Day 2, Monday, 11 October, 1915, Balladoran to Eumungerie

Breakfast at Balladoran (Daily Telegraph 14/10/1915)

Breakfast at Balladoran (Daily Telegraph 14/10/1915)

Transcription of extract from an article titled ‘Coo-ees Column’ in The Farmer and Settler, 15 October, 1915, p. 3, [part 1 of 3 parts]:

‘COO-EE’S’ COLUMN’
The March from Gilgandra, A GREAT CHARGE AGAINST THE TURKEYS.

The ‘Coo-ees’ moved out of Balladoran at half-past ten on Monday morning on the second day’s march, the Union Jack and the Australian flag leading and a company of school children acting as a guard of honor.

At the town boundary a halt was made, and a short address was delivered by Mr. Berriman on behalf of the townspeople.  He spoke of the great deeds performed by the Australians at the Dardanelles, and expressed a confident belief that in years to come hearts would glow and pulses thrill at the story of the achievements of ‘Hitchen’s Coo-ees.’

Captain Nicholas, O.C., and Q.M.S. Lee responded, expressing the ‘Coo-ees’ ” gratitude to the Balladoran residents for their liberal hospitality. The men gave three cheers for the towns-people, then the schoolmaster led the children in singing the National Anthem, and cheers for the soldiers were lustily given to finish.

The march was then resumed under unpleasant conditions. The weather was very warm, and the dust and flies were particularly objectionable. By easy stages Mr. Wheaton’s homestead, two miles from Eumungerie, was reached. The transport waggons and cook had preceded the party, so lunch was ready, prepared from the stores carried, and was thoroughly enjoyed, as the good people of Gilgandra and Balladoran had given liberally of the best.’

Arrival at Eumungerie.

After a good rest, some instruction in the elements of drill was given by the officer commanding, and a move was then made to Eumungerie, which was the location of the second night’s camp. This town was reached a little after five o’clock, and the boys were delighted to find   that arrangements had been made for them to have a shower bath. They appreciated the thoughtfulness that put the ablutions earlier on the programme than the speech-making; and they enjoyed the speeches all the more for having clean skins. The dinner provided by the ladies of Eumungerie was an excellent one, and the boys, fresh from their bath, did full justice to it. Mr. J. Wheaton, chairman of the Eumungerie Recruiting Association, Mr. McLennan, vice-chairman, and Mr. McKeown, secretary, voiced the townspeople’s welcome, and Q.M.S. Lee, the ‘Coo-ees” official speechmaker, responded on behalf of his comrades.

After dinner there was music and dancing, then when the crowd was at its biggest, Mr. Wheaton introduced Mr. McLachlan, the school inspector from Dubbo, and Mr. Blackett, who had driven from forty miles the other side of Dubbo, to meet the Gilgandra recruits. These gentlemen and Mr. Lee delivered rousing recruiting speeches, and two young men, S. Walker, of Balladoran, and H. Sharpe, of Eumungerie, announced their intention of being in the January contingent after harvest. When these men stepped up on the platform they were given a hearty cheer that must have strengthened their resolution to do their duty for King and country.

An appeal for the Sheepskin Vest Fund found ready givers, and one local lady, Mrs. H. Griffith, gave £1 to the ‘Coo-ees” marching fund.

Advantage was taken of the occasion by the townspeople to present one of the   ‘Coo-ees’ that joined from Eumungerie with a wristlet watch to show their appreciation of his manliness and sense of duty in thus enlisting to take up his share of the burden. [This was Leslie Greenleaf].

The evening concluded with more dancing and the singing of several songs, but the majority of the ‘Coo-ees’ were glad to ‘sneak’ away to their blankets.

During the stay at Eumungerie, Mr. J. Wheaton showed a fine spirit of patriotic generosity in giving the recruits carte-blanche at his store; attempts to thank him were good naturedly brushed aside. A noticeable feature of all the good treatment is that the people absolutely refuse to be thanked, and, indeed, declare that they cannot do enough for the boys from the Castlereagh that are going forth at the call of duty.’

Click here to view the article on Trovehttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116673914

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