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101st Anniversary - Drysdale's Pte. Cecil Lyons

Cecil Lyons was only 18 years old when he enlisted in The Australian Infantry, February 16, 1916. He was one of eight children born to James Lyons and Elizabeth Ann (nee Reynolds), Drysdale. He attended Drysdale State School and Drysdale Methodist Church.

Private Lyons embarked on the HMAT ‘Ajana’ with the 58th Infantry Battalion filled with pride and ready to serve his King and Country

Private Cecil Lyons

The 58th Battalion fought on many battlefields in France. They battled the German soldiers on The Somme and survived the Winter in endless mud in The Flanders. Cecil wrote many letters to his family back home, some were from the battlefields. His last letter was addressed to his sister May, dated 21st April 1918.

The last part of the letter reads,

“Well May we cannot grumble about our Easter dinner as luck was in and although we were in the line we reckoned it was a good war for a few days. I hope you don’t think it was the Australians who let the Hun through over here. We fight while we have a fighting chance and I think the old chap is the sorriest man when he does meet us, there is only one fault with there is only a handful of us and of course you can guess what will happen in time.”

Cecil’s last action was in the battle of the town Villers-Bretonneux, France, 25th April 1918.

His headstone at Crucifix Corner Cemetery reads,

In a lonely Grave

He’s Sleeping

One of Australia’s Best

We would like to sincerely thank the Lyons family for sharing their precious family relics, photos and information.