Michael and Ernest were sons of Daniel and Mary Ryan who lived at Howell NSW.
Michael enlisted at Inverell in October 1915 when he was a twenty-four-year-old Miner living at Howell. He joined the 19th Battalion, 13th Reinforcement and, whilst in camp at Liverpool NSW, he married. He sailed from Australia for England on HMAT A31 Ajana in July 1916. After additional training in England, he was sent to France in December 1916. During May 1917 he was captured at Reincourt, France and became a Prisoner of War in Germany. Following his repatriation to England in January 1919 he returned to Australia and medically discharged in May 1919. After the War he lived in Sydney where he died in 1961.
Ernest enlisted at Inverell in November 1915, stating he was born at Stannifer NSW, was nineteen and working as a Labourer at Howell. He joined the 19th Battalion, 14th Reinforcement and sailed from Australia for England on HMAT A18 Wiltshire in August 1916. He was sent to France in December 1916. During July 1918 he was injured and invalided back to England for treatment at the South African Military Hospital, Richmond. Ernest was returned to Australia and discharged in January 1919. After the War he lived in Sydney where he died in 1938. As a child he had attended both Copeton and Howell Public Schools.