Their bodies are buried in peace; but their names liveth for evermore.
Their Duty Done
A tribute to the men and women of the East Gippsland Region who Died as a result of their participation in World War One : 1914 -1919
1038 Private Denis John Camm - Dargo Killed in Action 12 October 1917
The small town of Dargo paid a big price with the men who enlisted and died from there. On 15 April 1916 ten men made the all-day ride to Sale to enlist; among them was Denis Camm with his cousins William and Edward Connolly and Albert Reeves. All of the men enlisted with the 37 th  Battalion, part of the 3 rd  Division under the command of Sir John Monash. Denis was the first son, and second child, of Richard and Mary (nee Connolly) and he had nine younger siblings. In fact, three of his younger brothers served in World War 2. Denis, who had been born in Dargo, grew up scrabbling up hill and down dale at Dargo, knew all in the district and was held in high esteem by all. He was a popular and active member of the Dargo Rifle Club. Before leaving Dargo the community farewelled them all with enthusiasm and gusto at Hurley’s Hotel followed by a dance at the Dargo Hall where practically all of Dargo assembled to farewell them. Denis and his cousins all embarked from Melbourne on the Persic on 3 June and arrived at Plymouth on 25 July 1916. After the usual training in camp in England at Folkestone they sailed to Etaples in France on 4 February 1917. The 37 th  Battalion suffered heavy losses at Messines in June among them Denis’s cousins, the Connollys and others from Dargo. By mid-July, Denis had a severe bout of gastric enteritis which saw him hospitalised at Abbeville for a fortnight before being sent to a Convalescent Depot in Cayeux in August. After recuperating for a month he rejoined his unit at the end of the month. Denis Camm was 21 years old when he was reported missing in action six weeks later on 12 October. This was at the height of the battle for the village of Passchendaele in the third battle of Ypres when men were bogged down in mud and were known to disappear without a trace in the quagmire. It would be another seven months before the family would be officially informed that he was presumed killed. His cousin Albert Reeves was killed the same day. One can only imagine how this devastating news was received in such a small community as Dargo. In March 1923, his mother, Mary Camm wrote to the Department seeking another mother’s badge. Not only had they lost their son but the family had endured a house fire during which her mother’s pin was destroyed and she sent the two pieces to them for replacement. They responded, with very much regret, that they were unable to replace it as the supply of badges ceased twelve months earlier and returned the pieces to her. Denis Camm, and the other men of Dargo, are remembered on the Dargo School Honour roll and the Dargo District Honour roll. His name is also recorded at Menin Gate. We have been unable to locate a photograph of Private Denis Camm, if you know of one, please make contact. Our group would appreciate your assistance.
….. killed the same day as his cousin