Enlistment Address

North Sydney, NSW

Service Number



13th Battalion


Gilgandra Coo-ee


RTA 8.5.1919



Sydney was a 24 year old labourer when he enlisted in Gilgandra on October 9 1915 and marched off to Sydney in the famous recruitment Cooee March.

He is described as 5’9” tall, weighed 11st 5lb (72kgs); dark complexion; dark hair and dark eyes. His father, Henry and mother Eva lived at ‘Hornsey’ David St, North Sydney, NSW.

Sydney trained at Liverpool for four months and embarked on March 8 1916 from Sydney on the ‘Star of England’. After training In Egypt Sydney, joined the 45th Battalion and left for France. They arrived in Marseilles in June 1916 and faced the Battle of Pozieres in the Somme. Sydney was promoted to Lance Corporal on August 24 1916.

He was admitted to hospital with a gunshot wound to his left forearm on September 26 1916. After a month at Bishop Knoll Hospital in England, he was granted leave and when he returned in November 1916, he was sent to Warhem Command Depot (a military convalescent unit).

He was due to return to France in July 1917 after several admissions to hospital with scabies (a common condition in the overcrowded, unhygienic conditions). But he tried to extend his period of leave beyond what the army had allowed so he was apprehended and detained in Lewes Detention Barracks. When his father was notified of Sydney’s ‘breach of military discipline…’ He wrote asking for an explanation of ‘in what way the lad has brought disgrace to his country and his family?’. However, his sentence was reduced and he was sent back to France to the 54th Battalion in time for their last major battle of the war at St Quentin Canal, between September 29 and October 2 1918.

On October 11 the 54th Battalion ceased to exist as a separate entity when it was merged with the 56th Battalion to form the 54/56th Battalion

Sydney returned to Australia on the ‘Devanha’ May 8 1919 and was discharged in Sydney July 19 1919. He is commemorated on the Gilgandra Coo-ee memorial Gateway.

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