Photo of the Coo-ees at Hartley

Photo of the Coo-ees at Hartley

This great quality photograph of the Coo-ees lined up outside the Royal Hotel at Hartley on Thursday morning, 4th November 1915, shows them standing at attention, wearing their new white hats and blue dungarees that they had been issued with at Lithgow, ready to set off on the Great Western Road to Mount Victoria.

Coo-ees outside the Royal Hotel at Hartley 4/11/1915 (Photograph courtesy Denis J. Chamberlain OAM)

Captain Eade is standing at the front of the column on the left, with Corporal Bill Hitchen standing beside him in the centre front row.

The “Mac” referred to in the caption was Robert McGarry (1864-1942), who was the proprietor of  Royal Hotel at Hartley, where he had a wine licence and provided accommodation. The Royal Hotel was a popular “half-way house” for tourists and travellers to stop for refreshments and a rest in motor cars and on motor cycles at the time.[1]  Mr McGarry had officially welcomed the Coo-ees to Hartley on behalf of the village residents the afternoon before, and other members of his family had also assisted in the hospitality that had been provided to the men, which had included a ‘splendid dinner and breakfast’.[2]

This historic building is still standing, and the marchers on the 2015 Coo-ee March Re-enactment took the opportunity to pose for a photograph in the same location 100 years later, on 4th November 2015.

Coo-ee Marchers outside the old Royal Hotel at Hartley 4/11/2015 (Photograph: H. Thompson)


[1] MOTOR CYCLING. (1915, November 1). Lithgow Mercury (NSW : 1898 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved January 20, 2019, from ; MOTOR-CYCLIST POSTPONE FLEXIBILITY CLIMB OF U.C.C. (1915, September 4). Saturday Referee and the Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1912 – 1916), p. 3. Retrieved January 20, 2019, from

[2] THE MARCH OF THE “COO-EES.” (1915, November 8). Lithgow Mercury (NSW : 1898 – 1954), p. 1. Retrieved January 20, 2019, from


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