Driver Herbert John Lawn, copy from Parramatta Soldiers, Cumberland Argus, 1920

Herbert, a brother to Alfred (service number 3341) and Horace (service number 2892), was 24 years of age when he enlisted on 21 January 1915 with the 13 Infantry Battalion, 5 Reinforcements. His service number was 1978.

Prior to enlisting, Herbert was a butcher and single at the time. His next of kin was his mother Mrs Mary Lawn. Her address was “Avoca,” Harold Street, North Parramatta, New South Wales. Herbert was a Roman Catholic.

On 13 April 1915 at Sydney he embarked on board HMAT “Kyarra” A55 and served at Gallipoli. He was then taken on strength with the 5 Division Artillery Brigade from March 1916 to France. He was transferred to 106 Howitzer Battery, 6 (Army) Field Artillery Brigade, and on 23 October 1918 was invalided to the Birmingham Hospital with severe Influenza. On 14 January 1919 he was invalided home to Australia per “Karmala” and was discharged on 3 May 1919.

On 8 August 1919 he enlisted in a Special Services Unit of the Australian Imperial Forces. His service number was 86178, and he embarked at Sydney on the “Rio Negro” for London. He was discharged from the Special Service Unit on 21 February 1920 and returned home on the “Konigen Luise”. His daughter Gwendoline reported his death on 2 February 1966.

Noela Vranic, Volunteer Research Assistant, Parramatta Council Heritage Centre, 2016