Private Walter McLaren was a 22 year old labourer from Earley Street Parramatta. He was married to Alma McLaren. He enlisted on 17 August 1915. He embarked with his unit from Sydney aboard the HMAT Medic A7 on 30 December 1915. He was wounded in action, with a shell abrasion to his right leg, in France between 22 July 1916 and 27 July 1916. He rejoined his battalion from hospital in France on 25 August 1916. He was admitted to hospital with appendicitis on 9 June 1917. He was invalided to England on 11 July 1916, where he was sent to Southwark Military Hospital due to his appendicitis becoming more severe. He was charged with desertion of his post between 9:30pm 27 November 1917 to 9:00am 5 December 1917. He was forced to forfeit 18 days pay. He returned to France on 12 December 1917 and rejoined his battalion on 21 December 1917. He was gassed and wounded in France on 23 August 1918. He returned to Australia from England aboard the HMAT Ascanius A11 on 9 February 1919.
Kimberly Russell – Volunteer Research Assistant, City of Parramatta, Parramatta Heritage Centre, 2017