Inverell boys, Laurie Lyons, William Lowry and Albert E. Richards were among the men recruited to the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force sent to German New Guinea in 1914. They are believed to be the first Inverell men to depart Australia for World War 1 service.
Laurie and William were working in Sydney at the time. Laurie was a school teacher and had been in Senior Cadets and the Rifle Club. William was an apprentice mechanic when he enlisted. Albert was working as a compositor at The Inverell Times newspaper before the War. They sailed from Sydney on HMAT A35 Berrima on 19 August 1914, just days after enlisting.
During November 1914, Laurie wrote to his parents about his experiences. Albert also wrote to Laurie's father and both letters were published in the Inverell Times newspaper a few weeks later. They returned to Australia in 1915. Laurie went back to his teaching and William eventually returned to Inverell. He enlisted again in 1916, becoming one of the men of the first contingent of The Kurrajongs.