Transcription of an extract from an article titled ‘The Route March : End of the Long Trek’ in The Farmer and Settler, 16 November, 1915, p. 3 [2 of 2 parts]
‘Friday saw the end of the long journey. This last day of the march, through the crowded high-ways and by-ways of a populous city, was full of sensations to the men of the column.
The sturdy, hard, muscular appearance of the men from the west proved a revelation to the city dwellers, and no one could wonder at the feeling that stirred in the deep-throated acclaims of the multitude as the bronzed and burly lads swung down the crowded thoroughfares that led citywards. Through the traffic worn streets, by Dulwich Hill to Marrickville and into Newtown, they came, each street corner calling a welcome, each defined centre cheering them vociferously, and better than all of this, each centre sending in its little band of recruits to augment the cohort of country men. The civic fathers and the prominent business men of each suburb held levees of welcome and local bands blared and citizens cheered, which welcome the men gravely acknowledged.
At Newtown, a halt was made for a brief period to regale the men with refreshments, and in one of the local picture shows, Mr. D. R. Hall, the Attorney-General, delivered a brief oration of welcome. The entry to the city followed, and just as the long procession turned into George Street, Lady Helen Munro Ferguson, in the absence of the Governor-General, met the men and congratulated them upon having achieved a march that would live in the annals of Australian history.
From this point, through the city, and into the Domain, the streets were densely packed with wildly-cheering crowds, and the great cordiality of the welcomes showered upon the western heroes was noteworthy. At the Domain, at midday, the men rested while addresses were delivered by prominent public men, and an hour later an official reception was held at Martin Place. Capt. Hitchens, the leader of the band, was accorded a most gratifying reception, and the men were overwhelmed with congratulations and good wishes.
After the celebrations were over, the two hundred and sixty-three men that comprised the band of “Coo-ees,” were entrained to Liverpool, the first great stage of their journey to the battle-front ended.
The Force at the Finish.
Following is the official statement of men that actually signed on (after medical examination), between Gilgandra and Sydney: Gilgandra 35, Dubbo 13, Wongarbon 12, Geurie 6, Wellington 31, Stuart Town 1, Euchareena 1, Molong 4, Parkes 5, Orange 19, Millthorpe 2, Blayney 11, Bathurst 17, Glanmire 1, Yetholme 1, Wallerawang 3, Lithgow 19, Blackheath 2, Katoomba 11, Leura 1, Lawson 10, Springwood 5, Penrith 4, Parramatta 27, Ashfield 22, total 263.’
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