Ernest, who was known as 'Bendy', was born at Inverell to John and Sarah Byrnes. When he enlisted for World War 1 service he was twenty three years old and working as a Labourer.
As one of the First Contingent of the Kurrajongs, Ernest left Inverell in January 1916. He became a Private with the 33rd Battalion, C Company which sailed from Australia for England in May 1916. This Battalion was part of the Third Division and trained at Salisbury Plain, England prior to being sent to France in November 1916.
Ernest was severely gassed in April 1918 which resulted in him being evacuated to hospital in England for medical treatment. He was returned to Australia in March 1919 and discharged as medically unfil. He returned to Inverell where he lived until his death in 1957.
Private Ernest Byrnes has his name inscribed on the Inverell Honor Roll.
Photo: Private collection