Dakin, John (MM)

John Dakin (MM), L/Cpl 26304, 7th Bn. King’s Shropshire Light Infantry
Died of wounds 28th March 1918 in France, aged 23

 

EARLY LIFE

Son of William and Louisa Dakin, of Hurdsfield, Macclesfield, Cheshire.

 

MILITARY SERVICE

Private Dakin was awarded the Military Medal; this was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 9 November 1917:

TWO BROTHERS DECORATED

A treble war honour has fallen to a Macclesfield family, Mr and Mrs W Dakin, 2 Arbourhey St, having just learnt that their son, Pte John Dakin, has been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry and devotion to duty in attending to the wounded under heavy shell fire. Their second son, Captain Edwin Dakin, of the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regt, took part, with the original Expeditionary Force, in the heavy fighting in France at the beginning of the war. He received the French Military Medal for gallantry in the operations between August 21 and 30, 1914, and in June of the following year was presented with the Military Cross by the King at Buckingham Palace. He is now in France.

Pte Dakin… has been in France 15 months and is a stretcher-bearer… He has been highly complimented on the deed which gained for him the coveted award.

Captain Dakin, who also fought in the South African war, has over twenty years’ service to his credit. Two other brothers are serving – Sergt William Dakin, with a Labour unit in France; and Private Walter Dakin, York and Lancaster Regt. The last-named was wounded a fortnight ago with shrapnel, and is in hospital in Halifax. He has been in the Army eighteen months and his brother William is an old soldier who joined on the outbreak of the war. A portrait of Pte John Dakin, accompanied by an extended biographical notice, will be published next week.

Further details of Private John Dakin’s award were reported in the Macclesfield Times on 16 November 1917:

… Pte Dakin in a letter to his parents mentioned the fact that he has been awarded the ribbon of the Military Medal… at the time he penned the communication was in a dug-out forty feet below ground… Pte Dakin arrived home on leave a few days ago, and in conversation with our representative said he received the award for bringing in wounded under shell fire. With three others, he was acting as a stretcher-bearer to the battalion. His comrades being shot, Pte Dakin was left to serve two battalions, and he accomplished some very good work. He has been ‘over the top’ five times and has fortunately escaped without a scratch. Pte Dakin returns to France next Wednesday.

John’s death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 5 April 1918:

Mr and Mrs W Dakin, 2 Arbourhey St, Macclesfield, have been notified that their son, Lance-Corporal John Dakin, M.M., King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, died in a Canadian Stationary Hospital, France, on March 28th, from multiple wounds sustained in action. Lance-Corporal Dakin was 23 years of age and attended Daybrook Street School. He was associated with Hurdsfield Church and Sunday School and was formerly employed by his brother, Mr J H Dakin, painter and paper-hanger, Hurdsfield Road. The deceased soldier enlisted in the Cheshires in December, 1914, and was afterwards transferred to the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. He had been in France nearly two years, and was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry and devotion to duty in tending wounded under heavy shell fire.

His brother, Captain Edward [sic] Dakin, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regt, was decorated with the French Military Medal for gallantry in France during the earlier stages of the war, and he was later presented with the Military Cross by the King at Buckingham Palace. Two other brothers are serving – Sergeant William Dakin, Labour Unit, and Pte W Dakin, York and Lancaster Regt.

 

COMMEMORATION

L/Cpl John Dakin is commemorated is buried in Grave Ref. V. D. 16. of the Doullens Communal Cemetery Extension No 1. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for L/Cpl John Dakin, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.

In Macclesfield, L/Cpl John Dakin is commemorated on the Park GreenTown HallSt Michael’s Church and Hurdsfield Holy Trinity Church (congregation) war memorials.

 

NOTES

Brother of Edwin Dakin, who served as a captain with the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regt and was decorated with the French Military medal for gallantry in France, and presented with the Military Cross by the King at Buckingham Palace; William Dakin, who served as a sergeant with a Labour Unit; and Walter Dakin, who served as a private with the York and Lancaster Regt.

 

SOURCES

WWI Britain Absent Voters’ Lists (Find My Past)
Lives of the First World War website

Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Macclesfield Times:
9 November 1917, 16 November 1917, 5 April 1918

 


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