Raymond Sylvester Lord was born in 1890 in Cargo, a son of Edward and Alice Lord. From 1898 to 1904 Raymond his older brother Claude attended school in Cumnock where their father Edward was a Senior Constable. Raymond later attended the Patrician Brothers School in Orange.
Raymond was working as a clerk in Wallerawang when he enlisted at Liverpool on 16 February 1915. He was 25 years old, and listed his father Edward Lord, of Parkes, as next of kin. He embarked from Sydney on HMAT Ceramic A40 on 25 June 1915 with the 18th Battalion.
The 18th Battalion trained in Egypt and landed at Anzac Cove on 22 August 1915. Private Raymond Lord was wounded in action on that day, hit by a sniper while he was in a lying position, with the bullet hitting his left hip and grazing his right hip. He was transferred to Mudros the same day, and then to Malta on 27 August 1915. On 13 September 1915 he was transferred to England on Hospital Ship (HS) Panama and admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital at Wandsworth.
Private Lord recovered from his injuries and reported to his unit at Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt, on 13 January 1916. The 18th Battalion joined the British Expeditionary Force and embarked from Alexandria on 18 March 1916, disembarking at Marseilles on 25 March. On 24 June 1916, he was AWL for 35 hours and received 168 hours Field Punishment No 2.
The 18th Battalion took part in its first major battle at Pozieres between 25 July and 5 August 1916. Private Lord was wounded again on 4 August, with gunshot wounds to his left hand. He was admitted to a Casualty Clearing Station on 5 August and then transferred by train to No 8 General Hospital, Rouen, on 6 August. On 24 August he marched into the Australian Divisional Base Depot at Etaples, France. The battalion returned to the Pozieres trenches for a second time in late August. After a spell in a quieter sector of the front in Belgium, the 2nd Division, including the 5th Brigade, moved south again in October.
On 7 November 1916 the 18th Battalion was stationed near Ribemont, a small town located in the French region of Picardie. The Battalion diary for 7 November states:
Trenches in fearful condition. Mud everywhere and knee keep in trenches. Men suffering badly from wet and cold…
Snipers were very active and shelling fairly heavy, particularly along Turk Lane and sunken road. Raining practically all day.
Private Raymond Lord died from multiple shell wounds received in action on 15 November 1916, aged 26 years, at the 4th Australian Field Ambulance, France. He was buried at Bernafay Wood British Cemetery, Montauban, France. His father later received his 1914-15 Star Medal, British War Medal and Victory Medal.
At the time of his death, Raymond’s brother, 395 Sergeant Claude Lord – 4th Infantry Battalion, was serving in Belgium with the Anzac Provost Police Corps. Raymond’s elder brother, 4700 Private Roy Lord – 18th Battalion, had enlisted on 1 January 1916 and was awarded the Military Medal for assisting in saving wounded men under heavy fire on 9 August 1918 near Rainecourt, France. Private Roy Lord survived the war and returned to Australia on 5 April 1919. Claude returned to Australia in December 1918.
Raymond Sylvester Lord is commemorated on the Cumnock Public School WWI Honour Board, the World War I Roll of Honour on the southern face of the Orange Cenotaph and on panel number 86 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
In July 1917 a tree was planted at Orange Public School in Raymond’s memory. It was one of 26 trees planted in honour of fallen soldiers who had attended the school.
In 1923 the Anzac Memorial Avenue of trees was planted along Bathurst Road to commemorate fallen WWI soldiers. A tree was planted in honour of “Pte RS Lord”; it was donated by Orange High School. Very few of the trees are still standing today.
* Dianne Strahan and Val McKenzie, April 2015
Cumnock NSW War Memorials