Transcription of extract from an article titled ‘Coo-ees Column’ in The Farmer and Settler, 15 October, 1915, p. 3, [part 3 of 3 parts]:
The March from Gilgandra, A GREAT CHARGE AGAINST THE TURKEYS.
Pleasant times at Brocklehurst.
Wednesday morning broke cloudy, with a promise of further rain, when the column took the road for Brocklehurst. The ladies of Mogriguy had provided breakfast, and no time was lost in starting on the longest stage of the whole route march. The effect of further rain on the black soil was to produce a sticky glue through which the men tramped. As the rain continued, the transports were stopped, and the waterproof sheets donated at Gilgandra were unpacked; these kept the men dry in the nine miles’ tramp before lunch.
Mr. A. Carson, the school teacher, had arranged with the ladles of Brocklehurst to prepare lunch, and they did this cheerfully and well despite the rain. The ‘Coo-ees’ did justice to this part of the programme, and were then treated to a round of patriotic kissing by a bevy of Brocklehurst girls. The schoolchildren led the march on to the Dubbo road, and the girls escorted the recruits for a mile on their way despite the rain.
The Welcome at Dubbo.
It was four miles to Dubbo, and on the outskirts of the town the column was met by the recruits in camp at Dubbo, and the town band as an escort. There was a great crowd at the centre of the town, where a procession was formed, comprising the school band, Dubbo troops, the town band, the ‘Coo-ees’ and the transport waggons. The procession paraded the main streets to the town hall, where the mayor, Ald. J. Barden, and two thousand citizens were waiting. The scene was, one of unprecedented enthusiasm. Before the civic welcome had well begun, however, orders were received that the troops should proceed at once to the show ground camp to have overcoats issued to them; and the whole crowd followed them there and back.
Naturally, the ladies, who had tea ready, were highly indignant with the authorities over their “unceremonious and unwarranted interference.”
The mayor was considerately brief in his speech of welcome, but none the less cordial. After a light repast of tea and cakes, the ‘Coo-ees’ marched to the drill hall for a wash, and later to the Protestant Hall to a big ‘meat tea,’ of steak and eggs, bread and butter and jam; a pleasant change of menu after banquets and poultry and such delicacies. At a great recruiting meeting on Wednesday night, addresses were given by the chairman, Ald. Barden, Mr. Grimm, M.L.A., and Mr. Lee, and two more men were convinced that they should find places in the ranks of the ‘Coo-ees’ to fight in the great cause of civilisation versus barbarism. Just before the meeting began two Parkes’ men presented themselves, stating that they wished to accompany Hitchens’ army to Berlin, via Constantinople. Thus the snowball army grows as it rolls onward.
Yesterday (Thursday) the march proceeded to Wongarbon.’
Click here to view the article on Trove:http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116673914
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