Day 12, Thursday, 21 October, 1915, Euchareena to Boomey

Transcription of extract from an article titled ‘The Route March : Section Leaders Appointed’ from The Farmer and Settler, 15 October, 1915, p. 3, [part 1 of 5 parts]:

Section Leaders Appointed

As there was no formal public entertainment on Wednesday evening at Euchareena, and as the men had arrived fairly fresh, a good night’s rest put them into good fettle, and they were ready to make an early start on the ten-mile walk to Boomey. Lunch was taken three miles out under the willows at Nembriggan [i.e. Newbriggan] Creek, a charming, little spot on the road to Molong. The food was that which had been left over at the Euchareena tea, so the cook’s work was light. On the way a shearing shed in full operation was inspected, and one of the shearers signified his intention of enlisting, promising to join the “Coo-ees” at Orange. The proprietors, Messrs. Brazier Bros., gave a sheep to assist the commissiariat.

Advantage was taken of the long luncheon halt at Newbriggang [sic] Creek to divide the column into sections, so that the best possible appearance may be made when marching, and also, more important still, to enable the organising staff and N.C.O’s to handle the men more efficiently. One complete platoon of sixty-nine men was formed as follows :-
No. 1 (Gilgandra) Section.-Sergeant in charge and sixteen Gilgandra men.
No. 2 (Gilgandra) Section.-Corporal in charge; the section completed by incorporating nine Dubbo men.
No. 3 (Wellington) Section.- Corporal   in charge, and sixteen Wellington men.
No. 4 (Wellington) Section.-Sergeant in charge, and the section completed by including eight Wongarbon men.
The remainder of the strength will form the nucleus of a new section, and a number of men have been told off to special duties.

After lunch the men were marched off in sections, each acting independently of the others, and under the control 0f its own section leader. The arrangement was highly satisfactory, both N.C.O’s, and men feeling much better pleased with themselves than under the previous system where all marched in one body. The effect, too, of the four separate sections marching into Boomey at a few paces interval with the transports following, was much more attractive from a spectacular point of view.

Four o’clock was the schedule time of arrival at Boomey, and the recruits arrived “on the tick,” to find the ladies hard at work preparing tea.

It is a never-ceasing wonder to the “Coo-ees” how such feasts can possibly be prepared out in the open bush, with apparently only a dozen houses within miles. The presence of a large collection of vehicles might possibly furnish a clue if one were only curious enough to ask how far the good people had come. Mr. A. A. Rodgers, President of the Amaroo Shire Council, addressed a few words of welcome, and expressed, on behalf of the residents, their appreciation of the spirit that moved the “Coo-ees” to take up their burden for the Empire. “Spruiker” Lee acknowledged the reception on behalf of the recruits, switching into a little recruiting appeal to try to snare one or two likely birds that were fluttering round the edge of the net; but without avail.

After tea an impromptu camp fire concert was held, and some “Coo-ee” talent was unearthed, so assisted by local volunteers, a very pleasant evening spent.

A pair of blankets and an overcoat were given to one of the men by the ladies present, who saw that he was needing them. As recruits had come in rather heavily, the stock of blankets had run out. However, more were even then waiting at Orange.’

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