David ‘Rex’ Hazlewood (1886 – 1968) was born in Dulwich Hill in Sydney’s Inner West and grew up in the suburban areas around Homebush, Chatswood and Epping. He first trained as a tailor in a city clothing warehouse but it was Rex’s father, David, who was himself a keen amateur photographer who fostered the same passion in his son.
Some time between 1911 and 1916, Rex Hazlewood began to identify himself as a professional photographer and he appears to have gained several contracts to record the progress of large government building projects.
He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in 1916 and left for England in 1917. He served at the Western Front, and at the end of 1918 he was appointed an official war photographer until his return to Australia in November 1919.