Albany Thomas Frederick Varney was born near Coonabarabran, New South Wales, in 1891. The 24-year-old contractor enlisted with the Australian Imperial Force on 29 March 1915 and departed Sydney with the other reinforcements for the 12th Light Horse Regiment aboard HMAT Chilka on 7 June 1915.
Soon after arriving in Egypt Varney was transferred to the 6th Light Horse Regiment on Gallipoli and served there until the evacuation in December. While on the peninsula he wrote of an amusing incident where the sauce bottle in his bag was pierced by shrapnel and leaked all over everything in the bag. He considered it another thing the Turks had to pay for.
The following February Varney was transferred back to the 12th Light Horse Regiment and travelled with it across the Sinai, Palestine, and Jordan Valley. During this time he documented his service regularly in letters and postcards home, with detailed descriptions of the conditions and places encoutered. In October 1917 he participated in the battle of Beersheba and in May 1918 sustained a gunshot wound to the leg.
Varney sailed for Australia in July 1919 with the remainder of the 12th Light Horse. He later enlisted for service in the Second World War and was assigned to part-time duty with the 25th Battalion of the Volunteer Defence Corps. Albany Varney survived the war and died at Coonabarabran in 1981.