Herbert Vincent Reynolds was born in Sebastopol, Victoria on September 16, 1896. In his early life, Herbert attended Sebastopol State School and after gaining a Merit Certificate in year 8, he left and began work at the Pyrites works, a chemical gold processing plant on the outskirts of Sebastopol.
Herbert had been an army cadet since the age of fourteen. When war broke out in 1914, he enlisted but was initially rejected due to his age(under the age of twenty-one). Only after his mother granted him permission did he join the 1st Field Ambulance 1st Reinforcements.
He remained on service during the entire period of war.
He was wounded in September 1917 on the Menin Road at the Battle of Ypres and was operated on at the Casualty Clearing Station. He was then sent to England for recovery where he wrote a letter to his mother:
Wednesday 26th September, 1917.
…I got hit when we were going up to the line with stores etc. just before the hop over started. I don’t know really just what got me, as I heard nothing, just found myself sailing in space for a few feet, with my head going like an electric motor., things were very much mixed after that, at any rate. I was operated on at a C.C.S and I finally found myself down here where I’m getting alone A1 and being looked after well…
His journey home back to Australia began in October 1918.
On his return, he married Phyllis Myrtle Booth in June 1928.
He had some experience as a carpenter during the war and became a builder. He was also heavily involved in the local council and was elected Mayor of Sebastopol in the 1953/54 Mayoral year.
He enlisted in the Second World War but could not join due to medical unfitness and instead, joined the Volunteer Defence Corps from September 21 1942 to October 1, 1945.
Herbert died in Ballarat on September 21, 1978.
His son and daughter-in-law have resided in Austinmer for forty-five years; his son publishing a book: An Anzac’s Story – Rex Reynolds. The book contains diary entries and letters by Herbert along with photos and postcards making up an account of his life.