William James Cecil Lyons

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LYONS, William James Cecil

Service no: 1985 [1]

Place of birth: Orange, 1888

Address: Curraboon, Euchareena, via Orange

Occupation: Station hand

Next of kin: William Lyons, Curraboon, Euchareena, via Orange

Date of enlistment: 15 January 1915

Place of enlistment: Liverpool

Age at enlistment: 26

Fate: Embarked HMAT Kyarra A55, Sydney, 13 April 1915. Taken on strength Anzac Cove 14 June 1915. Hospitalised due to shrapnel wounds to both thighs 6 August 1915. Admitted to No. 1 General Hospital, Cairo, 13 August 1915. Was given light duties 21 November 1915. Rejoined his unit 16 September 1916. Proceeded to France 19 September 1916. Wounded in action 15 April 1917. Admitted to 3rd Southern General Hospital, England, suffering a gunshot wound to the shoulder, cheek and nose, 24 April 1917. Rejoined Battalion 5 July 1917. Detached for duty at 1st Australian Division 17 September 1917. Rejoined Battalion from detachment 20 November 1917. Proceeded to England on leave 31 August 1918. Returned from leave 21 September 1918. Returned to Australia 9 May 1919. Discharged from AIF 9 July 1919.

Date of death: 25 March 1960

Buried: Wellington Cemetery, Anglican section, Row G

William James Cecil Lyons was born in 1888, the eldest son of William James Lyons and his wife Jessie. William – or ‘Cecil’ as he became known – worked as a station hand on the family property at Euchareena. He enlisted in WWI in January 1915 and embarked for overseas duty in April that year.

Private Lyons served in the 3rd Battalion, 5th Reinforcements for 4½ years. He was wounded twice during his service. Less than two months after arriving in Gallipoli he sustained shrapnel wounds to both legs and was hospitalised in Cairo. He was shot a second time in France in April 1917, this time in the shoulder, cheek and nose, and was transferred to the 3rd Southern General Hospital in Oxford, England.

Cecil Lyons was one of 25 servicemen from the Orange area who served in the 3rd Battalion. On 18 September 1918 the 3rd Battalion was involved in the Battle of Warfusee in the Picardy region of France. It was here that they captured the German 77mm calibre Field Gun that is now on display in Cook Park in Orange. Lyons was on furlough in England at the time; he rejoined the Battalion on the 21st.

Cecil returned to Australia in May 1919. He was one of three soldiers who were greeted at the Orange Railway Station by the Model Band and “the largest crowd…for some time”. Ald. Edwin Thomas McNeilly, representing the Mayor, led the official party, which included representatives of the Returned Soldiers’ Club, the Voluntary Aid Detachment and the Digger Post.

Cecil settled near Bathurst, where he secured a soldier settlement block. He was a regular visitor to the Orange district, where he spent time with his many friends and family members. In 1940 Cecil enlisted in WWII. He died in March 1960 and is buried in the Anglican section of Wellington Cemetery. His headstone reads:

William Cecil Lyons
Poet, humourist, a man of great personality.
Erected by his brother, sisters and some more of his mates.

William James Cecil Lyons is commemorated on WWI Honour Roll at Euchareena Soldiers Memorial Hall.

Cecil’s youngest brother, George, also served in WWI; he was killed in action in France in March 1917.

Leader, 14 May 1919, p. 1.

Local soldiers return [2]

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