William John Dawes, Lance Corporal, 1st Essex Regiment was my great-uncle. He served in the ‘failed’ eight month campaign in Gallipoli which was fought by Commonwealth and French forces in an attempt to force Turkey out of the war. Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery was created after the Armistice when graves were brought in from isolated sites and small burial grounds on the battlefields of April to August and December 1915. There are now 3,360 First World War servicemen buried or commemorated in the cemetery. 2,226 of the burials are unidentified but special memorials commemorate many casualties known or believed to be buried among them, including 142 officers and men of the 1st Essex who died on 6th August 1915. My great-uncle was one of those who fell on that day.
He is commemorated on the War Memorial at North Weald and is also remembered by his family on the grave of his brother, Henry, who died in 1929 and was buried in the village churchyard.
The ‘Commonwealth War Graves Commission’, who records his name as J. W. Dawes, includes the following citation: