LOWREY, Thomas

Thomas was the son of William and Catherine Lowrey of Inverell where his birth was registered in 1894. Before WW1 he worked for Solicitors Borthwick and Butler and was a keen Rugby Union player for the Imperial team at Inverell. At the age of twenty one he enlisted at Inverell stating his occupation as Law Clerk. With several other footballers he was given a farewell at the Oxford Hotel where he was presented with a pocket wallet.

Thomas joined the 36th Battalion 1st Reinforcement and left Australia for England on HMAT A72 Beltana in May 1916.  After further training in England he was sent to France in November 1916. During the Battle of Messines Thomas was wounded and then a second time at the Battle of Passchendale. He returned to England for treatment of a gunshot wound to his neck and did not go back to France until May 1918.

Thomas, the Company runner, was awarded the Military Medal for his ‘excellent work and devotion to duty’ during the Battles of Messines and Passchendale. The King of Belgium also awarded Thomas the Belgian Decoration Militaire.  In 1918 he was mentioned in despatches for his work near Bray when ‘he carried important messages … through very heavy shelling and machine gun fire.’

After returning to Australia in May 1919 Thomas lived at Inverell where he was active in the local RSL Sub Branch and Soldiers Club.  He enlisted again during World War II. His name is recorded on the Inverell Honor Roll as well as the Inverell Intermediate High School Honor Roll.