Peter Dean, Private 10325, 1st Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 1st June 1915 at Ypres, Belgium, aged 19
Peter Dean was born in 1896 at Macclesfield, the second son of Emily and Peter Dean, a labourer.
In 1901, Peter was living at 43 Lunt Hill, Macclesfield with his mother and brothers John James (7) and Alfred (1), and his uncle Isaac Moores. The census enumerator incorrectly listed Peter as being aged 7 and John James as aged 4. Peter’s father, who was serving in South Africa with the 4th Cheshire Regiment at the time of the census, died in Macclesfield in 1903.
In 1911, Peter, Alfred and their mother Emily were living with Emily’s brother in law, Joseph Dean, at 13 Snow Hill, Macclesfield. Peter, now aged 14, was employed as a fancy trimmer.
Peter attested for the army reserve on 20th September 1913 and was placed in the 3rd Battalion Cheshire Regiment Army Special Reserve; on 9th January 1914 he joined the 1st Battalion of the regular army. A man of 5 feet 8 inches tall, he weighed 129lbs and had a 33½ inch chest, a fresh complexion, blue eyes and dark brown hair. He had a small oval scar on the back of his right forearm, and a small vertical scar above his right eye. He stated that he was presently employed as a quarryman, and his brother John was also serving with the Cheshire Regiment.
In March 1914, while in Londonderry, both Peter and John requested a free discharge from the army because their widowed mother was ill in Macclesfield Union Infirmary and unable to support their younger brothers and sisters, and they did not have the funds to purchase a discharge. John was granted a discharge but Peter’s request was turned down.
Peter was reprimanded in Londonderry on 17th April 1914 for “holding a rifle to a comrade”, for which he was confined to barracks for 3 days. Later, on 8th October 1914, he was reprimanded for “stating a falsehood” and on 26th October 1914 for being “absent from 9.30am parade and remaining absent until apprehended in town” (the locations where these events took place are not in the records).
On 28th November 1914, Peter was posted to the British Expeditionary Force and drafted to the Western Front on 6th December 1914.
Peter was ‘mentioned in dispatches’ on 5th May 1915:
“Private Dean, seeing an officer, Captain White, of the KOYLI, lying wounded in the open, very gallantly crawled out to him in broad daylight, bandaged his wounds, and, assisted by two other men, Smith and Case, got him back safely”.
Peter was killed in action near Ypres on 1st June 1915, aged 19 years.
Private Peter Dean has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel ref. 19 – 22 on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Peter Dean, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.