214 Lewis Dyson enlisted at Leeton, NSW. He was nearly 31 years old, born in Huddersfield Yorkshire England.
He was a well-travelled man, previously having spent 5 years in China involved in civil works programs, and unconfirmed , but highly likely was a civil engineer involved with the new Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area Project in Leeton NSW.
Living and working in Leeton at this time had a promising future, the irrigation works planned by the NSW government were some of the largest in scale ever undertaken and the surrounding areas were no doubt set to prosper with employment and farming opportunities. Lewis Dyson had been in Leeton long enough to make it his new home, establishing close friendships and many associations as his story reveals.
When Lewis was at Gallipoli, he wrote to friends in Leeton, who had his letters published in the “Murrumbidgee Irrigator”. His letters on the landing at Gaba Tepe and life at Anzac would have been gripping, and he would later pay tribute in a letter about his good friend “Bozzie” who was killed in action.
“EVERY evening after the bombardment for the last month he and I have sat together up on the hill just behind the trench and smoked and yarned before turning in. We used to look out to sea and the peaceful islands and talk about old times and times to come ‘after the war,’ and the meals we would have some day, and things like that.”……….214 Lewis Dyson
After the war Lewis returned to Leeton, perhaps trying to take up his career where it left off before the war. Evidence suggests that it may have been difficult and short lived as he moved about visiting China, New Zealand and America.
By the early 1930’s Australia was in the grip of the world economic depression, Lewis was now 50 years old , he was divorced and his wife had remarried and he had been unemployed for 18 months with only the occasional work .
On the morning of the 24th March 1933 , Lewis jumped, “wilfully casting himself “ from the pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
He was a man who had seen the world for better or for worse, a man who even in the trenches at Gallipoli had dreams of returning home from war and enjoying the “times to come after the war”. Things were definitely difficult for Lewis and we will never know how unwell he must have been to take his own life, but on that fateful day ….. he decided he had tried and done enough.
Story Copyright© VanceKelly2015