Cricket match on Melbourne Cup Day
On Tuesday, 2nd November, 1915, the Coo-ees were staying at Lithgow Military Camp. It was Melbourne Cup Day, and a letter home reported that a sweep had been held by the Lithgow Camp recruits. (It is not known if the Coo-ees participated).
The Coo-ees spent most of the day in squad drill, and in the afternoon played a cricket match against the Lithgow Camp recruits.
Ursel James Schofield (Bathurst recruit), Charles Edmund Marchant (Gilgandra recruit), and Percy Walter Holpen (Wellington recruit) were named as the best players for the Coo-ees in this cricket match in the following article, published in the Lithgow Mercury:
‘LITHGOW RECRUITS v. COO-EES.
A cricket match was played on Tuesday afternoon between the Lithgow Recruits and the Coo-ees, resulting in a win for the local soldiers by 4 wickets and 6 runs. Ryan, for the local lads, was top-scorer, with 56 not out, the next man on the list for his side being Phillips, with 45. The only other double figure scorer for the camp was Wheeler, who hit 14. For the “snowballers” Schofield top-scored with 51, the other double figure scorers being Marchant 28, and Halpin 12. The total scores were: Lithgow recruits 125; Coo-ees, 119. Vaughan secured the best bowling average for the Lithgow men, and Marchant for the Coo-ees.’
Sergeant-Major Lee referred to the Melbourne Cup in his speech given at the recruiting meeting held at the Oddfellows’ Hall in Lithgow that evening.
‘Sergt.-major Lee opened with a reiteration of the object of the march – to try to make the young men of Australia realise that every available man should be in the fight for King and country. (Applause.) The time had come to realise that the Empire was fighting for its very existence. … But we must fight to accomplish it. It was no use thinking it. The Empire would not be saved by sitting by the fireside smoking a pipe, at the ale bench pouring down liquor, on the tennis court, at the stadium, or the Melbourne Cup; it could only be accomplished on the battlefield, and for that reason they said, ‘Come, come, come. Your country needs you ; your mates are calling. Won’t you get into khaki? …’