Herbert Woodley Lyon was born in Lincoln early in 1897, one of five children to Walter and Emma Lyon. Walter was a cashier for an engineering company, and the family grew up in some comfort, employing a housekeeper, sick nurse and servant by the time of the 1911 census.
When he finished school, Herbert found work as a draper’s assistant, but with war closing in things were to change. Initially joining the Lincolnshire Regiment, by February 1918, he had transferred across to the Royal Flying Corps, moving to the Royal Air Force when it was founded that April.
Corporal Lyon was based with 112 Squadron at RAF Throwley, just to the south of Faversham, Kent. Details of his service are scarce, but it seems that he trained and qualified as a fitter, helping with the maintenance of the aircraft. His service records show that he stood 5ft (1.52m) tall.
Herbert’s time in the Royal Air Force was limited. His records show that he died of natural causes on 1st November 1918. He was just 21 years of age.
Corporal Herbert Woodley Lyon’s family had relocated to Wells in Somerset by this point. He was laid to rest in Faversham Borough Cemetery, not far from the airfield at which he had been based.