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From Bank to Battlefield

Cyril David McIntyre

Photo of Cyril David McIntyre
 

Born in Gosford, NSW to banker William McIntyre and his wife Isabella, Cyril McIntyre was a 20 year old bank clerk working in the Commonwealth Bank’s Hobart branch when he joined the war effort. As he was under the age of 21, Cyril’s father was required to provide written permission for his son to join the Australian Imperial Force. Cyril, who, like many of his fellow Tasmanians had prior Military experience having already spent 3 years as a Senior Military cadet, enlisted in the war in June 1915 with his father’s blessing.

By October 1915 Cyril had joined the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station. In October 1914 a new type of medical unit had been added to the Australian Army’s evacuation procedure. Originally named the ‘Casualty Clearing Hospital’, it was first referred to as a ‘Casualty Clearing Station’ on the beach at Anzac Cove during the Gallipoli campaign. This unit was established as the forward-most unit available to provide emergency surgery on the battlefield. In this position it freed front line field ambulances from having to hold wounded soldiers prior to treatment, thereby improving their own safety, mobility and allowing them to move with the brigades they supported. The Casualty Clearing Station was described as the most medically advanced unit of its time, where specialist surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses, radiologists and even a dentist were to be found. Cyril McIntyre’s unit, the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station (1ACCS), was raised in Hobart and consisted initially of 93 men, including 7 Doctors. After seven weeks of training the new unit embarked for Egypt and the Gallipoli offensive. They landed on the beach at Anzac Cove at 11 am on 25 April 1915 and remained on a 20 metre stretch of the beach throughout the eight months of the Gallipoli campaign. During this time the (essentially inexperienced) medical unit treated and evacuated an estimated 2700 wounded Australian and New Zealand soldiers.

After suffering sickness and minor injures throughout the war, often needing treatment from his very own unit, McIntyre was discharged due to ill health in June 1919. By this time his parents had moved to Queensland and his father was now a senior manager with the Commercial Bank. Cyril initially resumed duties with the Commonwealth Bank, however by the early 1920s he had entered into business with his father, founding the Australian Novelty Advertising Company. In September 1927 Cyril married Elsie Roberts at St John’s Cathedral Brisbane in what was described as one of the ‘society’ weddings of the year. An Article in theQueensland Figaro, 24 September 1927, provides detailed descriptions of the wedding party and the extravagant event. Sadly Cyril passed away in 1935 at the relatively young age of 40.

Source: National Archives of Australia

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