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From Bank to Battlefield

Lyndon Clifford Clinch

Photo of Private Lyndon Clifford Clinch
 

Lyndon Clinch was born in Urana, New South Wales, to John and Margaret Clinch. He worked at the Commercial Bank in Bourke before successfully applying for a job at the Commonwealth Bank's Sydney Office. In the winter of 1915, shortly after his 34th birthday, Lyndon married Elinor Hall at St Phillip's Church, Sydney, and the couple moved to Hunters Hill. It was eight months later that Lyndon decided to enlist in the infantry on 21 February 1916.

For the first year of his military life Lyndon remained in Australia serving in the Depot Battalions in Bathurst and Liverpool. In January 1917 he was transferred to the 7th Reinforcements for the 34th Battalion and embarked for the war in Europe. Arriving in France in September, Lyndon's first experiences of battle were in the shattered woods and muddy quagmires of Passchendaele. Here the men faced danger not only from the German artillery and machine guns, but also from the muddy bogs surrounding them which were capable of drowning the exhausted soldiers. By the time the 34th Battalion was relieved on 19 October 1917, casualties amounted to over 50 per cent of the battalion.

Over the winter of 1917/18, the battalion alternated periods of rest, training and service on the front line. Lyndon spent the early months of 1918 at the Australian Corp School in France returning to the front line to aid with the defence against the German Spring Offensive. He rejoined his unit near Villers-Bretonneux on 14 April 1918. Three days later, Lyndon was caught by a gas shell that was dropped by the Germans, and he was evacuated to a hospital in Rouen.

Lyndon did not return to the Front again, instead spending the remainder of the war at the Australian Corps School. He received his discharge in December 1919 and resumed his work at the Commonwealth Bank’s Sydney Office later that month.

WWI Service Summary 21 February 1916, enlisted in 34th Infantry Battalion
24 January 1917, embarked HMAT A68 Anchises, Sydney
17 April 1918, wounded in action (gassed)
5 December 1919, discharged
Rank Private
Service Number 3032
Age at enlistment 34 years
Role at Bank Clerk

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