Charles and Patrick were two of eight sons of John and Anastasia Byrne. They were born at Bellata NSW where their father had a property before coming to the Inverell district. With two other brothers they had taken up a land selection near Julia Creek in Queensland in early 1915. Charles and Patrick returned to Inverell to enlist and joined other local recruits to become members of the First Contingent of The Kurrajongs.
After training at Narrabri, they moved to the Armidale Camp joining the 33rd Battalion, D Company which sailed for England on HMAT A74 Marathon on 4 May 1916. Shortly before their arrival in England, Charles was promoted to Sergeant. After further training with the 3rd Division his Battalion was sent to France in November.
During the Battle at Passchendale Charles received a gunshot wound to his right arm and was evacuated to Hospital in England. After three months he returned to his unit and was wounded in the back a few weeks later. Again he was returned to Hospital in England. Charles came back to Australia in 1919.
Patrick was wounded in March 1917 and evacuated to England with a severe gunshot wound to his left arm. His War was over as he was returned to Australia in July and medically discharged in February 1918. The brothers returned to Julia Creek where Patrick opened a Stock and Station Agency and Charles started a Butchery. Charles had married Mary Doyle at Inverell just prior to leaving for the War. After he came home Patrick married Celia Moran at Inverell in 1919.
Both Charles and Patrick have their names inscribed on the Inverell Honor Roll.
Photo: Charles Byrne – private collection