Per his military service record (Depot), Edgar Dawson was born at Bathurst, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 29 years and 7 months, his marital status as married, and his occupation as labourer.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 8 ¼ inches tall, weight 116 lbs., with a dark complexion, bluish eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England.  He claimed that he had no previous military service.

His next of kin was recorded on his Attestation Paper of Persons Enlisted for Service Abroad as his wife, Mrs E. [Coral Edith] Dawson, Post Office, Bathurst N.S.W.

He completed his medical examination, and was attested by Lieutenant Frank Middenway, at Ashfield on 11th November 1915.

However, his Oath in his Attestation Paper was dated from 4th November 1915, and the date of 4th November 1915 was recorded at the bottom of the front page of his Attestation Paper near his signature, which was the day the Coo-ees marched from Hartley to Mt. Victoria.

An initial Application to Enlist in the Australian Imperial Force form dated 2nd November 1915 in his service record shows that he undertook a preliminary medical examination at Bathurst on 2nd November 1915, and “Route March Mt. Victoria” is written at the top of this form, so it appears he may have first presented to join the Coo-ee March at Mt. Victoria.

After completing the Coo-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

On 15th January 1916 Private Dawson went absent without leave.

On 17th February 1916 he was posted as a deserter.

Private Dawson returned to the Liverpool Camp with a Doctor’s Certificate dated 19th February 1916 stating he had been suffering from Entero-colitis.

His service record shows that on 22nd February 1916 his wife sent a letter requesting his discharge on the grounds that she believed that he was ‘not physically robust to go to the front’.

On 25th February 1916 Private Dawson went before a Medical Board that found him fit for military service.

On 3rd March 1916 Private Dawson’s wife sent another letter requesting his discharge due to their three young children aged 7, 5, and 3 years,  being sick with measles.

She sent another letter on 7th March 1916 stating that she also was sick and was not able to look after their children on her own. These letters did not appear to have any effect, and on 13th March 1916 Private Dawson went absent without leave again.

On 13th April 1916 Private Dawson was apprehended by the Military Police and taken to Victoria Barracks.

On 20th April 1916 he was discharged from the Australian Imperial Force ‘at wife’s request’.

[1] NAA: B2455, DAWSON E

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