Re-visiting the graves of the fallen Coo-ees in August-September 2016
When Stephen and I visited the graves of the fallen Coo-ees in France, Belgium and England in 2012 and 2014, we felt that it would have been a good idea to have left an Australian flag and a commemorative information card on each of their graves.
After our participation in the 2015 Coo-ee March Re-enactment, we spoke at a Coo-ee March 2015 Inc. (Gilgandra Sub-Committee) meeting about our plan to revisit the graves of the Coo-ees during the Centenary of Anzac period, and idea to also have a travelling wreath to rest on the grave of each Coo-ee.
The Committee provided one of the purple Coo-ee “badge” ribbons to go on our wreath, which had been created to be worn by the marchers during the Re-enactment in memory of the purple “badges” worn by the original Coo-ees during the 1915 Coo-ee March.
After collecting our hire car at Heathrow Airport in London on 21st August 2016, we drove for 30 minutes to visit Bill Hitchen’s grave at Harefield (St. Mary) Churchyard. We laid the wreath against his headstone, and left an Australian flag and commemorative information card with a red poppy on his grave.
Over the next few weeks we will be visiting the graves of all the fallen Coo-ees who are buried in France, Belgium and England, and also the Menin Gate, V.C. Corner Australian Memorial, and Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, where the names of those Coo-ees who have no known grave are remembered. (Unfortunately we are not able to visit the grave of the Coo-ee buried in the Jerusalem War Cemetery, at least at this time).
On our return to Australia we will create an Honor Roll in memory of the fallen Coo-ees on this website.
Wonderful to honour these soldiers in this way. Congratulations on your involvement. Enjoy your trip. Stay safe.