Monthly Archives: November 2014

Patrick Joseph O’LOUGHLIN (O’LOUGHLEN)

Patrick Joseph O’LOUGHLIN (O’LOUGHLEN)

Per his initial military service record (Depot), Patrick O’Loughlin was born at Ballyvaugan, County Clare, Ireland. He gave his age as 27 years and 8 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as laborer. His description on his medical was height 6 feet tall, weight 13 stone, with a medium complexion, light brown eyes, and black hair. His religious denomination was Roman Catholic. He completed his medical at Molong on 22nd October 1915, and was attested by Captain Nicholas at Molong (8 miles east) on the 22nd October 1915. He claimed to have no previous military experience.

The postal address he gave on his initial Application to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force form at Molong on 22nd October 1915 was Tattersalls Hotel, Gilgandra N.S.W.

It was reported in The Western Champion (21/10/1915, p. 19) that the Parkes Recruiting Association had held a recruiting meeting ‘for the purpose of enrolling recruits who were willing to join the volunteers now on the way, by road, from Gilgandra to Sydney’, and that ‘five men had mounted the lorry in response to the appeal’, and that ‘one of them went on to Dubbo’, with the remaining four planning to proceed to Molong to join the contingent. Patrick O’Loughlin was one of the four recruits sent by the Parkes Recruiting Association to join the Coo-ees at Molong.

The Gilgandra Weekly newspaper reported on 3 December 1915 (p. 10) that O’Loughlin had enlisted at Parkes, and joined the Coo-ee March at Molong, and had said that “a mate of mine told me that the Mayor of Parkes was offering £5 to every man who would join the Coo-ees’ march. I went in search of the Mayor and found him at the Parkes railway station. I asked him if what I had been told was true, and he said Yes, I am giving five pounds to every man who joins the Coo-ees from Parkes, and passes the medical man with the route march. He then paid my train fare to Molong, and I caught the train and joined the Coo-ees at Molong.”

After completing the Coo-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion. However on the 17th November 1915 Private O’Loughlin went before a Medical Board where they recommended his discharge due to Varicose Veins. On the 29th November 1915 Private O’Loughlin was discharged as medically unfit.

In the official correspondence of the march held in the Mitchell Library collection, there is a receipt for £5 made out to P. O’Loughlin dated 16th November 1915 with note ‘Parkes townspeoples honorarium’, and an undated letter from O’Loughlin addressed to Mr A. H.Miller, Secretary of the Gilgandra Recruitment Association, about his non-payment after he was discharged, which had his address at the time listed as being Millthorpe Grand Western Hotel.

A year after his initial enlistment in the Coo-ee March, he re-enlisted at Dubbo Military Camp under the name of Patrick Joseph O’Loughlin, with regimental no. 7048, on the 27th October 1916. He completed (and passed) his medical, and was attested, that same day. He gave his age as 28 years and 8 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as laborer. His description on his medical this time was a height of 6 feet 0 ¾ inches, weight 172 lbs, with a fair complexion, brown eyes, and black hair.

On the 3rd November 1916 Private O’Loughlin was transferred from Dubbo Depot Batalion to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 3rd Battalion.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was P.O., Dubbo, N.S.W, and his next of kin is listed as mother, Mrs M. O’Brien, Corkscrew Hill, Bally Vaughan, Clare, Ireland.

On the 9th November 1916 Private O’Loughlin departed Sydney on the HMAT A24 Benalla, arriving at Devonport, England, on the 9th January 1917, marching into the 1st Training Battalion at Durrington.

On the 16th May 1917 Private O’Loughlin was charged with being Absent Without Leave from reville on the 30th April, till apprehended by the Military Police at Waterford at 8.30 pm on the 7th May 1917. He was also charged with attempting to escape from escort by jumping from a train whilst in motion. He was awarded 14 days Field Punishment number two and forfeiture of 30 days pay and spent eight days in custody awaiting trial.

On the 14th June 1917 Private O’Loughlin marched out of the 1st Training Battalion and departed for France from Southampton. On the 15th June 1917 Private O’Loughlin marched into the 1st Division Base Depot at Le Havre. On the 28th June 1917 he departed the 1st Division Base Depot and marched into the 3rd Battalion on the 3rd July 1917 whilst it was conducting training in the vicinity of Mesnil, France.

On the 18th September 1917 the 3rd Battalion was at Dickebusch, near Ypres, in Belgium, when Private O’Loughlin was killed in action, only three months after arriving at the Western Front.

Private O’Loughlin has no known grave, and is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium, under the name O’LOUGHLEN P. J.

 

O’Loughen J P on 3rd Battalion Australian Infantry panel [third row in centre on right] at the Menin Gate Memorial, Ieper, Belgium (Photograph: H. Thompson 11/9/2012)

O’Loughlen P. J. on 3rd Battalion Australian Infantry panel [name in centre of the row on the right] at the Menin Gate Memorial, Ieper, Belgium (Photograph: H. Thompson 11/9/2012)

His name is recorded as Patrick Joseph O’LOUGHLEN on the Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour database.

Patrick O’Loughlin’s name is also recorded on the Coo-ee March Memorial Gateway at Molong as one of the five men from Molong who joined the Coo-ee March on 22nd October 1915.

Alan Chesher JOHNSON (Alan Cheshyre JANION)

Alan Chesher JOHNSON (Alan Cheshyre JANION)

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4817), Alan Chesher (or Chester) Johnson was born at Liverpool, England. He gave his age as 33 years, his marital status as single, and his occupation as laborer. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 6 ¾ inches tall, weight 151 lbs., with a fair complexion, grey eyes, and dark hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He claimed that he had no previous military service. He completed his medical on the 16th October 1915 at Wellington (while the Coo-ees were in Wellington), and was attested at Dripstone on the 19th October 1915 by Captain Nicholas.

After completing the Coo-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was 50A Young Street, Redfern, Sydney, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as friend, A. Hunter, 50A Young Street, Redfern, Sydney, N.S.W. (Miss A. Hunter was the sister and NOK of William Emmerton Hunter, who also joined the Coo-ees at Wellington, and embarked on the same ship).

Private Johnson departed Sydney on the HMAT Star of England along with many of the Coo-ees on the 8th March 1916. He arrived in Egypt on the 11th April 1916. On the 19th April 1916 he transferred to the 45th Battalion in Egypt.

On the 2nd June 1916 Private Johnson left Alexandria aboard the transport Kinfauns Castle bound for France, arriving at Marseille on the 8th June 1916.

On the 23rd July 1916 the Battalion was training in the vicinity of Berteacourt, France. Private Johnson was charged with being Absent From Parade at 9.00 am and 1.00 pm on the 22nd July and Being Absent from Church Parade on the 23rd July 1916. He was awarded 7 days Field Punishment number two.

On the 14th October 1916 the Battalion was resting at La Clyette, France, after being relieved from the front line. On this day Private Johnson was charged with being Absent Without Leave from 9.15 pm on the 10th October to 4.00 pm on the 11th October and of being Drunk and Urinating in Troop Quarters. He was awarded 7 days Field Punishment number two and forfeiture of eight days pay.

On the 30th December 1916 when the Battalion was training at Flesselles, France, Private Johnson was evacuated to the 8th Australian Field Ambulance with sore feet, possibly mild trench foot. He returned to the Battalion on the 18th January 1917 whilst it was at Mametz (near Pozieres), France.

On the 7th June 1917 the 45th Battalion was involved in an attack in the vicinity of the Messines Ridge, Belgium. Private Johnson was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of Messines.

Private Johnson has no known grave and is remembered on the Menin Gate at Ypres, Belgium.

A. C. Janion served as A. C. Johnson on 45th Battalion panel at the Menin Gate Memorial, Belgium (Photograph: H. Thompson 11/9/2012)

Janion A. C. served as A. C. Johnson on 45th Battalion panel [bottom right row in centre] at the Menin Gate Memorial, Belgium (Photograph: H. Thompson 11/9/2012)

A letter in his service record dated 3rd December 1920 addressed to his mother Mrs. A. I. Janion, James Bay Hotel, Government Street, Victoria, B.C. in Canada acknowledges receipt of her statutory declaration (also in the file) advising his last name of Johnson which he enlisted under to be an assumed name, and states that the ‘records have been amended to read – “Stated to be JANION Alan Cheshyre.”

Fox mascot presented to the Coo-ees at Evans Plains

With the Coo-ees at Evans Plains (Daily Telegraph 30/10/1915)

With the Coo-ees at Evans Plains (Daily Telegraph 30/10/1915)

I have often wondered how the Coo-ees ended up with a fox cub as a mascot on the Coo-ee March. This is described in the following article, along with the ‘patriotic songs’ sung by the school children at Evan’s Plains. School children often took part in welcoming and entertaining the Coo-ees at each town and village visited on the march. It is interesting to note that the Coo-ees were expecting to reinforce the Australian men fighting at Gallipoli when they signed up on the Coo-ee March, not the Western Front.

Transcript of an article titled ‘At Evans Plains” published in the Bathurst newspaper National Advocate on 30 October 1915, p. 3.

‘AT EVAN’S-PLAINS.
YOUNG FOX AS MASCOT

The residents of Evan’s Plains extended a hearty welcome to the Gilgandra Coo-ees.   The Cooe-ees arrived about noon on Thursday, escorted by two local horsemen, Messrs. Cecil Colley and Morris Windsor who rode out some distance along the road to meet them. An energetic ladies committee, under the charge of Mrs. J. Dwyer and Miss Ivy Maher, worked hard to make the short stay of the men as pleasant as possible. Mr. Hugh McKay also rendered valuable assistance. Refreshments were served under the poplars on the property of Mr. J. Wardman. Several patriotic songs were rendered by the school children, whilst the good wishes for a safe return were expressed by several of the residents. The Coo-ees were presented by Mr. Frank Windsor with a young fox as a token from the Plains, which they intend to take along with them to Gallipoli.’

Click here to view the article on Trove: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158152710

Arthur Charles REID

Arthur Charles REID (READ)

  ‘Gunner A. C. Reed’, (Forbes Advocate 8/12/1916)


‘Gunner A. C. Reed’, (Forbes Advocate 8/12/1916)

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4886), Arthur Charles Reid [or Arthur Charles Reed per his signature or Arthur Charles Read per his 1890 N.S.W. BDM Index birth registration] was born at Forbes, N.S.W. He gave his age as 25 years, his marital status as single, and his occupation as Shearing Machine Expert. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 10 inches tall, weight 13 stone 1 lbs., with a medium complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He claimed to have no previous military experience. He was attested on the 5th November at Katoomba, and completed his medical on the 6th November 1915 at Lawson, on the same days that the Coo-ees were in these towns.

He went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Waitohe Condobolin, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his father, F. H. Reid [Reed or Read], Coerrie [written elsewhere as Colarie or Calarie] Forbes, N.S.W.

Along with many of the Coo-ees, Private Reid departed Sydney on the HMAT Star of England on the 8th March 1916. He arrived in Egypt on the 11th April 1916.

On the 16th April 1916 Private Reid transferred to the 4th Division Artillery and his rank designation changed to Gunner. He was taken of strength of the 10th Field Artillery Brigade in Egypt. On the 27th May 1916 he was taken on strength of the 4th Division Ammunition Column.

On the 6th June 1916 Gunner Reid left Alexandria aboard the Oriana bound for France, arriving at Marseille on the 13th June 1916. On the 25th June 1916 he was taken on strength of the 4th Division Medium Trench Mortar Battery.

On the 8th September 1916 after seeing action on the Somme Gunner Reid had just arrived at the front in the vicinity of Vierssraat, Belgium, when he received a gunshot wound to his head. Private Reid was evacuated to the 11th Canadian Field Ambulance where he died of his wounds the next day.

Gunner Reid is buried at the La Clytte Military Cemetery, De Klijte, Flanders, Belgium.

Arthur Charles Reid’s headstone at La Clytte Military Cemetery, Belgium (Photograph: H. Thompson 28/8/2014)

 

Arthur Charles Reid’s surname is spelt as READ on the headstone. The writing on the headstone is very worn. It reads:

4886 Gunner
A. C. Read
Aust. Field Artillery
9th September 1916 Age 25
In memory
of the dearly loved son
of Mr. & Mrs. Read

Letters home and family photographs

A daughter of Donald Stewart (who joined the Coo-ees at Wellington) contacted me recently via the blog, so I have posted transcriptions of some of the letters he wrote home to his family while he was a prisoner of war in a German prison camp during the First World War, which were published in the family’s local newspaper The Wellington Times.

We are discovering through our research on the Coo-ees that several of them were held as prisoners of war during the First World War, including Donald Stewart from Wellington, Joseph Armstrong who joined the Coo-ees at Dubbo, and Allan Collquhoun and Cecil Roy McMillan, who both joined the Coo-ees at Parramatta.

Letters sent home to family and friends by the Coo-ees – whether they were training in camp, on a troopship, prisoners of war, fighting on the front, or behind the lines – provided information about their experiences during the war, and their thoughts and feelings at the time.  It is great that some of these letters were published in local newspapers during the First World War, so that we can read about their experiences today.

Some family members have also sent me a photograph of their Coo-ee relative, with permission to include it on the individual blog entry for their Coo-ee, and it is fantastic to be able to be able to put a face to the name of individual Coo-ees.

Newspapers also published individual photographs of some of the Coo-ees during the war years, which I have been collecting, but I may not have found all of these yet.  If more photographs become available, I will add these to each individual Coo-ees blog entry.

If anyone has personal letters, diaries, or photographs of the Coo-ees, I would very much like to hear from you. Please email me at cooeemarch1915@gmail.com.

Another letter from Donald Stewart, a Wellington Coo-ee, from inside a German prisoner of war camp

Transcription of an article titled ‘Two years a prisoner of war : letter from Private Don Stewart’ published in the Wellington Times, 19 September, 1918, p. 3.

‘TWO YEARS A PRISONER OF WAR.
LETTER FROM PRIVATE DON STEWART.

Mr. and Mrs. Stewart, of Park Street, Wellington, have received a letter from their son, Private Don Stewart, who for over two years has been a prisoner of war in Germany. The letter is dated from Schneidemuhl, June 10, 1918, and reads:— “Just a few lines, hoping to   find you all well at home. As for me, well, I am feeling pretty fit lately, as we have plenty of fresh air and exercise, which keeps a fellow in good health. I feel a bit tired so I will have a smoke and go to bed and finish writing tomorrow.

Next morning he resumed his letter as follows: “I feel a bit like writing now, so will have a try to finish this letter. I received fourteen letters during last week, on May 30, and two on June 2, from home, also one from Mrs. Mostyn. Two days later I had one from father, and one from mother. I wish they would come every week, although I cannot answer them. Well, dad, it is nearly two years since I was taken prisoner, and how I do wish I were back again at home. I do not think I will want to leave home again in a hurry. The experiences I have had since I left home would do a lot of good to the young chaps who want to leave home at the age I did. Fancy, I had my 17th birthday at Liverpool (England), and my 18th and 19th here in Germany, and in six months I will be 20. I will soon be able to have the key to my door. I am sending you two of my photographs by this letter. (The British censor encloses a slip stating the photos were missing from the letter when it reached England. Evidently they had been taken out by the German censor). I will have my photo taken again soon and will send you some. I saw Private Long a few days ago, and up till then he had not heard about his brother having been killed. I may see him again next week, and see if he has heard anything further. I cannot say much, so will close, hoping you will remember me to all my friends and give my best love to all at home.”

Click here to view the article on Trove: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article143228060

To read more about Donald Stewart, click on the Donald S. Stewart tag at the bottom of this blog entry.

 

Another Letter from Donald Stewart in a German prisoner of war camp

Transcription of an article titled ‘Australians in action. Letters from the Front. Private Don. Stewart’ published in The Wellington Times, 1 March, 1917, p. 3.

‘AUSTRALIANS IN ACTION.
LETTERS FROM THE FRONT.
PRIVATE DON. STEWART.

Private Don Stewart, who is a prisoner of war in Germany, writes as follows to his father under date 14th November, 1916:—
Just a few lines hoping you are well at home, as this leaves me at present. I have been a kreigsgefangenen (a prisoner of war) for four months now, and I am just about getting used to it. We get parcels from the Red Cross and also from the Battalion. What date did you hear I was missing? I wrote to mother and Amy from Lille just after I was captured and the officials said you would get it before the Battalion reported me missing. It was only a note saying I was alive and well, which was a wonder. I forgot whether I wrote to you or mother last time so I am writing to you. We have a very merry time here sometimes. We have a piano and organ and you bet I use them a lot. We have all sorts of music from a tin flute to a piano. When there is nought doing I read until two o’clock in the morning and get up at ten. It is getting very cold now. We will have snow next month. Fancy having snow at Christmas. I suppose if I had any sense and took my old Dad’s advice I would have spent it at Wellington, but I would have flogged the cat over it. It is done now. When I see you again I might speak German so you had better learn to speak it. I suppose you have still got Prince. When I am coming home I will get out at Apsley and walk home. I mean to surprise you all. You can tell me how Les is when you write. I hope he is well. You can send me parcels when you like. You know I would like them. Wishing you all a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year, which I wish I was spending at home.

Click here to view the article on Trove: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article137416649

David James WAGNER

David James WAGNER

David James Wagner (Photograph courtesy of his grand-daughter Anne Dollin)

David James Wagner (Photograph courtesy of his grand-daughter Anne Dollin)

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4911), David James Wagner was born at Marrickville, Sydney, N.S.W. He gave his age as 18 years, his marital status as single, and his occupation as Bread Carter. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 4 ½ inches tall, weight 8 stone 1 lbs., with a fair complexion, grey eyes, and fair hair. His religious denomination was Church of England.  He claimed to have no previous military experience. It was noted on his enlistment form that he had been rejected previously by the Australian Imperial Force due to a deficient chest measurement. He completed his medical, and was attested on the same day, at Springwood on the 8th November 1915. He was one of two local recruits who joined the Coo-ees at Springwood.

Although Dave Wagner’s age was recorded as 18 years of age on his enlistment papers, he was actually only 16 years and 10 months old at the time, and was one of the youngest of the Coo-ees to enlist.[1] His service record contains a consent form signed by his father Arthur Wagner.

After completing the march he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Nancy [sic] Heights, Blue Mountains, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his father, W. [sic] Wagner, Nancy Heights, Blue Mountains, N.S.W. [Nancy Heights should have been recorded as Valley Heights, Blue Mountains, N.S.W.]

Along with many of the Coo-ees, Private Wagner departed Sydney on the HMAT Star of England on the 8th March 1916. He arrived in Egypt on the 11th April 1916. On the 19th April 1916 he transferred to the 45th Battalion in Egypt.

On the 2nd June 1916 Private Wagner left Alexandria aboard the Kinfauns Castle bound for France, arriving at Marseille on the 8th June 1916.

On the 6th July 1916 Private Wagner was shot in the chest while he was with the 45th Battalion when it was manning the front line in the vicinity of Sailly Sur La Lys, France. He was evacuated to the 4th Australian Field Ambulance at Fort Rompu near Erquinghem, then on the 7th July 1916 to the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearance Station at Trois Arbres. On the 13th August 1916 he was transferred to the 32nd Stationary Hospital at Wimereux. On the 15th August 1916 he was moved to the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples.

On the 11th September 1916 Private Wagner rejoined the 45th Battalion when they were training and refitting at Victoria Camp near Renninghelst, Belgium.

On the 7th June 1917 Private Wagner was admitted to Hospital sick. He rejoined the Battalion on the 13th June 1917.

On the 14th August 1917 Private Wagner was admitted to the 13th Australian Field Ambulance with diarrhoea. He rejoined the Battalion on the 22nd of August 1917.

On the 31st May 1918 Private Wagner was detached to the Headquarters of the 12th Infantry Brigade. On the 29th January 1919 Private Wagner returned to the 45th Battalion.

On the 4th February 1919 he was sent to the 39th Stationary Hospital at Le Harve, France. On the 7th February 1919 Private Wagner was admitted to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital at Bulford, England sick. He was discharged from Hospital on the 15th March 1919. Then on the 20th March 1919 Private Wagner was readmitted to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital sick. He was discharged on the 21st April 1919.

Private Wagner commenced his return to Australia on the 12th May 1919 aboard the Port Napier, arriving in Australia on the 5th July 1919. He was discharged on the 19th August 1919.

The Blue Mountains Echo reported on 5th September 1919 that at a recent welcome home event held for four returned soldiers at Springood Hall that the chairman called Private Wagner ‘Springwood’s “Coo-ee’’’ whom ‘everybody knew as “Our Davy”’’, and that Private Wagner when he spoke ‘paid tribute to the Women’s Sewing Circle, “Let me tell you,” he said, “that the things they sent to the fighters were greatly appreciated. I am glad to be home; but when I was away I can tell you I looked for the letters which helped me to keep in touch with the home folk”’.[2]

[1] ‘The talk of the town’, The Mirror of Australia, 2 September 1916, p. 2, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/105136203

[2] ‘Springwood’s soldier sons’, The Blue Mountain Echo, 5 September 1919, p. 2, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108245547