Herbert James Cartledge Peady was born in Ballarat and was a Storeman when he enlisted in the 5th Pioneer Battalion, Reinforcement 8 on 8 October 1916 at the age of 32. His unit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A35 Berrima on 23 December 1916. On 1 February 1918 he was admitted to Hospital due to an accidental crushing injury to both hands between two girders which caused a limitation of usage of fingers on both hands, mostly the right. The injury proved sever enough to see he was returned to Australia on 27 September 1918 and a medical discharge on 15 April 1919.
Tree No. 1791