LEST WE FORGET

Sergeant Abner Gilchrist DALZELL MSM

Service No: 666
Born: Latrobe TAS, 10 June 1887
Enlisted in the Army: 25 May 1916

Last Serving Unit: No. 3 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps
Awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM)
Died: Aircraft Accident, Bass Strait, 23 September 1920, Aged 33 Years
Buried: Unrecovered
CWGC Additional Information: No further information
Place of Association: Fitzroy VIC
Remembered: Australian Book of Remembrance

MSM Citation: On 18 June 1917 at South Carlton at 1:25 pm, Sergeant Alfred Stephen Holmes RFC* in RE8 aircraft 3554 crashed.  The machine caught fire on hitting the ground.  This NCO made three very gallant attempts to rescue Sergeant Holmes and at last succeeded with the help of three men in dragging him from the burning wreckage.  He sustained severe burns in the attempt.

* Sergeant Holmes was a student pilot at No. 61 Training School and died from his injuries on the same day.

Three other Soldiers were awarded the MSM in the same action.

Air Mechanic Second Class Thomas James Carmody (530)
Air Mechanic First Class Cyril Mervyn Thomas Lee (630)
Air Mechanic First Class Vincent Smith (684)

Sergeant Dalzell was discharged on 6 May 1919 and joined the post-war Australian Air Corps on 1 January 1920 at Central Flying School, Laverton, with Service Number 13.  He was an Air Mechanic and had served in England and France with No. 3 Squadron.

Sergeant Dalzell and Captain William John Stutt were lost without trace on 23 September 1920 in DH9A aircraft E8616 aircraft that was last reported in the vicinity of Vansittart Island in the Bass Strait.

References:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record B2455, DALZELL A G

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