David was born at Inverell in 1893 to John and Elizabeth Tomlinson. The family lived at the property 'Emu Hill' west of Inverell. David was educated at Staggy Creek Public School. When he enlisted in August 1914, he was a twenty one year old Grazier who had been a member of the 5th Light Horse for three years. He was a tall man, quite athletic and popular locally.

David was one of an early group of eleven men who left Inverell to enlist for War service. Prior to their departure they were photographed together at Inverell Railway Station. David became a Private with the 1st Light Horse Regiment, A Squadron and sailed from Sydney for Egypt on HMAT A16 Star of Victoria on 20 October 1914.

Private David Tomlinson was killed in action at Gallipoli on 11 July 1915 and buried at Beach Cemetery. At Inverell, as well as being one of the 215 men for whom a memorial tree was planted in Kurrajong Parade in 1919, his name is inscribed on the town's Honor Roll and the Cenotaph.

Photo: Sydney Morning Herald 17 August 1915