Australia’s Fighting Sinclair
sons of the empire
1914- 1918

In 1915 four brothers Clarence Fredrick, Raymond, Cyril and Clair Sinclair enlisted to take part in World War 1. They were the son’s of William James Sinclair, of Tyringham NSW. William Sinclair married Esther Edwards and had 13 children including unnamed twins that died in infancy. When Esther died in 1889, William remarried the following year to Jane Hiscox and had a further 11 children. Of the 24 children 4 boys went to war during WW1, as did two Kirby Brothers. Charles Parker Kirby was the husband of Ileene Sinclair. A further son Karl joing in WW2 together with many grandchildren.

Clarence Frederick Sinclair


Quartermaster – Sergeant Clarence Fredrick Sinclair (2476- 19th Infantry Batalion) was the youngest son from William’s first marriage to Esther. He enlisted at Dorrigo in July 1915. Clarence sailed for Egypt in the ship HMAT Themistocles on the 15th October, 1915, where he arrived at the end of 1915, and proceeded to France. He was wounded in France Feb 1916 and rejoined his unit in October 1916. The following day he suffered wounds in action. Promoted to temp sergeant Dec 1916.  Seven months later in May 1917 he was again wounded in action.  Sent to England to recover from thigh and arm wounds. Sergeant Sinclair proceeded back to France from Sth Hampton to his station at Sandhill camp, Long ridge December 1917. On January 1918 he was wounded and again in April of that year. Clarence participated in Battles at Poziers, Armentieres, Baupaume, Messines, Bullecourt and Polygen Wood. On the 20th July he was detached for duty with the American units, however on 17th of August 1918, Clarence Fredrick Sinclair’s luck and life came to an end when he was reported missing and confirmed “Killed In Action”. A heroic innings from a brave Soldier and Son of Australia. His body was never recovered from the French battlefields in the Somme. He is remembered along with 10,682 other diggers with no known graves at Villers Bretonneux memorial. The remembrance wall stands on a hill overlooking the fields where they fought so bravely. The residences at the village of Villers - Bretonneux, remember and honour the Australian diggers like Clarence Sinclair who came and died for their freedom. Life sooner than honour left these sons of the empire.

Raymond Sinclair


2nd Lieutenant Raymond Sinclair MM, DCM,(3912- 13th Batalion) was one of the 11 children from William Sinclair’s second marriage to Jane Hiscox. He enlisted at Dorrigo in 1915, and was attached to the 4th Machine Gun Company. He sailed for Egypt in the ship HMAS, and was there for a few months before he embarked for France. He went straight into action at Pozieres, and Fleurbaix, and later the battles of Armentieres, Baupaume, Bullecourt, Polygon Wood, and the 1918 offensive. Raymond was fortunate and returned to Australia. He received the Military Medal(M.M.) and the Distinguished Conduct Medal(D.C.M.) as a result of his military service.He lived a long and fruitful life marrying Angelina Mary Donoughue after his return from the war. They had the following children; Angelina Victoria Sinclair B1923 to 1923 died less than one year of age. Laurel Rae Sinclair 1927, Colleen Dawn Sinclair 1929, Gloria Olive Sinclair 1934, Clarice Heather Sinclair 1934. Raymond died 17 May 1971 in Coffs Harbour, NSW, at 77 years of age. Raymond’s wife Angelina died in 1987 aged  87 years.

For further information on Raymond Sinclair

Cyril Sinclair


Sergeant Cyril Sinclair(188-33rd Battalion) was also from William’s second marriage to Jane Hiscox. He enlisted in Dorrigo Nov 1915, to the 33th Battalion. Cyril was 19 years of age at the time. After finishing at the training camp in Armidale he was sent to England for further training at Salisbury plains. He was sent over to France to take part in the action at the Somme. He fought in the battles of Messines, Baupaume, Bullecourt, Polygon Wood and the 1918 offensive. He returned home in 1919 with shrapnel wounds to his back and having spent six months in hospital in England recovering from blindness brought on after being gassed. Cyril was 28 years old and a fireman at Torrington when he married Annie Sutton in 1924. Their three daughters were born in Dorrigo, NSW and one son was born in Killarney, Qld. Mary born in 1925 only lived two days, Willa in 1927 and Rae in 1929 and Edward in 1937. Cyril died 9 October 1957 in Grafton, NSW, at 61 years of age. Cyril's wife Annie died 17 November 1982, in Lismore, NSW, at 78 years of age.

Capt. C. Sinclair at Casino, 25th April, (ANZAC DAY) 1944

Mr. Mayor and fellow citizens,
Before commencing this address, I would like to say to you very briefly, -- That it has given me very much pleasure indeed to have the honor conferred upon me of being asked to perform what I would term this most sacred duty on this very Auspicious occasion here today. And I do hope that when my task is completed that you will all more or less feel that the confidence of those reponsihle was to a certain extent Gratified. Now it is needless for me to tell you that my story is of ANZAC. It is a story that has been told on many occasions. A story that will never grow old, but before proceeding with this story of ANZAC, I would like to quote to you three lines taken from that wonderful Poem the WHITE CLIFFS, but first I must apologise to the authoress for alterations made.,

Here are the words:--
I have seen much to hate here, much to forgive.
But in a world where AUSTRALIA is finished and dead
I do not want to live.

What visions of glorious deeds of heroism and sacrifice are conjured up in this word that will live for all eternity throughout the nations of the world.

Looking down the corridors of time, our, pulses quicken and our whole being thrills though mingled with pride and sorrow as we consider that soul stirring charge at the DARDENELLES.

Many went forward who never came back.

Many came back never to go forward again, their bodies broken but not their spirits.

At the darkest hour of dawn on that grim morning of APRIL 25th, 1915 a nation was born, born of the flower of AUSTRALIA and N.Z. manhood. The pangs of this birth suffered by men as well as their loved ones, on the blood stained shores of the heights of Gallipoli. This was no birth in hushed silence, but a birth accompanied by the sound of shrieking shells and death dealing bullets from an enemy who more than met his match in Australias sons, who on foreign shores gave their all in the cause of justice and freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of worship and the right to live for those ideals which we Australians hold most dear and sacred.

We are gathered here today to pay tribute to those gallant men who fought and bled for a principle, who fought for right and not might.

In the golden pages of the worlds history, their deed will ring down through the ages, deeds that made the whole universe ring with their praises.

They are gone -- They are not dead; They will live on in the dignity of deeds, and their names are inscribed on that imperishable roll of heroes, whose courage is a fragrant memory.

Those lads did not want war, they had not been nurtured in the bosom of a war lord whose great ambition was to turn plough shares into swords, and plunge the world into bloody chaos. They were men who lived in peace, proud of the country that gave them birth, living from day to day in peaceful harmony with all men. But when the clouds of war broke over, our beloved empire, they answered the call from the Motherland to assist to crush out that threat to our national freedom.

Men from farm and factory, from office and workshops, the sons of toil banded together with men and lads from the professional world, all resolved to put their shoulders to the wheel in the common cause for our Commonwealth.

They did their duty, they did not stop to reason why, they did not ask what is it worth, they were in the battle to do or die for you and me. An on those far flung shores of Gallipoli, through a storm of whining lead, through flesh tearing barbed wire entanglements, and up almost unscalable cliffs, those gallant lads charged unflinchingly with the inherited spirit of their forbears, surcharged with grim determination to gain the shore heights that were belching lead on every side.

Never will their glory fade. Never will the telling and retelling of their glorious deeds lose its thrill and never will the memory of what we owe to them grow dims

But is their sacrifice to be in vain? No.

The sons of ANZACS are now flying at the throat of the war monster that has raised his ugly head in Europe, and those islands close to our beloved shores and who has thrown the whole world into a state of chaos.

They are the ANZACS of today.

We have been left a glorious heritage by our heroes of far away Gallipoli.

Let their sacrifice be not in vain.

Let us emulate their example of heroism, and if we cannot take up arms, then let us pull our weight by helping those who are keeping the enemy from our hearths and homes.

And let the spirit of ANZAC permeate our minds while we strive in our particular spheres to win and end this war and all its abundant misery to human beings.

Today the theme is ANZAC and we bow our head in prayer and thankfulness to our comrades, who brought our sunny land to Nationhood, and whose deads of daring and courage "made the welkin ring" throughout the four corners of the universe.

Let us remember that they are not lost but gone before.

They have left us an example of heroism and patriotism that is more than a heritage, an example of the lowly Nazarine who said: "Greater love hath no man shown that he lay down his life for his friends."

So let us realise at this Easter Season, that, like the Christ, they passed on that we may live. Live in the freedom and security under those emblems of liberty, the UNION JACK and the flag of the SOUTHERN CROSS which float in the breeze over an empire on which the sun never sets.

An ANZAC tribute

Comrades of old war and comrades anew,
This day of remembrance we bring unto you,
A tribute of honor, well merited too;
Your comrades beseech that your lives freely given,
May long live in glory for...something worth living.


Comrades of old war and comrades anew,
We proudly salute you and honor you too.
Your King and your country indebited to you,
Who lay down your lives for the land of your birth.
That peace and good will should reign on this earth.


Comrades of old war and comrades anew,
Awaken your soul for all that you've striven.
Let's banish all hatred, let the world be forgiven,
For out of the mire your life was not given
For something in vain for those who are living,


So comrades of old war and comrades anew,
Arise and give praise to the glory of men.
Now resting with Him, who gives honor and glory
For services rendered for ever. Amen.

For further information on Cyril Sinclair

Clair Sinclair


2nd Lieutenant Clair Sinclair (2096-2nd Field Squadron), enlisted September 1915 at the age of 17 and went into camp at Holdsworthy. He was attached to the first field squadron Anzac mounted division and sailed for Egypt in February 1916. He trained there for some time and then went into action in Palestine, taking part in the battles of Gaza, Beersheba, Jerusalem and Jericho. He was promoted to corporal in June 1916. He joined the Australian Flying Corps in Egypt and after graduating as a pilot in May 1919 was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant. He left Egypt for Australia in July 1919 on board the “Oxfordshire”.  After his return home, he married Amanda Donoghue. They had 4 children, Amanda Sinclair, Mildred Sinclair, Lindsay Sinclair, and Carlyle Sinclair. Clair died in 1961.

For further information on Clair Sinclair

Charles Parker Kirby


Brother in-law, 2nd Lieutenant Charles Parker Kirby (104-33rd Battalion), was married to their sister Ileene Sinclair. They had one son, Charles Kirby in 1916. Charles joined the 33rd Battalion AIF in Rutherford NSW on the 17th September 1915 and was promoted to corporal on the 14 Feb 1916. On the 29 April he was promoted to acting Sergeant and to Sergeant on the 4th May 1916. On the 4th Aug he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant while still in England. On the 22 nd Feb 1917 he was wound in action and died the next day, 18th February 1917 in France - from gunshot wounds, at 26 years of age. He was buried in the Bolougne Eastern Cemetery, Pas de Calais France, Grave Ref No VII. B 13. The widowed Mrs Ileene Sinclair Kirby remarried in 1933 to Darwin Dawson.

The information & photos are based on the book "Australia's Fighting Sons of the Empire" published by Palmer & Ashworth in 1920.

Australian Fighting Sinclairs World War 2
Many of the Grandchildren fought in World War 2 and some lost their lives.

    Name                                                KIA                                        Parents
Private Archibald FrederickSinclair     28/5/1941           Sidney Gordon & Ellen Sinclair
Private Stanley Heston Sinclair                                      Sidney Gordon & Ellen Sinclair
Private Ivor McDougall Sinclair            9/4/1945            Ernest Crisp & Alice Flora Sinclair
Private Cyril Francis Sinclair                                         EdwinWard & Mary Alice Sinclair
Lance Corporal Harold Edward Sinclair                         EdwinWard & Mary Alice Sinclair
Sergeant  Karl  Sinclair                                                   William James & Jane Sinclair
Private  Claude James  Sinclair                                       Herbert Henry & Eileen (Duffy) Sinclair
Warrant Officer (RAAF) Clarence Frederick  Sinclair    William James Jnr & Mary (Cartwright) Sinclair
Corporal  Cyril Lachlan  Sinclair                                    Francis Gerald & Sophia (Chelman) Sinclair
Sergeant  Clarence Frederick  Sinclair                           Francis Gerald & Sophia (Chelman) Sinclair
Private  Russell  Ellis                                                        James Ellis & Dorothy Sinclair
Private  Tim  Ellis                                                             James Ellis & Dorothy Sinclair

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Since 3rd Sept 2002

Last Updated 10th February 2004

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