Transcription of extract from an article titled ‘The Route March’ in The Farmer and Settler, 19 October, 1915, p. 3, [part 1 of 3 parts]:
‘THE ROUTE MARCH
The Snowball Growing
THE ADVANCE FROM DUBBO TO WELLINGTON.
Last issue of the ‘Farmer and Settler’ left the Great Western Flying Column at Dubbo, where Captain Nicholas and his men met with the right royal reception to which they were entitled as the King’s men off to the wars. The most popular man in the western districts of New South Wales at the present time is Mr. W. T. Hitchen, the man that started the snow-ball rolling, and every town along the line lifts its corporate hat to Gilgandra and its recruiting association, the members of which made “Bill Hitchen’s idea” an actuality of the recruiting campaign.
The column marched out of Dubbo with colors flying shortly after noon last Thursday, a great concourse of people in the streets wishing them God-speed, and twelve local recruits falling in behind. The school band played the march out of town, and gave the boys a final cheer. Wongarbon was reached at tea-time. Three hundred people met the march a mile out of town. The Wongarbon band, the school children, and the members of the rifle club, joined the great procession, and citizens, mounted, driving, and on foot escorted the force to its rendezvous, cheering all the way. On arrival at the town, Cr. A. F. Morely, on behalf of the Shire Council, welcomed the ”snowball army” amid a scene of, tremendous enthusiasm. After pitching their tents and washing off the grime of the roads, the recruits marched to the local hall, where they were the guests of the citizens at a banquet to which over five hundred persons paid for admission. Captain D. Bowling, head master of the local school, and captain of the rifle club, presided, and put into words the public appreciation of the route march scheme, and the general hope that it would be a huge recruiting success. Captain Nicholas and Mr. Hitchen briefly responded and Recruit Lee made a recruiting speech, the quality of which is suggested by the fact that at its close thirteen men stepped forward and gave their names, either to march under Captain Nicholas, or to come after harvest. A collection for wayside expenses brought in £18.’
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