Lewis Dadswell was the son of agricultural labourer Charles Dadswell and his wife Frances (Farmer) Dadswell. He was born on 19 September 1883 near Jarvis Brook, Sussex, the second of seven or eight children, and was baptised at St Denys Church, Rotherfield, on 14 October 1883.
The 1891 census shows him as an 8-year-old living with his parents and four siblings at Blue Doors, Rotherfield.
In the 1901 census, he is shown as a 19-year-old boarder at Tunbridge Wells, Kent, and working as a journeyman baker (a baker qualified to work in the employment of another).
Sometime after this he migrated to Australia where he initially worked as a baker in Melbourne.
For a short time he lived in King Street, West Melbourne, but then made his way to Western Australia, where he worked as a baker in Kellerberrin, a small rural town in a wheat-growing area about 200 kilometres east of Perth.
He was still living there when on 9 October 1909 in Perth he married Mary (Minnie) Jane Sanderson, born in Yorkshire in 1870, the daughter of Joseph and Sarah Sanderson of Leederville, WA and formerly of Consett near Newcastle on Tyne, England. At the time of his marriage, Lewis declared his age to be 32 rather than his actual age of 26 which would have acknowledged him to be younger than his wife.
The couple moved to Melbourne and lived briefly in St Kilda but by the time of the outbreak of World War One in 1914 they were back in Western Australia, living at 546 Fitzgerald Street, North Perth.
When Lewis enlisted in the Australian Infantry Force in 1916, he described himself as a grocer and baker. He declared he was 36 (his actual age was 33) and his enlistment record noted a previous heart condition.
He trained as a signaller in Melbourne and left for overseas service in September 1916, travelling on the troopship HMAT A1 Hymettus and disembarking at Suez for service with the 8th Light Horse Brigade in the Middle East.
By the end of the year he had been transferred to the 68th Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, September 1916. The Squadron was new - its initial personnel were drawn from 67 (Australian) Squadron and were soon supplemented by volunteers from the light horse regiments along with extra mechanics from Australia. The squadron went to England for training in January 1917 and in September was deployed for operations over the Western Front.
The Corps were flying DH.5 fighter aircraft, subsequently replaced by S.E.5a fighters and later still R.E.8 reconnaissance aircraft. Its roles were reconnaissance and fighter missions.
Lewis Dadswell remained with 2nd Squadron, as it became known, until March 1919 when he was transferred to England. He returned home aboard the troopship Kaiser-I-Hind in May of that year.
In post-war years, he was a mechanic and he and his wife Minnie lived at Ruby Street, Fremantle.
On 4 March 4 1927, Lewis Dadswell died at Waverley Private Hospital, having suffered from peritonitis (inflammation of the membranes of the abdominal wall and organs). Minnie continued to live in Perth for at least 15 years. The couple appear not to have had any children.
Family tree - ancestors of Lewis Charles Dadswell
- Information compiled July 2017