Tom Robinson Lydster fought in World War I, enlisting in Melbourne on 10 July 1915, service number 3060. His hometown was Haddington, Sydney, NSW. Prior to enlistment Lydster worked as a bricklayer. He was 29 years and 4 months when he joined the military, and was a widower with a child. His father, whose name was also Tom Lydster, lived at 83 Hawthorn Road, Northcote, Victoria.
Lydster was first placed with the 14th Infantry Battalion, 5-12 Reinforcements, from April to November 1915. He embarked on 16 October 1915 on the HMAT Port Lincoln, A17. He was sent first to Ismailia, Egypt, arriving in January 1916. In April he was transferred to the 4th Australian Machine Gun Company, and by June he had moved to Alexandria and then onto Marseilles, France.
Lydster worked his way up from a private to become a lieutentant. On 8 August 1918 he was wounded in action and admitted to the 13th Australian Field Ambulance. On 9 August 1918 he was transferred to 20th General Hospital, Camiers (France), suffering from a mild gunshot wound in the left leg. On 12 August 1918 he was transferred to England, and on 5 November 1918 he was transferred to No. 1 Command Depot, Sutton Veny. On 25 November 1918 Lydster was discharged from duty. He left London on 18 December 1919 and arrived home in Melbourne on 2 February 1920 via the H.T. Konigin Luise.
Lydster received many awards during his service with the 4th Australian Machine Gun Company: for his actions at Bullecourt on 14 April 1917 he was awarded the Military Medal (London Gazette: 18 June 1917) and for his actions on 1 October 1917 at Zonnebeke he was awarded a Bar to the Military Medal (London Gazette: 17 December 1917).
He died in 1984, at the age of 97.
National Archives of Australia, series B2455/1, barcode 8214184, LYDSTER Tom Robinson
Births, Deaths and Marriages, Victoria