic. He was one of several infantry men who left Timaru in mid August 1914 for the central camp at Christchurch. Joseph embarked with the First Reinforcements of the Main Body on 16 October 1914, destined for Egypt. After participating in the landing at Gallipoli, 6/809 Private J. A. Dick, of Timaru and attached to the Canterbury Infantry Battalion, was wounded on 5 May 1915 at the Dardanelles, and subsequently admitted to the Southern General Hospital at Birmingham, England. Joe wrote to his sister from Gibraltar on 5 May – “All of us who were not seriously wounded are going to England. I was shot close to the left eye, but it is not a serious wound. I was wonderfully lucky to have escaped death as I did, hundreds of times.” He also said that Major Grant, of Timaru, had been shot in the daytime and had died of his wounds.

Joseph Andrew Dick was one of a number of wounded men in Birmingham Hospital who were visited by the High Commissioner on 17 May 1915. The High Commissioner cabled the Prime minister - “I paid a visit to Birmingham Hospital yesterday and saw a number of wounded men belonging to the Expeditionary Force, and was present when others arrived. All were in good heart, cheerful and anxious to return to active service. Some hope to be soon convalescent.” The bandaged men in war-torn uniforms who arrived on the day presented a “pathetic sight”. As the ambulances drove up the people of Birmingham cheered. Many flowers were sent to the hospital, and some of the soldiers lying on stretchers had flowers in their hats. A number who had been severely wounded had been greatly improved by the voyage and were out of danger. A week later it was reported that Joe was progressing favourably. He was, however still in the hospital in late June but reported as “slight”.

Private Joseph Andrew Dick recovered and on 23 July left London by Government Transport to rejoin the force at the Front. He returned to the Dardanelles on 10 August, only to be admitted to the Hospital Ship a few weeks later, suffering from dysentery, and then to hospital at Alexandria, with fever. On 5 November 1915 he was again wounded. He was discharged, convalescent, from Alexandria and, it appears, returned to Gallipoli. He was there for the evacuation of the Peninsula, when over four nights from 15 December 1915 the troops were shipped out, the withdrawal from the front-line trenches taking place on 19 December.

Some time before Christmas 1915 the railway men of South Canterbury forwarded about 50 tins of Christmas gifts, of about £30 in value, to the South Canterbury soldiers at the Front. The secretary of the fund received numerous acknowledgements of the gifts from men in Egypt, all full of praise and appreciation of the kindness of the senders. The gifts were all packed in tin holders, especially made out of petrol and motor spirit tins, and the boys stated that the tins were exceedingly useful for the purpose of cooking, etc. Among the Timaru men who received gifts was Joe Dick, of the Second (South Canterbury) Regiment. Mr J. H. Whyte received a letter dated 20 October 1916 from his son Robert, in a “dug-out in France”, in which Private Robert Whyte says that he was again with his old Company, and it was “quite homely in a way to be with many of the Timaru boys. . . . . Joe Dick, . . . and lots of others that I know are here with us.” He continues “We are all well and in the best of spirits, . . . . Most of the boys are looking well though some of them have had a long and rough time.”

It was early April 1916 when Joseph left Port Said for France. For two months in 1917 he was attached to the Divisional Signalling Company. On 22 August 1917 Private J. A. Dick was admitted to Walton-on-Thames Hospital, having been wounded with shrapnel in the left leg. Before long the reports were that 34-year old Joseph had been wounded in action and admitted to the Field Ambulance on 15 December. He had died of his wounds on 17 December 1917 at the No. 2 Casualty Clearing Station in Belgium, one of ten men who died of wounds recorded in Casualty List No. 752. He suffered extensive wounds - to his left knee, right leg, left buttock and shoulder. He was buried in the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

His brother, James Alfred Dick, had gone to the front in early 1916 and was serving when Joseph died. A half-brother, Hugh Aloysius Hilary Dick (known as Hilary), was called up when he turned twenty in 1917. Two sisters – Nellie (Mrs E. Sinclair) and Mary (Mrs G. Sauer), who had both settled in the Feilding district – continued to remember their brother with In Memoriam notices.

Could we, his sisters, have clasped his hand -

The brother we loved so well.

Or kissed his brow when death was near,

And whispered, “My brother, farewell.”

His cousin William Wade who served with the Australian Forces, was killed in action in 1917. And cousins, John James Gallen and William James Gallen, also served in World War I. His medals - 1914-15 Star; British War Medal and Victory Medal – were sent to his father, as were the plaque and scroll in December 1921. Joseph Andrew Dick is commemorated on the Timaru Memorial Wall (as DICK J. A.) and the Basilica of the Sacred Heart Memorial (as DICK Andrew J. Dick)

Sources

Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Cenotaph Database [21 July 2013]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5537 0033739) [08 August 2013]; CWGC [31 July 2013]; Timaru Herald, 30 March 1887, 23 April 1887, 2 July 1898, 12 December 1906, 21 August 1914, 7, 19 & 27 May 1915, 6 July 1915, 6 May 1916, 19 December 1916, 6 September 1917, 1 January 1918 [x 2], Press, 21 August 1914, 7, 8 & 19 May 1915, Sun, 5 September 1914, 18 August 1915, Waimate Daily Advertiser, 7 May 1915, New Zealand Herald, 19 May 1915, Star, 26 May 1916, Southland Times, 3 July 1915, Feilding Star, 6 August 1915, 2 January 1918, 17 December 1918, 17 December 1919, 17 December 1920, New Zealand Times, 19 August 1915, Evening Post, 11 November 1915, 31 December 1917 (Papers Past) [31 July 2013; 11 December 2013, 18 November 2013; 02 February 2014; 11 & 12 February 2015; 24 April 2015; 8 March 2017, 16 September 2017]; NZ BDM historical records indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [July 2013]; NZ Electoral Rolls (ancestry.com.au) [2013; 15 September 2017]; Roman Catholic Baptisms Timaru (Christchurch Diocese CD held by South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [12 March 2017]

External Links

Related Documents

Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

TS

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