Selby George MEGARRITY

Selby George MEGARRITY

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4841), Selby George Megarrity was born at Luddenham near Penrith N.S.W. (He was the son of Robert George Megarrity, a dairyman at Wallacia, and Kate Megarrity nee Vicary). He gave his age as 19 years and 9 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer. His description on his medical was 5 feet 8 ½ inches tall, weight 146 lbs., with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and sandy hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He claimed that he had no previous military service. He did his medical examination on 10th November when the Coo-ees were at Penrith, however he was not attested until the Coo-ees were at Ashfield on 11th November 1915.

A note signed by his father R. G. Megarrity dated 16th November 1915 is in his service record, stating: ‘This is to certify that I give my consent to my son Selby George to enlist with the Gilgandra Coo-ees’.

Selby George Megarrity (along with A. Easterbrook and W. A. Sutton) was one of the three Penrith men reported as stepping forward to join the Coo-ees ‘amidst the cheers of the audience’, in response to Mr Blacket’s recruitment speech and call of “What do we want, Coo-ees?” and their response of “We want men – men, and plenty of them!”, during the open-air Concert held for the Coo-ees at Penrith on the evening of Tuesday, 9th November, 2015.[1]

He was given a sendoff at Wallacia on Saturday 11th December 1915, which was attended by over 150 people, where he was presented with a leather vest, wristlet watch and money belt from the residents, and a parcel from Mulgoa Red Cross Society containing two pairs socks, two undershirts, two pairs pyjamas and a muffler.[2]

On Selby George Megarrity’s embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Wallacia, via Penrith, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his father, R. G. Megarrity, Wallacia via Penrith, N.S.W. His date of joining is recorded as 9th November 1915 (the day the Coo-ees arrived in Penrith).

On 8th March 1916 Private Megarrity departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, along with many of the other Coo-ees, as part of the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion. He arrived in Egypt on 11th April 1916.

On 16th April 1916 he was transferred to the 5th Division Cyclist’s Company.

On 18th April 1916 he was sent to the 15th Field Ambulance suffering from influenza. On 19th April 1916 he was transferred to Hospital at Ferry Post, Egypt. He was discharged and rejoined his unit on 21st April 1916.

On [17]h June 1916 Private Megarrity departed Alexandra, Egypt, bound for England. He arrived at Marseilles, France, on 25th June 1916.

On 12th July 1916 Private Megarrity was admitted to the 50th Casualty Clearing Station suffering from Chicken Pox. On 15th July 1916 he was transferred to the 7th General Hospital. He was discharged and returned to his unit on 23rd July 1916.

On 23rd May 1916 Private Megarrity was detached for duty as an escort to the 2nd ANZAC Corps Commander. On 29th September 1916 he rejoined the Corps Cyclist Battalion.

On 10th October 1916 Private Megarrity was detached to the Signals School.

Private Megarrity went on leave in France from 20th January 1917 until 10th February 1917, when he returned to the Cyclist Battalion.

On 18th May 1917 Private Megarrity was detached for duty with the Corps Anti Aircraft Section. He rejoined the Battalion on 25th May 1917.

On 2nd July 1917 Private Megarrity was detached to the Signalling School. He rejoined the Battalion on 6th July 1917.

On 23rd July 1917 Private Megarrity was detached to the Power Buzzer School. He rejoined the Battalion on 1st August 1917.

On 20th November 1917 Private Megarrity was detached for duty with the New Zealand 5th Otago Battalion. He returned from the detachment on 25th November 1917.

On 16th January 1918 Private Megarrity was taken on strength of the Australian Corps Cyclist Battalion.

On 9th March 1918 Private Megarrity went on leave to England. He returned to the Cyclist Battalion on 26th March 1918.

On 1st November 1918 Private Megarrity went on leave again to England, where he was still on leave at the time of the Armistice. He returned to the Cyclist Battalion on 19th November 1918.

On 7th February 1919 Private Megarrity was transferred to the Australian Corps Signal Company and his rank designation was changed to Sapper.

On 24th April 1919 Sapper Megarrity departed Havre in France to commence his return to Australia. He arrived at Southampton on 25th April 1919 and marched into the Number 1 Group at Sutton Veny, England.

On 16th June 1919 Sapper Megarrity departed England aboard the Transport Ormonde bound for Australia. He arrived in Australia on 4th August 1919, and was discharged Termination of Period of Enlistment on 26th September 1919.

His name is listed (under McGarrity, J.) as one who served on the Penrith 1914-1918 Roll of Honour at Penrith City Memory Park war memorial.

[1] ‘Coo-ees at Penrith’, Nepean Times, 13 November 1915, p. 3,

[2] ‘Soldier’s send-off’, (1915, December 18). Nepean Times, 18 December 1915, p. 6,


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