John Byrne

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First name: John

Middle name:

Last name: Byrne

Personal information:

Judith Saunders has compiled an account of her father's and uncle's service in World War 1, using the older brother's letters home. John (Jack) Byrne,aged 25, served with the 3rd Division, part of the 9th Brigade, in France and Belgium, and took part in the battle of Messines Ridge from June 1917. The 3rd Division was relieved in October. Among the reinforcements was Private William Byrne, aged 22. Jack returned to Messines Ridge after leave in December. In March 1918 Jack Byrne received wounds to his chest and leg and did not return to active service. William Byrne fought on the Somme from March 1917 and took part in the "Great Push" of August 8 1918, at the battle of Amiens. Seriously wounded he was in hospital in England by the end of August. In April 1919 Jack was discharged and in May William followed.

An Anzac and some of his friends. "The Donks"
'An Anzac and some of his friends. "The Donks"'

Taken by official war photographer Frank Hurley, this image and its title are equally captivating  because it's such an ordinary photo of a young man looking after his animals in such  extraordinary circumstances. I can just imagine him saying something like 'Must be almost time to feed the donks' - an unremarkable job if he was at home, perhaps he was a farmer. Something else again at War in the Middle East. See pic.
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