Cyril Bernard MEYER

MEYER, Cyril Bernard

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 6 June 1915, Sydney, New South Wales
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 13th Infantry Battalion
Born: Sydney, New South Wales, 6 May 1881
Home Town: Double Bay, Woollahra, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Commercial traveller
Died: Natural causes, Chatswood, New South Wales, 19 July 1959, aged 78 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Ballarat Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial, Double Bay War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

6 Jun 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, Sydney, New South Wales
20 Dec 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 13th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Aeneas, Sydney
20 Dec 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, SN Officer, 13th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
7 Apr 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 13th Infantry Battalion
14 Aug 1916: Wounded Lieutenant, 13th Infantry Battalion, Mouquet Farm, Left leg later amputated
15 Aug 1916: Imprisoned Mouquet Farm
16 Oct 1918: Discharged AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 13th Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by John Edwards

"...Lieutenant Cyril Bernard Meyer, 13th Battalion in the grounds of the Pension Morier, Chateau D'Oex, Switzerland where he was interned. He is seen walking with the aid of a cardboard artificial leg which had been constructed by Lady Marjorie Dalrymple whilst on holiday leave from France. Lt Meyer was a 34 year old commercial traveller from Double Bay, NSW when he enlisted and embarked for overseas from Sydney on 20 December 1915 aboard HMAT Aeneas. He was wounded and captured near Pozieres, France on 14 August 1916 and while interned in Germany had his left leg amputated. On 13 December 1916 he was transferred to Switzerland for internment as an incapacitated combatant prisoner. Lt Meyer arrived back in Australia on 16 April 1918..." - SOURCE (


LONDON, September 16. Lieutenant Meyer, of the Thirteenth Battalion, and a son of the late Mr. Elliott Meyer, solicitor of Sydney, was the only Australian officer who was repatriated from Switzerland. He lost a leg in France, where he was captured. He was in hospital in Germany for three months. In an interview Lieutenant Meyer described the treatment of British and Australian wounded in Germany as infamously brutal. Thousands died from neglect, filth, undressed wounds, festering sores, ill-usage, and semi-starvation. Amputations almost invariably ended septically. Hundreds of British and Australian officers, when their limbs were amputated, succumbed. Only twelve were sent to Switzerland, Lieutenant Meyer being one. The wounded privates suffered most, because they were denied lights throughout the winter and were immured in draughty wards. They were subjected to compulsory cold shower bathing, remaining without towel and wet and shivering in the open corridors. Their wet bandages were unchanged. Lieutenant Meyer's legs were shattered in an engagement at Moquet Farm in August, 1916. He was captured, and taken, in an ambulance to Courcelette. He was put to bed on loose straw and was not medically attended for two days and three nights. He was then entrained to Caudray hospital. His mattress and pillow were stuffed with wood shavings. Owing to want of sleep he became delirious. His wounds were not dressed for eight days. His diet was soup, black bread, lard, and acorn coffee. He was transferred in September in an admirable hospital train, which was the only bright spot in his German experiences, to a hospital at Grafenwohr, in Bavaria, with thirty Australians, including Captain Hoad and Lieutenant Cumming, both Victorians. They were the first British inmates, the others being French and Russian. The food and bedding were similar to those at Caudray. He was not permitted to write for two months, and consequently was supposed to be missing. He did not receive any parcels. The French divided theirs with the Australians. The hospital buildings were originally barracks and were unhygenic. The surgical treatment was inefficient. The bandages consisted of paper and lint. All suffered from bad sores. There was a high percentage of deaths. Everybody was without money and were unable to purchase extras. They petitioned the authorities for wine, but this was refused without payment. They wrote to friends, soliciting assistance, but the letters were withheld. After three months he was transferred to Constance and remained a month, receiving milk for the first time since his capture. The treatment was good. A month later he was transferred to Switzerland where he spent nine happy months." - from the Rockhampton Capricornian 22 Sep 1917 (