Robert MITCHELL

Robert Alexander Gordon MITCHELL

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4843),  Robert Alexander Gordon Mitchell was born at Cobar, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 27 years and 6 months, his marital status as married, and his occupation as labourer.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 9 ½ inches tall, weight 154 lbs., with a fair complexion, grey eyes, and light brown hair.  His religious denomination was Presbyterian. He claimed to have had no previous military service.

A send-off was held on Thursday 28th October 1915 at the Court House Hotel in Cobar for Robert and his brother Walter Mitchell, Norman Francisco, and Andrew Lennox, and they were then cheered by many friends when they left Cobar by train on 30th October 1915 to join the A.I.F.[2]

Robert Mitchell completed his medical examination, and was attested with the other three men at Dubbo on 2nd November 1915, (the day the Coo-ees were at Lithgow).

Robert and his brother Walter Mitchell, Andrew Lennox, and Norman Francisco then travelled to catch up with the Coo-ees, and were waiting to join the Coo-ee March when the Coo-ees arrived at Mt. Victoria two days later, on 4th November 1915.[3]

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

A farewell was held at the Masonic Hall in Cobar at the Masonic Hall on Friday 3rd March 1916 to bid farewell to Private Bob Mitchell and his brother Corporal Walter Mitchell, when they were on final leave before departing overseas. [4]

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Cornish Town, Cobar, N.S.W., and his next of kin was listed as his mother, Mrs E. A. Mitchell, Cornish Town, Cobar, N.S.W.[5]

On 8th March 1916 Private Mitchell, along with his brother Walter, and many of the other Coo-ees, departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.

Troopship HMAT A15 Star of England. Australian War Memorial Collection AWM H17014.

He arrived in Egypt on 11th April 1916.

On 16th April 1916 Private Mitchell was transferred to the 4th Division Artillery at Tel-el-Kebir, and taken on strength of the 10th Field Artillery Brigade, and mustered Driver.

On 22nd May 1916 Driver Mitchell was transferred to the 110th Australian (Howitzer) Battery.

On 5th June 1916 Driver Mitchell left Alexandria aboard the HMT Oriana bound for France.  He arrived at Marseilles on 13th June 1916.

On 21st September 1916 Driver Mitchell was sent to the 1st Australian Field Ambulance with a hernia. On 30th September 1916 he was moved back to the 50th Casualty Clearing Station. On 3rd October 1916 he was admitted to the 3rd Canadian General Hospital at Boulogne, France. On 9th October 1916 he was transferred to the 26th General Hospital at Etaples, France.

On 10th October 1916 he was placed aboard the Hospital Ship Stad Antwerpen at Calais for evacuation to England. On 11th October 1916 he was admitted to the Queen Mary’s Military Hospital at Whalley, England.

He was discharged from hospital and went on leave from 12th February 1917 to 27th February 1917, then reported to  the No. 1 Command Depot at Perham Downs, England.

On 30th April 1917 Driver Mitchell was charged with being absent without leave from noon on 25th April 1917 till 1545 on 28th April 1917. He was awarded 7 days confined to camp and fined 4 days pay.

Driver Mitchell departed Southampton, England, on 19th June 1917. He arrived at the Australian General Base Depot at Rouelles on 20th June 1917.

He rejoined the 10th Field Artillery Brigade on 5th July 1917.

On 22nd January 1918 Driver Mitchell went to Paris on leave. He was due to return to his unit on 31st January 1918, however did not return until 4th February 1918.

On 8th February 1918 Driver Mitchell was sent to the 2nd Casualty Clearing Station sick. On 9th February 1918 he was placed aboard the 37th Ambulance Train and moved to the 39th General Hospital at Le Harve, France, where he was admitted on 12th February 1918.

On 12th April 1918 Driver Mitchell was court martialed for failing to obey Hospital Orders in that on 4th April 1918 whilst a patient at the 39th General Hospital was gambling contrary to Order 19 which forbids gambling. He was found guilty and awarded 10 days Field Punishment no. 1.

Driver Mitchell was discharged from hospital on 21st April 1918 and sent to the Australian General Base Depot at Le Harve, France.

He rejoined his unit on 3rd May 1918.

On 10th May 1918 a Field General Court Martial was held where Driver Mitchell was charged with when on active service being absent without leave from 31st January 1918 till 4th February 1918. He was found guilty and awarded 21 days field punishment no. 2 and fined 120 days pay.

On 25th August 1918 Driver Mitchell went on leave. He rejoined the 10th Field Artillery Brigade on 14th September 1918.

On 28th January 1919 Driver Mitchell went to Paris on leave. He returned to his unit on 11th February 1919.

On 4th March 1919 Driver Mitchell marched into the Australian General Base Depot at Le Harve, France, to commence his return to Australia.

On 13th March 1919 he departed France, arriving at Weymouth on 14th March 1919. He then marched into the No. 4 Command Depot.

On 1st May 1919 Driver Mitchell departed England aboard the Transport China bound for Australia.

He arrived in Australia on 11th June 1919.

He was discharged Termination of Period of Enlistment on 26th July 1919.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, MITCHELL ROBERT ALEXANDER GORDON

[2] SUMMARY. (1915, October 30). Western Age (Dubbo, NSW : 1914 – 1932), p. 2. Retrieved April 25, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article136723099

[3] SUMMARY. (1915, November 6). Western Age (Dubbo, NSW : 1914 – 1932), p. 2. Retrieved April 25, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article136724708

[4] Cobar’s Farewell. (1916, March 10). Western Age (Dubbo, NSW : 1914 – 1932), p. 2. Retrieved April 25, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article136721446

[5] Australian War Memorial. First World War Embarkation Rolls, Robert Alexander Mitchell, HMAT Star of England A15, 8th March 1916.

Herbert RANE

Herbert RANE

Per his military service record (Depot), Herbert Rane was born at Windsor, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 28 years and 10 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer. His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was 5 feet 5 ½ inches tall, weight 151 lbs., with a fair complexion, dark blue eyes, and light brown hair. His religious denomination was Roman Catholic. He claimed that he had no previous military service.

His next of kin and was recorded as Mrs East, Australia Street, Newtown.

The National Advocate reported his falling in with the Coo-ees as follows:

‘On the road from Bathurst to Yelthome … a “tramp” was met. “Come on,’’ shouted the Coo-ees in chorus, “there’s room for you. You are going the wrong way.” The tramp hesitated. The Coo-ees became more insistent in their urging. A few more seconds’ cogitation the tramp threw down his “billy”, and after being examined, signed on to fight for his King and country. His welcome from the Coo-ees was indeed enthusiastic’.[2]

Herbert Rane completed his medical examination with Glanmire’s doctor, Dr Coombes, and was attested by Captain A. C. Eade at Glanmire on 29th October 1915 (where the Coo-ees stopped for lunch on their way from Bathurst to Yetholme).[3]

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

On 16th December 1915 Private Rane was discharged from the A.I.F. not likely to become an efficient soldier.

 

[1] NAA B2455, RANE HERBERT

[2] A “TRAMP” FALLS IN. (1915, October 30). National Advocate (Bathurst, NSW : 1889 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved April 25, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158152728

[3] THE COO-EES (1915, November 1). The Bathurst Times (NSW : 1909 – 1925), p. 3. Retrieved April 25, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article111237023

 

Frederick Dudley William SINDEL

Frederick Dudley William SINDEL

Per his military service record (Depot), Frederick Dudley William Sindel was born at Nowra, N.S.W.[1]  He signed his name as Fred Sindel. He gave his age as 21 years and 8 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as potter.  His description on his Certificate of medical examination was height 5 feet 6 inches tall, weight 10 stone, with a dark complexion, brown eyes, and dark hair.  His religious denomination was Church of England.  He claimed that he had previous military service in the 29 Infantry Liverpool.

He gave his postal address as Harrison Street, Ultimo, on his initial Application to Enlist in the Australian Imperial Force form.

His next of kin on his Attestation Paper was listed his brother, William Sindel, Dargan Street, Glebe, N.S.W.

“Ned Sindel” was reported as having joined the Coo-ees in Blayney in The Bathurst Times on 28th October 1915.[2]

He completed his medical examination, and was attested by Captain A. C. Eade, at Blayney on 27th October 1915 (the day the Coo-ees marched from Blayney to Bathampton).

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

Private Sindel went absent without leave on 27th and 31st January 1916, and also the 1st of February 1916.

The discharge paper in his file records that on 18th February 1916 Private Sindel was discharged from the A.I.F. at his ‘wife’s request’.[3]

 

[1] NAA: B2455, SINDEL FREDERICK DUDLEY WILLIAM

[2] WESTERN NEWS (1915, October 28). The Bathurst Times (NSW : 1909 – 1925), p. 3. Retrieved November 10, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article111243224

[3] NSW BDM Index, Marriage, 233/1916 SINDEL FREDERICK D W HORSEY ETHEL SYDNEY. He married on 6 January 1916, according to the Mid North Coast Pioneers website http://stuart.scss.dyndns.info/FamilyTree/individual.php?pid=I8467&ged=Gregory-Hudson.ged

 

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 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article218448014 ; 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 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article117550162

[2] THE MARCH OF THE “COO-EES.” (1915, November 8). Lithgow Mercury (NSW : 1898 – 1954), p. 1. Retrieved January 20, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article218445047

 

Remembrance Day 2018

Remembrance Day 2018

100 years ago today, following the signing of the Armistice, the guns finally fell silent, and all fighting ceased on the Western Front at 11.00 am on the 11th of November, 1918, after four long years of continuous warfare.

Harold Brooks Davis’ headstone at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 11/9/2016)

By this time in 1918, 40 of the 263 men who had enlisted on the 1915 Gilgandra to Sydney Coo-ee Recruitment March had died overseas while on active service, with one more to die in France from the Influenza epidemic a few weeks later.  The youngest died the day before his 16th birthday. Their stories can be read on the Coo-ee March Roll of Honour https://cooeemarch1915.com/honour-roll/

Coo-ees Walter Goodlet (left) and James Birrell Dawson (right), both amputees. Photograph courtesy of James Dawson’s great grandson Jamie Stacey.

At the time of the Armistice, many of the Coo-ees were still serving in their units along the Western Front. Five Coo-ees were prisoners of war behind the German lines. Many had been returned to Australia medically unfit, wounded and ill from their war service, some with missing limbs. Others were recovering in hospitals in France and England. Some were lucky enough to have been on leave at the time.

Private Roy McMillan (Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, 11/5/1918)

Ex-prisoner of war Private Cyril Roy MCMILLAN (45th Battalion) wrote the following letter to The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate about his experience following the Armistice, dated 30th November 1918, which was published in the paper on 18th January 1919:

 I left Parramatta three years ago, with the Coo-ees … I was taken prisoner in that big stunt last March and April  … You can’t imagine how happy we are to-day, now that we are released. We were released about two weeks ago.  They just cast us adrift and told us to find our way back.  They never gave us any bread to start with, not even a bite.  Only for the Belgians we should have had hundreds of deaths along the road.  But the Belgians cared for us in every manner possible … We crossed the British lines on the 17th Nov., and we were heartily greeted by our own lads.  Several of us had to go to hospital through sickness.  I am in hospital at present, but will be across to England for Christmas, and hope to be home in Parramatta shortly afterwards.[1]

William Hilton Saunders (Photograph courtesy of Macquarie Regional Library)

Wongarbon Coo-ee Driver William Hilton SAUNDERS (4th Division Ammunition Column) was on leave in Scotland at the time of the Armistice, and recorded his experience of this day, and of making his way to London for several more days of celebrating, in his war diary:

11 November 1918: Went down to Stuart McDonalds in Argyle St. & heard that the Armistice has been signed. Went to the Glasgow Herald office & made certain. After that was nothing but excitement every where. The streets were crowded with shouting, singing, cheering crowds of people. Champagne was flying in all directions. Had a great day & never saw such scenes of rejoicing before.

12 November 1918: Processions still marching about the streets & the whole town is bedecked with flags of all the victorious allies … At 8 pm left Glasgow for London and felt very sorry to leave Bonnie Scotland.

13 November 1918: Arrived in London at Kings Cross at 9.30 about 1 ½ hours late … I had a good clean up & good breakfast, then turned in for a sleep … During the afternoon went to Buckingham Palace & saw King George & Queen Mary and Princess Mary come back from their drive in the East End.

14 November  1918: London has sure gone mad. Everywhere is Bunting & flowers & crowds of singing … & everyone is bent on having a ripping time in peace celebrations. Peace. The word is almost foreign to me after all those months, those years, amongst such slaughter & devastation. But after all what is a bit of blood & a few dead men. We are all so used to it.

15 November 1918: … Got in a military lorry with a crowd of girls & some soldiers & did a night tour of London. We went everywhere. I don’t really know where we did go but somehow we went all night. What a night.

16 November 1918: Had a great day … Here I am pinched by the MPs & in Warwick Square quite forgot that my pass is overdue & I should have gone back. Oh yes days ago … [2]

Lest we forget.

 

[1] ‘German Atrocities. A Parramatta Prisoner’s Story’, The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, 18 January 1919, p. 10. Retrieved March 12, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86118958

[2] Saunders, William Hilton, personal diary, 1918. Original dairy held by UNSW Canberra, Academy Library Special Collection. W. Hilton Saunders manuscript collection 1915-1965 MSS 64, Box 1, Folder 2, (no. 3) barcode 519825. State Library of NSW digital copy http://archival.sl.nsw.gov.au/Details/archive/110374600

 

John WILLIAMS

John WILLIAMS

Per his military service record (Depot), John Williams was born at Orange, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 33 years and 4 months, his marital status as widower, and his occupation as miner. His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was 5 feet 6 inches tall, weight 8 stone 12 lbs., with a dark complexion, grey eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Roman Catholic. He claimed that he had no previous military service.

John Williams left from Gilgandra to join the Coo-ees.

Dr Henry Peet signed the ‘Preliminary Medical Examination section’ on his initial Application to Enlist in the Australian Imperial Force form (addressed to the Recruiting Officer at Dubbo) at Gilgandra on 22nd October 1915. John Williams listed his postal address on this form as ‘Gilgandra’.

A. H. Miller, Organising Secretary of the Gilgandra-Sydney route march, from the Gilgandra Recruiting Association, sent a telegram from Gilgandra to Major Wynne, Gilgandra Coo-ees, Orange, stating that he ‘forgot [to] send Williams medical papers sending today mail to Orange’.[2]

John Williams completed his medical examination, and was attested by Captain T. A. Nicholas, at Orange on 24th October 1915 (while the Coo-ees had a rest day at Orange).

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

On 14th December 1915 Private Williams was charged with being absent without leave from 8th December 1915 till 14th December 1915. He was recommended to be discharged.

On 15th December 1915 Private Williams was discharged not likely to become an efficient soldier.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, WILLIAMS J

[2] Telegram from A. H. Miller to Captain Wynne October 1915 in: Alex Halden (Joe) Miller papers mainly relating to the Gilgandra Coo-ee Recruitment March, New South Wales, 1912-1921, 1939. Gilgandra Coo-ee Recruitment March correspondence and papers, 1915-1939.

Benjamin William DAVIS

Benjamin William DAVIS

Per his military service record (2320), Benjamin William Davis was born at Sydney, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 18 years and 2 months (although it appears he was only about 16 ½ years of age at the time), his marital status as single, and his occupation as greengrocer.[2] His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 3 inches tall, weight 8 stone 2 lbs., with a medium complexion, grey eyes, and black hair. His religious denomination was Roman Catholic. He claimed to have 18 months previous military service in the Senior Cadets.

‘B. W. Davis’ was named in The Blue Mountain Echo as one of the recruits who joined the Coo-ees at Katoomba.[3]

He completed his medical examination, and was attested by Lieutenant F. Middenway, on the 5th November 1915 at Katoomba.

After completing the march he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Private Davis, along with several other local Coo-ees, including Privates Trow, Nimmo, Pettigrew, Perkins, Hayes, Duff, and Mason, was given a send-off at the Empire Theatre in Katoomba on Wednesday evening 15th December 1915, where Mayor James presented them with medals, and ‘spoke highly of the courage of the boys who marched away with the Coo-ees, and wished them every luck in the great fight they were undertaking’.[4]

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was “Eden” Leichardt Street, Katoomba N.S.W.[5] His next of kin was listed as his father, B. W. Davis, at the same address.

On 3rd May 1916 Privater Davis departed Sydney on the HMAT Hymettus A1, with the 16th reinforcements for the 6th Light Horse Regiment.

On 22nd May 1916, whilst on the voyage to Egypt, Private Davis was charged with absenting himself without leave from all parades on 18th and 19th May 1916 and being a malingerer. He was awarded 120 hours detention.

After arriving in Egypt, Trooper Davis was taken on strength of the 2nd Light Horse Training Regiment at Tel-el-Kebir on 27th June 1916.

On 1st July 1916 Trooper Davis was admitted to the 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital sick.  He was admitted to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital at Abbassia on 4th July 1916. He was discharged and returned to the 2nd Light Horse Training Regiment on 27th July 1916.

On 5th August 1916 Trooper Davis was transferred to the 6th Light Horse Regiment at Tel-el-Kebir.

On 14th January 1917 Trooper Davis was sent to the 2nd Australian Light Horse Field Ambulance for dental treatment. He returned to the Regiment on 15th January 1917.

He served with the 6th Light Horse Regiment until  23rd March 1918, when Trooper Davis was sent to the 2nd Australian Light Horse Field Ambulance sick. On 24th March he was moved back to the 66th Casualty Clearing Station. On 25th March 1918 he was moved to the 76th Casualty Clearing Station. On 27th March 1918 he was admitted to the 43rd Stationary Hospital. On 28th March 1918 he was transferred to the 24th Stationary Hospital at Kantara. On 29th March he was admitted to the 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital at Moascar. On 19th April 1918 he was transferred to the 14th Australian General Hospital.

On 26th April 1918 he was sent to a Rest Camp at Port Said. He was discharged on 15th May 1918 and sent to the 2nd Light Horse Training Regiment at Moascar.

On 18th June 1918 Trooper Davis was charged with when on active service ‘he at Cairo on the 16th of June 1918 made use of a document purporting to be a genuine pass well knowing that the date thereon had been altered’, and also with being absent without leave from 0900 on 13th June 1918 till apprehended by the Military Police in Cairo at 0945 on 16th June 1918. He was fined 4 days pay and awarded 28 days Field Punishment No. 2.

Trooper Davis re-joined the 6th Light Horse Regiment at Moascar on 25th July 1918.

On 17th December 1918 Trooper Davis was admitted to the 78th General Hospital suffering Lupus Vulgaris. On the 18th of December 1918 he was transferred to the 44th Stationary Hospital at Kantara, then onto the 14th Australian General Hospital at Abbassia later that day.

On 26th January 1919 Trooper Davis commenced his return to Australia from Suez aboard the HT Damosthenes for medical discharge.

He arrived in Australia on 2nd March 1919.

He was discharged medically unfit on 28th June 1919.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, DAVIS B W

[2] NAA: B2455, DAVIS B W – Date of birth given as 14th April 1899 in a Statutory Declaration dated 19th May 1953.

[3] March O’er the Mountains. (1915, November 12). The Blue Mountain Echo (NSW : 1909 – 1928), p. 3. Retrieved September 21, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108042142

[4] Benefit to Our Boys. (1915, December 17). The Blue Mountain Echo (NSW : 1909 – 1928), p. 6. Retrieved April 7, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108041454

[5] Australian War Memorial. First World War Embarkation Roll, Benjamin William Davis, HMAT Hymettus A1, 3rd May 1916.

TIMELINE November 1918

TIMELINE November 1918

Wednesday, 6 November 1918

Corporal John Edward Leslie HOURIGAN  (45th Battalion) was promoted to Sergeant in France.

Corporal J. E. L. Hourigan (Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate 12/8/1916)

Friday, 8 November 1918

Private Andrew James MCGREGOR  (2nd Australian Field Bakery) departed England aboard the HT Gaika bound for Australia for medical discharge.

Andrew James McGregor (Daily Telegraph 22/9/1916)

Monday, 11 November 1918

The guns fell silent, and all fighting ceased on the Western Front at 11.00 am when the Armistice, signed by senior Allied and German representatives in the forest at Compiègne in France earlier that morning, came into effect.

Friday, 15 November 1918

Sapper Henry John KING  (Anzac Mounted Division Signal Squadron) departed Suez Egypt for return to Australia aboard the HT Port Darwin for medical discharge

Tuesday, 19 November 1918

Private Percy Walter HOLPEN  (36th Battalion) was admitted to the 30th General Hospital at Calais, France, suffering from Influenza.

L. Cpl. W. Holpen, Redfern, Sydney. Died of Illness (Sydney Mail, 8/1/1919)

Tuesday, 26 November 1918

Private Percy Walter HOLPEN  (36th Battalion) died from Influenza – he was buried at Les Baraques Military Cemetery, Calais.

Percy Walter Holpen’s headstone, Le Baraques Military Cemetery, France (Photograph:S. & H. Thompson 29/8/2016)

Wednesday, 27 November 1918

Private William Laurence HUNT (45th Battalion) arrived in Australia aboard the HMAT Runic for medical discharge.

Bill and Jack Hunt. Photograph courtesy of Iain and Judy Macdonald.

Saturday, 30 November 1918

Letter written by Cyril Roy MCMILLAN (45th Battalion) [ex prisoner of war] on this day was later published in The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate.  Extract: … We were released about two weeks ago.  They just cast us adrift and told us to find our way back.  They never gave us any bread to start with, not even a bite.  Only for the Belgians we should have had hundreds of deaths along the road.  But the Belgians cared for us in every manner possible … We crossed the British lines on the 17th Nov., and we were heartily greeted by our own lads.  Several of us had to go to hospital through sickness.  I am in hospital at present, but will be across to England for Christmas, and hope to be home in Parramatta shortly afterwards’.[1]

Private Roy McMillan (Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, 11/5/1918)

[1] ‘German Atrocities. A Parramatta Prisoner’s Story’, The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, 18 January 1919, p. 10. Retrieved March 12, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86118958

Francis Birmingham BROWN

Francis Birmingham BROWN

Per his military service record (Depot), Francis Birmingham Brown was born in Jerilderie, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 44 years and 2 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 5 inches tall, weight 143 lbs., with a fair complexion, grey eyes, and ‘brown going grey’ hair.  His religious denomination was Roman Catholic.  He claimed to have 5 weeks previous military service at Rosehill in 1914 but was allowed to leave after he ‘complained’ that the ‘physical drill affected’ him.

His next of kin was recorded on his Australian Imperial Force Attestation Paper of Persons Enlisted for Service Abroad form as Thomas Brown, Jerilderie N.S.W.

He joined the Coo-ees at Wellington.[2] He completed his medical examination at Wellington on 16th October 1915 (the day the Coo-ees arrived at Wellington).  He was attested at by Captain T. A. Nicholas at Stuart Town on 20th October 1915 (the day the Coo-ees marched from Stuart Town to Euchareena).

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

His Statement of Service records that he served at the Infantry Depot at Liverpool until 9th January  1916 when he deserted from Liverpool Camp.  (Fellow Coo-ee Private Sloey from Wellington also deserted from Liverpool Camp on the same day.)

A warrant was issued for his arrest on 15th February 1916.

The Wellington Times reported on 7th April 1919 that ‘the death took place this morning at Wellington Hospital of Francis Brown, at the age of 50 years’, and that ‘he joined the Coo-ees when they came through Wellington, but was afterwards discharged as medically unfit’.[3]

The warrant for his arrest was withdrawn on 30th January 1919. His record is stamped ‘Discharged prior to leaving Australia’.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, BROWN F B

[2] NAA: B2455, BROWN F B

[3] OBITUARY. (1919, April 7). Wellington Times (NSW : 1899 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved October 28, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article143232113

 

Alfred James CARR

Alfred James CARR

Per his military service record (regimental no. 2155), Alfred James Carr was born at Wellington, N.S.W.[1] He gave his age as 25 years and 1 month, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer. His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 11 inches tall, weight 168 lbs., with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and dark brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He claimed that he had no previous military service.

He completed his medical examination at Wellington on 18th October 1915 (the day the Coo-ees marched from Wellington to Dripstone). He was attested by Captain T. A. Nicholas at Stuart Town on 19th October 1915 (the day the Coo-ees marched from Dripstone to Stuart Town).

After completing the Coo-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp and joined the 15th reinforcements for the 6th Light Horse Regiment.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Maughan Street, Wellington N.S.W.[2] His next of kin was listed as his father, George Edward Carr, at the same address.

On 22nd March 1916 Trooper Carr (along with fellow Coo-ees Troopers Condon, Kennedy and Sullivan) departed Sydney on the HMAT A4 Pera, with the 15th reinforcements for the 6th Light Horse Regiment.

After arriving at Suez in Egypt, Trooper Carr was hospitalised suffering Mumps on 21st April 1916.

He was discharged from the Government Hospital at Suez, and taken on strength of the 2nd Light Horse Training Regiment at Tel-el-Kebir on 26th April 1916.

On 27th May 1916 Trooper Carr was admitted to the 3rd Australian General Hospital at Abbassia, Egypt, suffering Influenza.  He rejoined the Training Regiment at Tel-el-Kebir on 13th June 1916.

On 15th July 1916 he was taken on strength of the 12 Company of the 1st ANZAC Battalion of the Imperial Camel Corps Brigade at Abbassia.

On 2nd August 1916 Trooper Car was admitted sick to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital at Abbasia. He was discharged from hospital on 8th August 1916. He was taken on strength of the No. 11 Company of the Imperial Camel Corps at Moghara on 17th August 1916.

On 1st September 1916 Trooper Carr was admitted sick to the 17th General Hospital at Alexandria, Egypt. He was discharged from hospital on 11th December 1916.  (Trooper Carr had been transferred to the 3rd ANZAC Battalion of the Imperial Camel Corps on 11th November 1916). On 15th December 1916 he marched out the No. 1 Company of the Imperial Camel Corps.

On 24th March 1917 Trooper Carr was admitted to the 14th Australian General Hospital at Abbassia with septic sores on his left leg. He rejoined his unit on 17th June 1917.

On the 1st of September 1917 Trooper CARR was admitted sick to the 26th Stationary Hospital at Ismailia, Egypt, with Herpes zoster [shingles]. He was discharge from hospital on 9th September 1917. He was posted to 1st Battalion Imperial Camel Corps, and joined No. 1 Company, on 21st September 1917.

On 21st March 1918 Trooper Car went to hospital in the field sick. On 25th March 1918 he was admitted to the 14th Australian General Hospital at Port Said suffering from Psoriasis. He was discharged from hospital on 10th May 1918 and sent to a Rest Camp in Abbassia. He rejoined his unit on 31st May 1918.

On 1st July 1918 Trooper Carr was transferred to the 14th Light Horse Regiment.

On the 5th September 1918 Trooper Carr was admitted to the 14th Australian General Hospital at Port Said suffering a swollen groin. He was discharged from hospital on 25th   November 1918 and sent to a Rest Camp.

He was sent to Cairo on 28th November 1918, on 14 days leave.  He returned to Port Said from leave on 13th December 1918.

On 14th December 1918 Trooper Carr was admitted to the 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital sick. He was transferred to the 14th General Hospital at Abbassia on 3rd March 1919. He was discharged from hospital on 22nd March 1919.

On 23rd of March 1919 Trooper Carr marched out with  “Olden’s Force”,  a contingent  of 400 Australians led by Lieutenant-Colonel Olden, tasked with suppressing an Egyptian nationalist rebellion, which ‘moved up the Nile to engage a large rebel concentration at Bedrasheen’.[3]

On 8th April 1919 Trooper Carr was admitted to the 14th Australian General Hospital at Abbassia suffering from ulcers of the abdominal wall. He was discharged to a Rest Camp at Port Said on 17th April 1919.

Trooper Carr departed Port Said, Egypt, aboard the H.T. Dorset on 29th April 1919, commencing his return to Australia for medical discharge (ulcers).

He arrived in Australia on 11th June 1919.  He was discharged medically unfit on 26th July 1919.

Trooper A. J. Carr was one of a number of returned soldiers who was named in the Wellington Times on 27th November 1919, who were to be welcomed home to Wellington and presented with a gold medal. After a concert programme, over 200 gold medals were presented to local returned soldiers before a large crowd at the Skating Rink in Wellington on Wednesday night, 3rd December 1919. They then adjourned to the Oddfellows Hall for light refreshments, and dancing.[4]

[1] NAA: B2455, CARR A J

[2] Australia War Memorial. First World War Embarkation Roll, Alfred James Carr, HMAT Pera A4, 22nd March 1916. Note his address is misspelt as ‘Manghan’ Street.

[3] Ian Jones, ‘Olden, Arthur Charles (1881–1949)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/olden-arthur-charles-7899/text13735, published first in hardcopy 1988, accessed online 13 October 2018.

[4] WELLINGTON WELCOME HOME. (1919, November 27). Wellington Times (NSW : 1899 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved October 13, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article141615694 ; WELCOME HOME TO SOLDIERS. (1919, December 4). Wellington Times (NSW : 1899 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved October 13, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article141610945