Ayers, Lieutenant Sydney Winton

No 68 (Australian) Sqn RFC

Sydney Ayers came from Cootamundra, NSW, and he was working as a Mechanic when, aged 23, he enlisted in the AIF at the Show Ground Camp in Sydney on 14 September 1916, after which he was assigned to No 2 Sqn AFC in October. He departed from Melbourne on HMAT A38 Ulysses on 25 October. After training at No 12 Reserve Sqn RFC at South Carlton in February 1917, the next month AMII Ayers was sent to No 1 School of Military Aeronautics at Reading for instruction, and in June he learned to fly at No 81 Reserve Sqn RFC before rejoining No 68 (A) Sqn, where he was commissioned on 29 September and promoted to Lieutenant on 4 November.

He was severely wounded in the abdomen by ground fire on 23 November while flying DH 5 A9263 and was forced to land near the Front Line near Bourlon Wood during the Battle of Cambrai. He taxied onto a road, but his aeroplane couldn’t be recovered. Lt Ayers died of wounds at No 2/3 London Field Ambulance on 24 November 1917.

Lt S W Ayers is buried in Grave I D 12 at Lebucquiere, France. His brother, Pte C T Ayers of the 3rd Infantry Battalion, was killed during the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917.

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