Bernard and Clarence were the sons of Bernard and Meral McCosker of Cherry Tree Hill, north of Inverell. Bernard’s birth was registered at Inverell in 1883; Clarence in 1891. They both enlisted in November 1916. Bernard, aged thirty four, and Clarence, twenty four, were Farmers. Both were single men.
They joined the 33rd Battalion, 6th Reinforcement and sailed together from Australia on HMAT A72 Beltana in November 1916, arriving at Devonport, England at the end of January 1917. After several months of training they were sent to France on 3rd May. Bernard was Killed in Action by machine gun fire on 15 July 1917 at Messines, Belgium. He was buried at Bethlehem Farm West Cemetery, Messines.
Clarence was wounded in Action in September 1918 and evacuated to England where he was admitted to hospital with a gunshot wound to his right arm. He was returned to Australia in March 1919 and medically discharged two months later. He died in 1944.
At Inverell Bernard’s name is inscribed on the town’s Honor Roll and Cenotaph. In 1919 he was one of the men for whom a memorial tree was planted in Kurrajong Parade. Bernard and Clarence have their names recorded on the Graman Honor Roll and the Oakwood/Cherry Tree Hill Honor Roll.