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Remembered Today:

frev

Remembered today on the GWF, 29/2/2008

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frev

Remembered today on the GWF, 29/2/2008:

Pte James DRYDEN, 13th Depot Bn - died by accident, 29th February 1916

James was born c1877 at Redruth in Cornwall, England to James & Elizabeth (nee Dole) Dryden. When he was 2½ years old, the family emigrated to Australia, where they settled in the state of NSW. James attended the Smith St School in Balmain, and later went into the trade of making hats.

He married Harriett Blanks at Balmain North in 1901, and they had 4 children, James Reginald born 1902, Eleanor Hazel born 1905, William Raymond born 1907 & Ettie Elizabeth.

James was 39 years old when he enlisted in the AIF on the 23/8/1915. He was on leave from the Liverpool Training Camp, and at home with his wife and family at Rozelle until about 3.30pm the afternoon of his death. After he went out, he met up with Pte Richard Woods, and they were together outside the Sackville Hotel around 6pm, when approached by a Returned Soldier. According to Pte Woods the soldier asked for a cigarette and James handed him one, the soldier then asked for a second, and when James refused, he gave the first one back “saying he would not accept less than two.”

James is then alleged to have said to the soldier “You are a hungry *******”, after which the soldier grabbed James by the scruff of the neck and pushed him backwards against the verandah post. James slid down the post into the gutter. His mate sat him up against the post, where he sat for about 20 minutes before falling backwards onto the footpath, dead. He was taken to the Balmain Hospital, where he was found to have died from head injuries.

Burial took place on the 2nd March 1916 at the Field of Mars Cemetery, Ryde, NSW.

Harriett never remarried, and she passed away in 1962 at Balmain.

Remembering James Dryden - taken from his wife and children, before he even had his chance to help defend their freedom.

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Andrew P

Thanks for telling us Dryden's story Frev. Very sad. I wonder if soldier that pushed him was punished at all?

Regards

Andrew

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Adam Llewellyn

Thanks for sharing the story with us Frev.

Llew.

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Dogflud

Frev,

Thanks for posting that. It just goes to show that there is a story behind every name, and they all deserve to be told.

We will remember them.

Nigel

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ralphjd

All very sad may he REST IN PEACE

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frev

I agree James' story was one of the many sad stories of the war - thanks to the GWF Remembrance program, another one comes to light.

I wonder if [the] soldier that pushed him was punished at all?

Drew - I also wondered this.

The only reference I could find in his file was a hand written note at the bottom of the police report:

"The plain clothes men think that they can locate the Returned Soldier."

[Perhaps one for Sherlock & Miss Marple.]

Or perhaps the Returned Soldier simply wasn't 'himself' after his return from the war - and had faced enough punishment. I doubt he really meant such harm to poor James. May they all rest in peace.

Frev

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DeeO

Frev, Pte James Dryden is my great grandfather.  Thank you very much for sharing this information.  The other very sad thing is that the day he passed away was his daughter's birthday (my grandmother).  Her world and that of her family changed forever.  I knew some of the information you provided  but I have never seen a photo of him.  Could you let me know where you obtained the photo so I can do so also for my family tree research.  Thank you so much.

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frev

Hi DeeO and welcome to the forum

 

Glad I could share a sad piece of your history - but I'm afraid I don't have a photo of your great Grandfather.

If you're referring to the soldier in my avatar (the circle under my name) - that is actually a photo of my Grandfather.

 

Cheers, Frev

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