Born 1890 at Whakataki in Wairarapa to Matthew and Sarah Dunn who emigrated to NZ from Glasgow in 1876. Jack is named after two brothers who died on the voyage out. He had one other brother, Mattie. Jack was educated in a one room school in Whakataki.
Jack worked as a reporter for newspapers in Levin, Masterton and Wellington.
Enlisted 20 August and posted to Awapuni Training Camp, Palmerston North. No 1 Section 13th Platoon Ruahini Coy.
Embarked S S Arawa from Wellington with first Contingent, Main Body, departing in October. They were joined in Albany by the Australian ships. The fleet was made up of 38 transports and four cruisers - destination Egypt.
15 December: Zietoun training Camp. Received news that he had been accepted as a permanent machine gunner.
12 April: Embarked Alexandria transport A 23 Itonus and the Island of Lemnos to gather before the attack on narrow isthmus near Gallipoli.
Sunday 25 April: Left for Gallipoli; as they neared they could hear the great guns from the warships. They landed about 5.30pm and could immediately see the dead and wounded lying on the beach from a previous attack by the Anzacs.
27 April: In sustained action his unit made their way up very steep hill under heavy fire, assisted by Infantry. They mounted the machine guns, several of their men were killed and the gun jammed on numerous occasions. By this time water was scarce, hygiene less than basic, enteric fever, pneumonia etc were common amongst the troops.
14 May: Brother Matt visited Jack today. He is also a machine gunner and was wounded the very next day with shrapnel wound to his arm.
16 May: Jack was taken by Fleetsweeper Newmarket and admitted to hospital suffering from pneumonia. When he did not improve, was taken to Lemnos for treatment.
15 June: He returned to duty. Back on the machine guns, they deepened their gun pit and roofed it with iron.
Back at the Battalion they were so close to the Turks they could hear them moving around in the trenches and this was where Jack was on sentry duty. He had not been relieved, he was still sick and unfortunately fell asleep after being warned not to and was discovered by an officer.
As another soldier was to say “you are dead on your feet, and at night time when you are standing up you would give your soul for an hour's sleep”.
At a field court-martial he was charged and he pleaded guilty.
A sentence of death was laid down.
The judgement was remitted by General Sir Ian Hamilton Commander-in-Chief.
A photo discovered at Australian War Memorial shows him on 5 August bareheaded and under armed guard and in front of his regiment, the sentence 'to suffer death by being shot' was read out and then remitted due to his previous good conduct and his health!
Jack rejoined his unit just in time for the last major offensive on Gallipoli. On 8 August three days after his reprieve,his Ruahine machine gunners were part of the attack on Chunuk Bair. They were briefly successful but the Turks after bitter hand to hand fighting retook it.
700 men of the "Wellingtons" died that day. Jack being one of them; he was shot through the throat and died instantly.