Category Archives: Recruits

Walter James WATTS

Walter James WATTS

Per his military service record (Depot), Walter James Watts was born at Hay, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 38 years, his marital status as married, and his occupation as labourer. His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination form was height 5 feet 6 inches tall, weight 10 stone, with a dark complexion, blue eyes, and dark hair. His religious denomination was recorded as being Anglican.  He claimed that he had no previous military service.

His next of kin was recorded on his Australian Imperial Force Attestation Paper of Persons Enlisted for Service Abroad form as Mrs E. M. Watts, C/o J. Dumbrell, Walla Walla N.S.W.

He completed his medical examination at Gilgandra on 14th October 1915 (4 days after the Coo-ees left Gilgandra).  He travelled to Dubbo Army Camp – the nearest place he could enlist, and was attested at Dubbo on 17th October 1915.

The Gilgandra Weekly reported on 3rd December 1915 that prior to enlisting Watts had been ‘employed by Mr Utley, a district sawmiller’, and that ‘he left Gilgandra for the Dubbo Depot Camp, where he enlisted on October 16. The next day he entrained to Wellington and joined the Coo-ees’.[2]

The Coo-ees had a rest day in Wellington on 17th October 1915.

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

On 17th November 1915 Private Watts of the “Coo-ees” went before a Medical Board at Liverpool Camp, where he was found to be unfit for active service due to varicose veins.

Private Watts was discharged medically unfit on 29th November 1915.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, WATTS WALTER JAMES

[2] ‘An aftermath’, Gilgandra Weekly, 3 December 1915, p. 10. Retrieved August 11, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119922362

 

Robert John SLOEY

Robert John SLOEY

Per his military service record (Depot), Robert John Sloey was born in Wellington, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 21 years and 8 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as book-keeper.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 7 3/8 inches tall, weight 10 stone 7 lbs., with a dark complexion, blue eyes, and dark brown hair.  His religious denomination was Roman Catholic.  He claimed he had previous service in the Byrock Rifle Club, and that he had been rejected as unfit for military service once before due to eyesight.

His next of kin was recorded on his Australian Imperial Force Attestation Paper of Persons Enlisted for Service Abroad form as Mr and Mrs R. J. Sloey, Maxwell Street, Wellington N.S.W.

He appears to have joined the Coo-ee March somewhere between Wellington and Molong. ‘R. J. Sloey’ was reported in the Molong Express and Western District Advertiser on 23rd October 1915 as being one of six recruits that joined the Coo-ee March ‘on the road from Wellington’.[2]

He completed his medical examination at Orange on 24th October 1915.  He was attested at by Captain T. A. Nicholas at Orange on 24th October 1915 (the day the Coo-ees rested at Orange).

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

His Statement of Service records that on 9th January 1916 Private Sloey deserted from Liverpool Camp. A warrant was issued for his arrest on 16th February 1916. The warrant was withdrawn on 30th January 1919.

 

[1]NAA: B2455, SLOEY ROBERT JOHN

[2] The “Coo-ees” Come. (1915, October 23). Molong Express and Western District Advertiser (NSW : 1887 – 1954), p. 10. Retrieved August 11, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article101050484

 

 

Tyson RYAN

Tyson RYAN

Per his military service record (regimental no. N21449), Tyson Ryan was born in Gilgandra, N.S.W.[1] He gave his age as 18 years and 6 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as horse trainer. His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination form was 5 feet 8 inches tall, weight 9 stone 3 lbs., with a dark complexion, blue eyes, and black hair. His religious denomination was recorded as being Roman Catholic. He claimed that he had no previous military experience.

His next of kin was recorded on his Australian Imperial Force Attestation Paper of Persons Enlisted for Service Abroad form as his father, Michael Ryan, Dubbo Road, Gilgandra.  Both his parents (Michael and Mary Ann Ryan) signed their names giving their consent for their son to enlist on his initial Application to Enlist in the Australian Imperial Force form.

He completed his medical examination at Gilgandra on 29th October 1915 (19 days after the start of the Coo-ee March).

He caught up with the Coo-ees, and was attested by Captain A. C. Eade at Lawson on 7th November 1915 (the day the Coo-ees rested at Lawson).

After completing the Coo-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 6th Australian Light Horse Regiment.

Trooper Ryan forfeited 10 days pay for being absent without leave on 10th and  11th January 1916.

On 14th January 1916 Trooper Ryan was fined £10 for assaulting police during a riot.

He was fined 1 shilling, and confined to barracks for 7 days, for being absent without leave on 13th March 1916.

He was fined 1 shilling for neglect of duty and being late on 6 am parade on 6th May 1916.

On 15th May 1916 Trooper Ryan was fined £1 at Menangle Park for using threatening language to an N.C.O.

On the 19th of May 1916 Trooper Ryan was discharged unlikely to become an efficient soldier.

He attempted to re-enlist in 1917, however he was rejected as medically unfit.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, RYAN TYSON

Hector Andrew George LEE

Hector Andrew George LEE

Per his military service record (Depot), Hector Andrew George Lee was born at Redfern, N.S.W. [1]  He gave his age as 25 years and 10 months, his marital status as widower, and his occupation as labourer.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination form was height 5 feet 10 inches tall, weight 199 lbs., with a dark complexion, brown eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was left blank.  He claimed that he had no previous military service.

His next of kin was recorded on his Attestation Paper of Persons Enlisted for Service Abroad as his mother, Lucy Lee, Marquet Street, Rhodes N.S.W.

He completed his medical examination, and was attested by Lieutenant Frank Middenway, when the Coo-ees were at Ashfield, on 11th November 1915.

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

On 16th  December 1915 Private Lee was charged at Liverpool Camp with being absent without leave for 10 days from 7th to 16th December, and also with being drunk on parade.

He was discharged on 20th December 1915 unlikely to become an efficient soldier.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, LEE HECTOR ANDREW GEORGE

Charles Thomas KING

Charles Thomas KING

Per his military service record (Depot), Charles Thomas King was born at Tuena, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 35 years and 7 months, his marital status as married, and his occupation as labourer, on his Australian Imperial Force Attestation Paper of Persons Enlisted for Service Abroad form.

He claimed that he had no previous military service.  He also stated that he had been previously rejected as unfit for service for varicocele.

His next of kin was recorded as wife, Mary Isabel King, with address Bent Street, Katoomba.

Charles Thomas King joined the Coo-ee March at Springwood.[2]

He undertook a Preliminary Medical Examination at Springwood on 8th November 1915.   His height was recorded as 5 feet 9 inches on his ‘Preliminary Medical Examination’ section on his initial Application to Enlist in the Australian Imperial Force form.

He was attested at Springwood by Lieutenant F. Middenway on 8th November 1915, the day the Coo-ees marched from Lawson to Springwood.  His Description, and Certificate of Medical Examination sections, were not completed on his Attestation Paper.

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

On 17th November 1915 Private King went before a Medical Board at Liverpool Camp, where he was found to be unfit for active service due to varicocele.

Private King was discharged medically unfit on the 29th of November 1915.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, KING C T

[2] ‘Rejected Coo-ee starving’, Sunday Times, 2 April 1916, p. 9. Retrieved June 20, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article121342361

 

Frederick JENNINGS

Frederick JENNINGS

Per his military service record (Depot), Frederick Jennings was born in New York.[1] He gave his age as 40 years and 3 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer & sailor. His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination form was 5 feet 7 inches tall, weight 10 stone, with a dark complexion, brown eyes, and dark hair. His religious denomination was recorded as being  Church of England. He claimed that 3 years previous military experience apprenticed in the American Army.

His next of kin was recorded on his Attestation Paper of Persons Enlisted for Service Abroad form as his brother, Michael Jennings, New York, U.S.A.

Frederick Jennings stated in a Statutory Declaration in his service record that he joined the Route March of recruits marching from Gilgandra to Sydney at Wellington.  He completed his medical examination at Wellington on 16th October 1915, and was attested at Wellington on 18th October 1915.

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

On 17th November 1915. Private Jennings went before a Medical Board at Liverpool Camp, where he was found to be unfit for military service due to Varicose Veins.

Private Jennings was discharged medically unfit on 29th November 1915.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, JENNINGS FREDERICK

Albert George HULBERT

Albert George HULBERT

Per his military service record (Depot), Albert George Hulbert was born at Wollongong, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 19 years and 7 months, his marital status as married, and his occupation as labourer.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 2 inches tall, weight 128 lbs., with a fair complexion, bluish eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England.  He claimed that he had 4 years previous military service [cadets].

His next of kin was recorded on his Attestation Paper of Persons Enlisted for Service Abroad  form as his father, Walter John Hulbert, Dunblane Street, Camperdown  N.S.W.   His father gave his permission for his son to join the A.I.F. in a letter dated 20th November 1915 in his service record.

He completed his medical examination, and was attested by Lieutenant Edward J. Shaw, at Ashfield on 11th November 1915.

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

On 29th January 1916 Private Hulbert was charged with being absent without leave for 3 days. He was fined 15 shillings.

On 7th February 1916 he was charged with being absent without leave for 6 days. He was fined 30 shillings.

On 24th February 1916 Private Hulbert was charged again with being absent without leave from 17th to 24th February 1916.

As a result of his continuous absences he was discharged services no longer required, on 24th February 1916.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, HULBERT A G DEPOT

Robert GILCHRIST

Robert GILCHRIST

Per his initial military service record (Depot), Robert Gilchrist was born at Millthorpe, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 40 years, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer. His description on his Certificate of medical examination was height 5 feet 9 ½ inches tall, weight 10 stone 8 lbs, with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair.  His religious denomination was Roman Catholic.  He claimed to have 4 weeks previous military experience at Holsworthy Camp, and that he had left through sickness.

His next of kin on his Attestation paper was his mother, Mrs Mary Gilchrist, McLaughlan Street, Orange N.S.W.

The Molong Argus reported that Robert Gilchrist stepped forward to join the Coo-ees at an open air recruiting meeting held at Euchareena on 20th October 1915.[2]

He completed his medical examination at Molong on 22nd October 1915, and was attested by Captain Nicholas at ‘Molong (8 miles east)’, along with several other Coo-ees, on 22nd October 1915.

On 31st October 1915 when the Coo-ees were having a rest day at Wallerawang, Private Gilchrist was charged  by Captain Eade with drunkenness. He was fined 30 shillings.

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

On 19th November 1915 Private Gilchrist was charged with attempting to break guard. He was reprimanded.

On 7th December 1915 Private Gilchrist was charged with being absent without leave from Liverpool Camp from 3rd to 7th December 1915. He was recommended to be discharged.

Private Gilchrist was discharged on 10th December 1915 unlikely to become an efficient soldier.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, GILCHRIST R

[2] ‘The “Coo-ees” at Euchareena’, Molong Argus,  29 October 1915, p. 1. Retrieved August 7, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article105660892

Edgar DAWSON

Edgar DAWSON

Per his military service record (Depot), Edgar Dawson was born at Bathurst, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 29 years and 7 months, his marital status as married, and his occupation as labourer.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 8 ¼ inches tall, weight 116 lbs., with a dark complexion, bluish eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England.  He claimed that he had no previous military service.

His next of kin was recorded on his Attestation Paper of Persons Enlisted for Service Abroad as his wife, Mrs E. [Coral Edith] Dawson, Post Office, Bathurst N.S.W.

He completed his medical examination, and was attested by Lieutenant Frank Middenway, at Ashfield on 11th November 1915.

However, his Oath in his Attestation Paper was dated from 4th November 1915, and the date of 4th November 1915 was recorded at the bottom of the front page of his Attestation Paper near his signature, which was the day the Coo-ees marched from Hartley to Mt. Victoria.

An initial Application to Enlist in the Australian Imperial Force form dated 2nd November 1915 in his service record shows that he undertook a preliminary medical examination at Bathurst on 2nd November 1915, and “Route March Mt. Victoria” is written at the top of this form, so it appears he may have first presented to join the Coo-ee March at Mt. Victoria.

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

On 15th January 1916 Private Dawson went absent without leave.

On 17th February 1916 he was posted as a deserter.

Private Dawson returned to the Liverpool Camp with a Doctor’s Certificate dated 19th February 1916 stating he had been suffering from Entero-colitis.

His service record shows that on 22nd February 1916 his wife sent a letter requesting his discharge on the grounds that she believed that he was ‘not physically robust to go to the front’.

On 25th February 1916 Private Dawson went before a Medical Board that found him fit for military service.

On 3rd March 1916 Private Dawson’s wife sent another letter requesting his discharge due to their three young children aged 7, 5, and 3 years,  being sick with measles.

She sent another letter on 7th March 1916 stating that she also was sick and was not able to look after their children on her own. These letters did not appear to have any effect, and on 13th March 1916 Private Dawson went absent without leave again.

On 13th April 1916 Private Dawson was apprehended by the Military Police and taken to Victoria Barracks.

On 20th April 1916 he was discharged from the Australian Imperial Force ‘at wife’s request’.

[1] NAA: B2455, DAWSON E

Walter James MITCHELL

Walter James MITCHELL

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4842),  Walter James Mitchell was born at Cobar, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 37 years and 5 months, his marital status as married, and his occupation as Contractor.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 7 inches tall, weight 147 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 Walter and his brother Robert Mitchell, Norman Franciso, 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]

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

Walter and his brother Robert 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.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Cobar, N.S.W., and his next of kin was listed as his wife, Mrs H. G. [Henrietta] Mitchell, C/o W. Mitchell, Cobar, N.S.W.  His rank was listed as Acting Corporal.[4]

A farewell was held at the Masonic Hall in Cobar at the Masonic Hall on Friday 3rd March 1916 to bid farewell to Corporal Walter Mitchell, and his brother Private Bob Mitchell, and Private Fred Duncan. The Western Age reported that  ‘Corporal Walter Mitchell, on rising to respond on behalf of himself and his comrades, was loudly cheered’, and in a ‘very affected speech he said words failed to thank to people of Cobar for all the kind remarks and their nice presents’, and that they would ‘cherish them wherever it was their lot to be sent’, and that it was a ‘great wrench for him to go, but he realised duty had to be done, and he was going to do his little bit’.[5]

On 8th March 1916 Acting Corporal Mitchell, along with his brother, and many of the other Coo-ees, departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  He arrived in Egypt on 11th April 1916.

On 16th April 1916 he was transferred to the 4th Division Artillery at Tel-el-Kebir, and taken on strength of the 10th Field Artillery Brigade, with the rank of Gunner.

On 22nd May 1916 Gunner Mitchell was transferred to the 37th Battery.

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

On 24th October 1916 Gunner Mitchell was taken on the strength of the 10th Field Artillery Brigade.

On 25th October 1916 Gunner Mitchell was appointed as a Temporary Bombardier.

On 9th March 1917 Temporary Bombardier Mitchell was sent to the 4th Australian Field Ambulance sick. On 12th March 1917 he was moved back to a Casualty Clearing Station, and reverted to the rank of Gunner.

On 19th April 1917 he was placed aboard the 20th Ambulance Train, and evacuated to the 14th Stationary Hospital at Boulogne, France.

On 22nd April 1917 Gunner Mitchell was placed aboard Hospital Ship Jan Breydel for evacuation to England, with meningitis.

On 23rd April he was admitted to the Addington Park War Hospital outside London, England.

On 18th May 1917 Gunner Mitchell was transferred to the Royal Herbert Hospital at Woolwich, England.

On 8th August 1917 he was transferred to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield Park, England.

Gunner Mitchell was discharged on the 18th of August 1917, and sent to the No. 2 Command Depot at Weymouth, England.

On 27th September 1917 Gunner Mitchell departed England aboard the H.T.  Suevic bound for Australia, for medical discharge with Myalgia debility after C. S. Fever.

He arrived in Australia on 20th November 1917.

Private Mitchell was welcomed home and presented with a silver cup by the people of Cobar, and the Red Cross Association, at the Masonic Hall in Cobar on 5th December 1917.[6]

Private Mitchell was discharged medically unfit on 31st January 1918.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, MITCHELL WALTER JAMES

[2] ‘Summary’, Western Age, 30 October 1915, p. 2. Retrieved August 5, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article136723099

[3] ‘Summary’, Western Age, 6 November 1915, p. 2. Retrieved April 4, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article136724708

[4] Australia War Memorial. First World War Embarkation Rolls, Walter James Mitchell, HMAT Star of England A15, 8th March 1916.

[5] ‘Cobar’s Farewell’, Western Age (Dubbo, NSW : 1914 – 1932), 10 March 1916, p. 2. Retrieved August 5, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article136721446

[6] ‘Cobar Soldiers’ Red Cross Association’,Western Age, 7 December 1917, p. 3. Retrieved August 5, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article136909226