18488 Corporal John Edward Dunne, MM.
8th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment. Awarded the M.M., in the London Gazette of 1 September 1916. Dunne was a native of Burnley, Lancashire.
From the Burnley Express of 16 September 1916: -
Ironworker's Military Medal.
The Military Medal has been awarded to Corporal John Edward Dunne (18488); of the East Lancashire Regiment., whose wife and four children reside at 23, Villiers St, Burnley. Corporal Dunn, who is 42 years of age, was at one time the engine-tenter for the Wood Top Manufacturing Company, and then afterwards worked for the Burnley Ironworks, where he was at the time he enlisted. He has been wounded three times. The first time he had all his teeth blown out, and was also gassed, and the next time he was shot through the foot. On July 15th he was wounded again, a piece being taken out of his face and nose and his shoulder shattered. Since July 22nd he has been in the 1/5th Northern General Hospital, Leicester. He does not know for what particular deed the medal has been awarded for - rescuing a comrade, getting water under fire, or carrying a message, but his comrades think it was for the rescue performance. "For rescuing a wounded man from no mans land, after carrying him for 100 yards he was shot again and fell from Dunne's back. The Germans were sniping all the time, and as he jumped into another shell hole he was also hit".
Writing to his brother in law, Mr. Jonathan Watson, of 53, Brush Street, he says:- "They have given me a right knockout this time and no mistake. There is one thing about it. It landed me in England, and I expect being in hospital two or three months yet. We went over the top on July 15th at nine o'clock. We were told to get to some shell holes about 200 yards ahead and keep the enemy engaged as much as possible, and we had to hold at all costs, to allow our other three companies to attack a village on the left of us. I managed to get into a shell hole with four sound men, another man with a bullet through his shoulder, and another man with a bullet through his thigh, which was broken. We stuck it till one o'clock. I only saw one officer, and I kept in touch with him, and at one o'clock he gave me the order to let my men get back one at a time. My four men got back alright. Now this is where the trouble started. I asked the man that was wounded in the shoulder if he was going to try to get out or he would have to stay until it was dark. He said he would have a try. I helped him to the top of the shell hole. He only got about ten yards when he let go. I got a bottle of water for the fellow with the smashed thigh, and then I got on the top and laid down by the side of the other fellow. He said he had got hit again. I got my equipment off and he laid on my back. I managed to get him on another 100 yards with a German sniping all the time He got him; he was shot in the back and he rolled off me. I knew I was for it. I just lifted my head, and saw a small shell hole about two yards away. I made a jump for it, but he got me alright. One of my boys saw me go down and came out to my assistance, and he got one in all right. The fellow I was trying to get in was a stranger to me, but I found out that his name was Grimshaw. I then lay in a German dug-out for five hours, and then I started to walk nearly two miles to our dressing station." At present Corporal Dunn is progressing favourably.
Almost certainly was in the 8th Battalion as "Soldiers Died" lists only one man of the name Grimshaw, who was killed in action on the 15 July 1916. He was Daniel Grimshaw, 19832, born Accrington, Lancashire, enlisted at Nelson, whilst living in Burnley, Lancashire.
From the Burnley News of 13 February 1918:-
A Hero of the Somme Battle.
Military Medal Presented to Burnley Corporal. Ex-Corporal John Edward Dunn, of 23, Villiers Street, Burnley, has just received the Military Medal that was earned by him during the memorable struggle on the Somme. The decoration was pinned on his breast during a ceremony at Fulwood Barracks, Preston, last week. Ex-Corporal Dunn enlisted in January 1915, and went out to France in March 1915. The deed for which the gallant ex-corporal received the distinction was performed during the heat of the Somme operations. Corporal Dunn, at great personal risk, carried water to two wounded men. He reached them safely, and picked up one of the wounded men, and was conveying him out of danger, when the man was shot dead, and Corporal Dunn was wounded in the right shoulder. He has since received his discharge. Prior to enlisting, Corporal Dunn, who has a wife and four children, was employed for nine years as an engine-tenter with the Wood Top Loom and power Company. He is 44 years of age.