Tag Archives: Ashfield recruits

Robert Michael HICKEY

Robert Michael HICKEY

Per his military service record (regimental no. 5099), Robert Michael Hickey was born at Carcoar, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 43 years and 2 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as engine driver.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 10 inches tall, weight 156 lbs., with a medium complexion, brown eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Roman Catholic.  He claimed that he had no previous military service.

He was attested by Lieutenant Frank Middenway at Ashfield on 11th November 1915. The Coo-ees held a recruitment meeting and stayed in Ashfield at the Drill Hall on the night of 11th November 1915 – the last night of the march.  The Certificate of Medical Examination in his service record shows that he first completed his medical on 11th November 1915 at Ashfield, however this date is crossed out, and replaced with the later date of 28th January 1916, at Liverpool Camp.

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

On 4th February 1916 Private Hickey was charged with being Absent Without Leave from 16th  January to 24th January 1916.  He was recommended to be discharged, however he was fined and reinstated.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was 29 Rocket Street, Bathurst, N.S.W, and his next of kin is listed as his mother, Mrs E. Hickey, at the same address.

Private Hickey departed Sydney on the HMAT A16 Star of Victoria on 31st March 1916, as 16th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.[2]  He arrived in Egypt on the 8th May 1916.

On the 7th June 1916 Private Hickey left Alexandria aboard a transport ship bound for France, arriving at Marseilles on the 14th June 1916.

On 21st July he was taken on strength of the 13th Battalion in France from the 4th Division Base Depot at Etaples.

On 2nd August 1916 the 13th Battalion was training at Warloy, France, when Private Hickey was charged with being absent from Tattoo roll call on 31st July 1916. He was awarded 7 days Field Punishment No. 2.

On 11th August 1916, Private Hickey was wounded in action in the vicinity of Pozieres, when the 13th Battalion was in the front line during the Battle of Pozieres.  (His wound is not described in his service record).  He was evacuated to the 1st Canadian General Hospital at Etaples, France, where he was admitted sick on 23rd August 1916.

On 30th August 1916 he was placed aboard the Hospital Ship Stad Antwerpen at Calais for evacuation to England. Later that day he was admitted to the 4th Northern General Hospital at Lincoln, England.

On 25th September 1916 Private Hickey was transferred to the 2nd Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Southall, England. He was discharged on 31st October 1916 and marched into the No. 2 Command Depot at Weymouth, England.

On 9th November 1916 Private Hickey was transferred to the 4th Training Battalion at Codford, England for “home service”.

On13th April 1917 Private Hickey was transferred back to the No. 2 Command Depot at Weymouth, England.

On 4th May 1917 Private Hickey departed England from Devonport aboard the H.M.A.T. Runic bound for Australia.

He arrived in Sydney on 6th July 1917.  He was discharged Medically Unfit (Mitral Incompetence) on 11th August 1917.

Note: A page in his service record lists that he embarked from Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England with regimental no. 4798.  However, his name (and this regimental number) are not included on the nominal roll for the HMAT A15 Star of England. This initial regimental no. 4798 is crossed out on his Attestation Paper, and replaced with 5099.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, HICKEY R M 5099

[2] Australian War Memorial First World War Embarkation Rolls, ‘Robert Michael Hickey’, HMAT Star of Victoria A16, https://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1830731/

Bert KILDUFF

Bert KILDUFF

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4818), Bert Kilduff was born at Windsor, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 23 years and 10 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as butcher. His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 5 inches tall, weight 9 stone, with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and light brown hair.  His religious denomination was recorded as Church of England on his initial Attestation Paper (but was recorded as Roman Catholic on his second Attestation Paper).  He claimed that he had no previous military service.  He completed his medical examination on 12th November, 1915 at Ashfield, and was attested by Lieutenant S. Stirling at Ashfield on 12th November, 1915, along with two other Coo-ees, on the last day of the Coo-ee March, when the Coo-ees marched from Ashfield to Sydney.

After completing the Coee-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.  His initial period of service on his Statement of Service form is from 12th November 1915 until 15th January 1916.

A letter dated 22nd December 1915 in his service record, addressed to the C. O., 13th Battalion, stated that ‘This man was fined £5 at the Central Police Court for using obscene language’, and had ‘received a suit of plain clothes’.  Another letter dated 23rd December 1915 addressed to the C.O., 13th Battalion, from Lt. Colonel R. C. Simpson, A.A.G. A.I.F. Camp, stated that ‘This man’s clothes have been taken from him at Head Quarters’, and that ‘Attestation papers should be forwarded to me together with discharge papers made out in full, stating that he has been discharged as undesirable’.  On 15th January 1916 Private Kilduff was discharged Services no Longer Required.

Two days later, Bert Kilduff re-enlisted in the A.I.F.  He undertook another medical examination on 17th January 1916 at Sydney, and was attested at Liverpool on 18th January 1916.  He re-joined the Coo-ees at Liverpool Camp, as 15th reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

While at Liverpool Camp, on 16th February 1916 Private Kilduff was charged with insubordination and fined.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Riverstone, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his aunt, Mrs C. [Cecily] Viney, Riverstone, N.S.W.  His “Date of joining” on his embarkation roll was 11th November 1915 (the day the Coo-ees marched from Parramatta to Ashfield).

On 8th March 1916, Private Kilduff, along with many of the other Coo-ees, departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England.  He arrived in Egypt on the 11th April 1916.

On 16th April 1916 Private Kilduff was transferred to the 4th Pioneer Battalion at Tel El Kebir, Egypt.

On 27th April 1916 Private Kilduff was admitted to the 54th Casualty Clearing Station with Mumps.  He was discharged on 17th May 1916.

On 4th June 1916 Private Kilduff left Alexandria aboard the transport Scotian bound for France.  He arrived at Marseilles on 11th June 1916.

On 21st June 1916 the 4th Pioneer Battalion was at Strazeele, France, when Private Kilduff was admitted to the 13th Australian Field Ambulance with Tonsillitis.  He rejoined the 4th Pioneer Battalion on 25th June 1916 when it was working on constructing the Bois Grenier Line near Armentieres, France.

Private Kilduff served with the 4th Pioneer Battalion throughout its service on the Western Front, including Pozieres in August 1916, Mouquet Farm in September 1916, and Flers in October 1916.

On 4th November 1916 the 4th Pioneer Battalion was training at Breilly, France, when Private Kilduff was charged with being absent without leave from 2100 till 2130 on 3rd November 1016.  He was fined 14 days pay.

On 9th March 1917 the 4th Pioneer Battalion was constructing railways and training in the vicinity of Longueval, France, when Private Kilduff was admitted to the 8th Australian Field Ambulance for dental treatment.  He was discharged on 17th March 1917, but was admitted to the 8th Australian Field Ambulance sick suffering urethral stricture on the same day.  On 18th March 1917 he was moved to the 3rd Casualty Clearing Station.  He was transferred by ambulance train to the 1st Australian General Hospital at Rouen, France, arriving on 21st of March 1917.

On 30th March 1917 Private Kilduff was placed aboard the Hospital Ship Gloucester Castle at Le Harve, France, for transfer to England.  He was admitted to the 5th Southern General Hospital at Portsmouth, England, on 31st March 1917.

On 20th June 1917 Private Kilduff was transferred the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield, England.

On 23rd June Private Kilduff was discharged from hospital to the No. 2 Command Depot at Weymouth, England.  On 29th June 1917 he was transferred to the No. 3 Command Depot at Hurdcott, England.

On 13th August 1917 Private Kilduff was admonished  with neglecting to obey Group Orders at Salisbury on 4th August 1917.

On 8th September 1917 Private Kilduff marched into the Overseas Training Brigade at Perham Downs, England.

On 11th October 1917 Private Kilduff departed Southampton bound for France.  On 13th October 1917 he marched into the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Le Harve, France.

On 21st October 1917 Private Kilduff rejoined the 4th Pioneer Battalion when it was working on keeping the Zonnebeke Road in Belgium operational during the Third Battle of Ypres.

After serving with the 4th Pioneer Battalion on the Western Front for almost another year, on 9th October 1918 Private Kilduff was granted leave to England.  He rejoined the 4th Pioneer Battalion on 26th October 1918 whilst it was training at Ailly-sur-Somme, France.

On 10th February 1919 Private Kilduff was transferred to England for return to Australia.  He marched into the 3rd Training Brigade at Fovant, England, on 11th February 1919.

On 16th February 1919 Private Kilduff was admitted to the No. 2 Group Hospital with Influenza.  He was discharged on 26th February 1919.

On 13th April 1919 Private Kilduff commenced his return to Australia aboard the H.T. Commonwealth.  He arrived in Australia on 12th June 1919, and was discharged Termination of Period of Enlistment on 27th July 1919.

[1] NAA: B2455, KILDUFF BERT

 

Joseph John WILLIAMS

Joseph John WILLIAMS

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4912), Joseph John Williams was born at Woollahra, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 36 years and 11 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as farrier.  His description on Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 5 ½ inches tall, weight 144 lbs., with a dark complexion, brown eyes, and grey hair.  His religious denomination was Roman Catholic.  He claimed that he had no previous military experience.  He completed his medical examination at Ashfield on 11th November 1915 (the day the Coo-ees marched from Parramatta to Ashfield), and was attested by Lieutenant F. Middenway at Ashfield on 11th November 1915.

It is not known exactly where Joseph John Williams joined (or first presented to join) the Coo-ee March, but it may possibly have been before the 11th November 1915.  The Oath on his Attestation Paper was dated ‘from 6th November 1915’.  The “Date of Joining” recorded for Private Williams on his embarkation roll was 7th November 1915.

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

On 18th February 1916 Private Williams was charged with being absent without leave from the Liverpool Camp for 3 days.  He was fined 25 Shillings.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was C/o T. Stephenson, 1 Ruffe [sic] Street, Leichhardt, Sydney, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his mother, Mrs. E. M. [Esther Mary] Williams, at the same address.  The initial address recorded for his mother on his Attestation Paper was ‘Railway Parade Wentworth Falls N.S.W.’.

On 8th March 1916 Private Williams departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, along with many of the other Coo-ees, and arrived in Egypt on 11th April 1916.

It is not recorded in his service record when Private Williams left Egypt, but after some training in Egypt, he was sent to the 4th Training Battalion at Rollestone, England.

Private Williams departed England bound for France on 30th July 1916.  He marched into the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples, France, on 1st August 1916.

He was taken on strength of the 13th Battalion on 26th August 1916 when it was at Albert, France, preparing to re-enter the fighting around Pozieres.

On the 1st of January 1917 Private Williams was sent to the 8th Australian Field Ambulance suffering from a sore ankle. On 4th January 1917 he was moved to the 1st General Hospital at Etretat, France. On 26th January 1917 he was transferred to the 2nd Stationary Hospital at Amiens, France, with ICT right ankle.  He was discharged and returned to the 13th Battalion on 8th February 1917.

On 2nd March 1917 Private Williams was sent to the 8th Australian Field Ambulance suffering from Scabies.  He was moved back to the 5th Rest station later that day with Influenza. On 7th March 1917 he was transferred to a Casualty Clearing Station with Trench Feet.  He was later moved to the 5th General Hospital at Rouen with Trench Fever.

On 12th March 1917 Private Williams was placed aboard the Hospital Ship Grantully Castle at Le Harve for evacuation to England.  He was admitted to the 2nd Southern General Hospital at Bristol, England, on the 13th of March 1917, with Trench Fever.

On 16th April 1917 Private Williams was transferred to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Dartford, England.  He was granted leave to report to the Number 3 Command Depot at Hurdcott, England, on 1st May 1917.

On 12th of May 1917 Private Williams was charged with being absent without leave in London from 3.30 p.m. on 1st May 1917 till 9.15 p.m. on 8th May 1917.  He was awarded 8 days Field Punishment Number 2 and fined 19 days pay.

On 4th August 1917 Private Williams was transferred to the Number 2 Command Depot at Weymouth, England.

On 27th September 1917 Private Williams departed England aboard the H.T. Suevic bound for Australia, with Debility.  He arrived in Australia on 20th November 1917, and was discharged medically unfit on 25th December 1917.

[1] NAA B2455, WILLIAMS J J

Richard John CROCKER

Richard John CROCKER

Per his military service record (Depot), Richard John Crocker was born at Croydon, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 18 years and 4 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as brickmaker.  His description on his Certificate of medical examination was height 5 feet 8 inches tall, weight 128 lbs, with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair.  His religious denomination was Church of England.  His next of kin on his Attestation paper was listed as his mother, Mrs Alice W. Crocker, Brighton Avenue, Croydon, N.S.W.  He completed his medical examination and was attested by Lieutenant Edward  J. Shaw at Ashfield, on 11th November 1915.  He claimed to have four years previous military experience with the 39th Regiment.

After joining the Coo-ee March at Ashfield, he went to Liverpool Camp.  However, his time with the Coo-ees would be short, as he was underage.

A letter from Lieutenant Stanley Stilling from the Ashfield Drill Hall dated 16th November 1915 in his file states that ‘Mrs Crocker … called at this Office this evening, and states that she will not consent to her son Richard Crocker, 16 ½ years old, and who is a Trainee of the Area – going with the A.I.F. and asks for his discharge. Crocker volunteered here, and was duly Medically examined, etc., in connection with the Gilgandra Recruits’.[2]

A letter from his mother Alice Crocker dated 18th November 1915 is also in his file, in which she states ‘My son Richard Crocker enlisted with the Gilgandra Coo-ees last Thursday night against my wish as he is only 16 last May and I think far too young, I want you to send him home at once, please’.[3]

He was discharged parents request, being underage, on 25th November 1915.

Less than a year later, Richard John Crocker re-enlisted in the A.I.F.  He completed his Certificate of medical examination at Victoria Barracks on 20th September 1916, and was attested at the Show Ground Camp at Sydney on 25th September 1916.

A letter dated 19th September 1916 in his file signed by both his parents gave consent for their son to enlist. However he was still underage.  He had stated that he was 18 years and 3 months of age in this application to enlist, but this was later changed to 17 years and 4 months on his Certificate of medical examination. A copy of his Birth Certificate in his service record dated 20th March 1917 shows that his date of birth was 13th May 1899.

Private Crocker was allocated to the 7th reinforcements for the 60th Battalion.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Ashfield, N.S.W.  His next of kin was listed as his father, Edwin Crocker, 53 Arthur Street, Ashfield, N.S.W.

Private Crocker (regimental no. 2873) embarked from Sydney on the HMAT Afriq A19 on 3rd November 1916.  He disembarked at Plymouth on 9th January 1917.

He marched into the 15th Training Battalion at Hurdcott, England on 10th January 1917.

On 10th May 1917 Private Crocker was transferred to the Australian Army Medical Corps, and he marched into the Medical Corps Training Depot at Parkhouse, England.

He later wrote in a letter to the O.C., Victoria Barracks: ‘I went away in 1916 but was under age so I was transferred from the 7/60th to the A.M.C. I was constantly in Hospital work and I volunteered 3 times to go up to the line but I was in the operating theatre & did not get shifted’.[4]

On 4th September 1917 he went to Parkhouse Hospital with a headache.  He returned to the A.M.C. Training Depot on 10th September 1917.

On 29th September 1917 Private Crocker was taken on the staff of the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield, England.

On 13th June 1918 Private Crocker was admitted to the Hospital suffering Influenza. He was discharged on 16th June 1918.

On 27th January 1919 Private Crocker was detached for duty at the 1st Australian General Hospital at Sutton Veny, England.

On 23rd March 1919 he was admitted to the Hospital suffering Influenza. He was discharged on 4th April 1919, and sent to the Training Depot.

On 13th of May 1919 [his 20th birthday], Private Crocker was granted leave, to report back on 25th  May 1919.

Private Crocker commenced his return to Australia on  2nd July 1919, aboard the H.T.  Karmala.  He disembarked at Sydney on 17th August 1919.

He was discharged Termination of Period of Enlistment on 6th October 1919.

[1] NAA: B2455, CROCKER R J

[2] NAA: B2455, CROCKER R J, letter to Headquarters, A.I.F.Camp, Liverpool, from Lieut. Stanley Stilling, Area Officer, 39th Infantry, 16 November 1915

[3] NAA: B2455, CROCKER R J, letter from Alice Crocker, 18 November 1915

[4] NAA: B2455, CROCKER R J, letter to O.C., Victoria Barracks, from Richard John Crocker, [1936].

William Allan Luther PHILPOTT

William Allan Luther  PHILPOT / PHILPOTT

Per his military service record (regimental no. 5164), William Allan Luther Philpot was born at Ashfield, N.S.W. (He signed his name as W. A. L. Philpott). He gave his age as 19 years, his marital status as single, and his occupation as carter. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 6 inches tall, weight 120 lbs., with a fresh complexion, brown eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Congregational. He claimed that he had no previous military service, and that he had been rejected for the AIF in the past.

He completed his medical examination, and was attested by Lieutenant F. Middenway, at Ashfield on 11th November 1915, where the Coo-ees held a recruitment meeting, and stayed in the Drill Hall that evening.

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

On 4th January 1916 Private Philpot was transferred from B Company to D Company in the 13th Battalion.

On 3rd February 1916 Private Philpot was charged with being absent from parade without leave. He was fined 1 days pay.

On 2nd March 1916 he was again charged with being absent without leave, and fined 1 days pay.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Morwin Street, Canberbury, Sydney, N.S.W., and his next of kin was listed as his mother, Mrs M. A. Philpot, at the same address.

Private Philpot (along with fellow Coo-ees Private William Griffiths and Robert Hickey) departed Sydney on the HMAT A16 Star of Victoria A16 on 31st March 1916, as 16th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion. They arrived in Egypt on 8th May 1916.

After further training with the 4th Training Battalion, Private Philpot was taken on strength of the 13th Battalion at Serapeum on 28th May 1916.

On 1st June 1916 Private Philpot left Alexandria aboard the Transport Transylvania bound for France, and arrived at Marseilles on 8th June 1916.

On 1st July 1916 the 13th Battalion was manning the front line at White City post in the vicinity of Bois-Grenier in France. Private Philpot was wounded in action during a German bombardment, and was evacuated suffering shell shock.

He was moved back to the 14th General Hospital, being admitted on 13th July 1916. On 14th July 1916 he was placed aboard the Hospital Ship St Dennis at Boulogne, for evacuation to England.

He was admitted to the Northumberland War Hospital at Gosforth in England on 15th July 1916.

On 31st July 1916 he was transferred to the Woodcote Park Convalescent Hospital at Epsom in England.

On 10th September 1916 he was discharged and sent to the Number 1 Command Depot at Pernham Downs, England.

On 14th September 1916 Private Philpot was granted leave to report back to the Depot at Pernham Downs on 6th October 1916.

On 31st October 1916 Private Philpot was admitted to the Dehli Hospital at Pernham Downs suffering from Influenza.

On 29th November 1916 he was transferred to the Red Cross Hospital at Hungerford in England. He was discharged and sent back to the Number 1 Command Depot on 4th January 1917.

On 27th January 1917 Private Philpot was admitted to Tidworth Military Hospital, suffering from an unknown illness. He was discharged and sent back to the Number 1 Command Depot on 5th March 1917.

On 14th March 1917 Private Philpot was admitted sick to Dehli Hospital at Pernham Downs, and returned to his unit the next day.

On 23rd March 1917 Private Philpot was transferred to the newly formed 61st Battalion at Wareham in England.

On 21st April 1917 he was transferred back to the 13th Battalion and Number 1 Command Depot at Pernham Downs, England.

On 12th May 1917 Private Philpot marched into Number 1 Command Depot at Pernham Downs, England.

On 27th May 1917 Private Philpot was transferred to the 69th Squadron of the Australian Flying Corps at South Carlton in Lincolnshire.

On 24th August 1917 3rd A.M. [Air Mechanic 3rd Class] Philpot departed England for France. He disembarked at Le Harve in France on 25th August 1917.

Soon after his arrival in France, on 28th August 1917 3rd A.M. Philpot was admitted to hospital sick. He was discharged from hospital on 20th September 1917, and joined the 69th Squadron, which had recently relocated to Savy in France.

On 17th October 1917 3rd A.M. Philpot was admitted to the 3rd Australian General Hospital at Abbeville in France, suffering from D.A.H. otitis.

On 20th October 1917 he was placed aboard the 32nd Ambulance Train, and on 21st October 1917 he was placed aboard a Hospital Ship for evacuation to England with otitis media. He was admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital later that same day.

On 22nd December 1917 he was transferred to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield, England.

On 2nd January 1918 he was granted leave to report to the Number 3 Command Depot at Hurdcott in England on 16th January 1918.

On 19th February 1918 Private Philpot was transferred to the Number 2 Command Depot at Weymouth, England.

On 12th March 1918 Private Philpot commenced his return to Australia, and departed England aboard the Transport Kenilworth Castle. He transferred to the H.M.A.T. Field Marshall, and departed Durban in South Africa on 23rd April 1918, and arrived in Australia on 23rd May 1918.

He was discharged Medically Unfit on 21st August 1918.

Selby George MEGARRITY

Selby George MEGARRITY

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4841), Selby George Megarrity was born at Luddenham near Penrith N.S.W. (He was the son of Robert George Megarrity, a dairyman at Wallacia, and Kate Megarrity nee Vicary). He gave his age as 19 years and 9 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer. His description on his medical was 5 feet 8 ½ inches tall, weight 146 lbs., with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and sandy hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He claimed that he had no previous military service. He did his medical examination on 10th November when the Coo-ees were at Penrith, however he was not attested until the Coo-ees were at Ashfield on 11th November 1915.

A note signed by his father R. G. Megarrity dated 16th November 1915 is in his service record, stating: ‘This is to certify that I give my consent to my son Selby George to enlist with the Gilgandra Coo-ees’.

Selby George Megarrity (along with A. Easterbrook and W. A. Sutton) was one of the three Penrith men reported as stepping forward to join the Coo-ees ‘amidst the cheers of the audience’, in response to Mr Blacket’s recruitment speech and call of “What do we want, Coo-ees?” and their response of “We want men – men, and plenty of them!”, during the open-air Concert held for the Coo-ees at Penrith on the evening of Tuesday, 9th November, 2015.[1]

He was given a sendoff at Wallacia on Saturday 11th December 1915, which was attended by over 150 people, where he was presented with a leather vest, wristlet watch and money belt from the residents, and a parcel from Mulgoa Red Cross Society containing two pairs socks, two undershirts, two pairs pyjamas and a muffler.[2]

On Selby George Megarrity’s embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Wallacia, via Penrith, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his father, R. G. Megarrity, Wallacia via Penrith, N.S.W. His date of joining is recorded as 9th November 1915 (the day the Coo-ees arrived in Penrith).

On 8th March 1916 Private Megarrity departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, along with many of the other Coo-ees, as part of the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion. He arrived in Egypt on 11th April 1916.

On 16th April 1916 he was transferred to the 5th Division Cyclist’s Company.

On 18th April 1916 he was sent to the 15th Field Ambulance suffering from influenza. On 19th April 1916 he was transferred to Hospital at Ferry Post, Egypt. He was discharged and rejoined his unit on 21st April 1916.

On [17]h June 1916 Private Megarrity departed Alexandra, Egypt, bound for England. He arrived at Marseilles, France, on 25th June 1916.

On 12th July 1916 Private Megarrity was admitted to the 50th Casualty Clearing Station suffering from Chicken Pox. On 15th July 1916 he was transferred to the 7th General Hospital. He was discharged and returned to his unit on 23rd July 1916.

On 23rd May 1916 Private Megarrity was detached for duty as an escort to the 2nd ANZAC Corps Commander. On 29th September 1916 he rejoined the Corps Cyclist Battalion.

On 10th October 1916 Private Megarrity was detached to the Signals School.

Private Megarrity went on leave in France from 20th January 1917 until 10th February 1917, when he returned to the Cyclist Battalion.

On 18th May 1917 Private Megarrity was detached for duty with the Corps Anti Aircraft Section. He rejoined the Battalion on 25th May 1917.

On 2nd July 1917 Private Megarrity was detached to the Signalling School. He rejoined the Battalion on 6th July 1917.

On 23rd July 1917 Private Megarrity was detached to the Power Buzzer School. He rejoined the Battalion on 1st August 1917.

On 20th November 1917 Private Megarrity was detached for duty with the New Zealand 5th Otago Battalion. He returned from the detachment on 25th November 1917.

On 16th January 1918 Private Megarrity was taken on strength of the Australian Corps Cyclist Battalion.

On 9th March 1918 Private Megarrity went on leave to England. He returned to the Cyclist Battalion on 26th March 1918.

On 1st November 1918 Private Megarrity went on leave again to England, where he was still on leave at the time of the Armistice. He returned to the Cyclist Battalion on 19th November 1918.

On 7th February 1919 Private Megarrity was transferred to the Australian Corps Signal Company and his rank designation was changed to Sapper.

On 24th April 1919 Sapper Megarrity departed Havre in France to commence his return to Australia. He arrived at Southampton on 25th April 1919 and marched into the Number 1 Group at Sutton Veny, England.

On 16th June 1919 Sapper Megarrity departed England aboard the Transport Ormonde bound for Australia. He arrived in Australia on 4th August 1919, and was discharged Termination of Period of Enlistment on 26th September 1919.

His name is listed (under McGarrity, J.) as one who served on the Penrith 1914-1918 Roll of Honour at Penrith City Memory Park war memorial.

[1] ‘Coo-ees at Penrith’, Nepean Times, 13 November 1915, p. 3, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86168730

[2] ‘Soldier’s send-off’, (1915, December 18). Nepean Times, 18 December 1915, p. 6, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86165454

 

William WEBBER

William WEBBER

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4917), William Webber was born at Granville, N.S.W. He gave his age as 23 years and 5 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as fitter. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 5 inches tall, weight 136 lbs., with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He claimed that he had no previous military experience. He completed his medical on the 11th November 1915 at Ashfield, and was attested at Ashfield on the 11th November 1915.

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 Walker Street, Five Dock, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his mother, Mrs. M. E. [Mary Elizabeth] Webber, Walker Street, Five Dock, N.S.W.

On 8th March 1916 Private Webber departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, along with many of the other Coo-ees, arriving in Egypt on the 11th April 1916. On the 19th April 1916 he was transferred to the 45th Battalion at Serapeum.

On 1st May 1916 at Serapeum, Egypt, Private Webber was charged with Being Absent Without Leave from 0815 on 29th April 1916 to 1500 on 30th April 1916. He was awarded 7 days Confined to Barracks and forfeiture of four days pay. On 25th May 1916 Private Webber was charged with being Absent for Parade at 1830. He was awarded 7 days Confined to Barracks.

On 2nd June 1916 Private Webber left Alexandria aboard the Transport Kinfauns Castle bound for France, arriving at Marseilles on 8th June 1916.

Private Webber served with the 45th Battalion through its first action at Fleurbaix, France in July 1916.

On 6th August 1916 the 45th Battalion was in action between Pozieres and Martinpuch, France. They had been under heavy artillery fire since entering the battle the day before, and suffered numerous casualties, with 32 killed (including fellow Coo-ee Jack Morris who had joined the Coo-ees at Parramatta), and 70 wounded. Private Webber was evacuated suffering shell shock, and listed as wounded in action. He was sent back to the 1st Australian Rest Station. On 14th August 1916 Private Webber returned to the Battalion when it was relieving the 46th Battalion in the front line near Pozieres.

On 16th September 1916 the 45th Battalion had been moved to Victoria Camp near Rhenninghelst, Belgium, conducting training. On this day Private Webber was charged with being Absent for Parade at 0645, 0900, 1400 on 15th September 1916. He was awarded 7 days field Punishment Number 2.

On 7th November 1916 the 45th Battalion was at Dernacourt, France, conducting training, when Private Webber was charged with Conduct to the Prejudice of Good Order and Military Discipline to with making remarks likely to cause insubordination. He was awarded 14 days Field Punishment Number 2.

On 11th November 1916 the 45th Battalion moved forward from Dernacourt to Fricourt, France. At 1030 on this day Private Webber went missing. He was not located until 1115 on 7th December 1916. Private Webber was placed under arrest and sent to the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples, France, under escort.

On 26th December 1916 a Field General Court Martial was held with Private Webber being charged with When on Active Service Deserting his Majesty’s Service. Private Webber was found guilty and sentenced to be shot. On 3rd January 1917 the sentence was varied by General Rawlinson, Commander of the 4th Army, to 10 years Penal Servitude.

On 20th January 1917 Private Webber was admitted to the Number 1 Military Prison at Rouen, France, to undergo his sentence. On 4th February 1917 the sentence was commuted to 2 years Imprisonment with Hard Labour by the Commander In Chief.

On 25th January 1918 Private Webber was released from the number 1 Military Prison at Rouen, France, with the remainder of his sentence being suspended. On 29th January 1918 Private Webber rejoined the 45th Battalion whilst it was training at La Clytte, Belgium.

On 6th April 1918 the 45th Battalion was in action in the vicinity of Dernacourt, France, when Private Webber was killed by an artillery shell that burst in the trench he was manning.

Private Cyril Roy McMillan, who had joined the Coo-ees at Parramatta, was taken as a German prisoner of war in the same battle, and he reported after his release in a letter to “The Argus” dated 20th November 1918, that Webber, whom he described as one of his ‘mates’ he had ‘enlisted with’, had been ‘killed alongside’ him, just before they ‘started to advance on the Germans’ (The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, 18/1/1919, p. 10).

Private Webber was initially buried in the trench by his platoon members, then later reinterred at the Millencourt Communal Cemetery near Albert, however in later fighting the grave was lost or destroyed and could not be located.

Private Webber has no known grave, and is remembered on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France.

Private Webber's name on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 7/9/2014)

Private Webber’s name on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 7/9/2014)

Private Webber’s name is commemorated on panel 140 on the Australian War Memorial First World War Roll of Honour.

Private Webber’s name is also remembered on the Five Dock War Memorial.

Harold Brooks DAVIS

Harold Brooks DAVIS

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4759), Harold Brooks Davis was born at Parramatta, N.S.W.[1] He gave his age as 18 years [though he was much younger than this], his marital status as single, and his occupation as plumber. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 7 inches tall, weight 100 lbs., with a dark complexion, grey eyes, and dark brown hair. His religious denomination was Methodist. He claimed that he had no previous military service.

It is not certain where Harold Brooks Davis joined the Coo-ee March.  His “Joined on” date on his attestation paper was the 8th November 1915, the day the Coo-ees travelled from Lawson to Springwood. The Blue Mountain Echo reported that ‘he joined the “Coo-ees” in their memorable march o’er the Mountains’.[2] The Farmer and Settler reported that ‘a halt of only fifteen minutes was made at Leura, but two recruits joined’ following a recruiting address on 6th November 1915.[3]  The names of the two recruits who stepped forward at his home town of Leura were not reported in local newspapers at the time.

However he did not complete his medical until three days later, on the 11th November 1915 at Ashfield, and he was attested at Ashfield on the 11th November 1915. The Coo-ees had a recruitment meeting and stayed in Ashfield at the Drill Hall on the night of 11th November 1915 – the last night of the march.

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 Northcote Street, Leura, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his father, J. [James] Davis, Northcote Street, Leura, N.S.W.

Private Davis departed Sydney on the HMAT Star of England along with many of the Coo-ees on the 8th March 1916. He arrived in Egypt on the 11th April 1916.

On the 19th April 1916 he transferred to the 45th Battalion in Egypt.

On the 2nd June 1916 Private Davis left Alexandria aboard the transport Kinfauns Castle bound for France, arriving at Marseilles on the 8th June 1916.

Private Davis served with the 45th Battalion through its first action at Fleurbaix, France in July 1916, then the Battle of the Somme around Poziers, Mouquet Farm, and Flers.

On 5th January 1917 the 45th Battalion was at Dernacourt, France, preparing to move forward into the front lines, when Private Davis was evacuated to the Anzac Rest Station with a Septic Foot. He remained at the Rest Station until 31st January 1917, when he rejoined the Battalion when it was at Mametz, France, resting and providing working parties behind the lines.

Just three weeks later, on 21st February 1917 Private Davis received multiple gunshot wounds when the 45th Battalion was engaged in action at Gueudecourt, France. He was evacuated to the 45th Casualty Clearing Station.

On 27th February 1917 he was evacuated by the 21st Hospital Train to the 6th General Hospital at Rouen, France, where he died of his wounds the next day, on 28th February 1917.

Private Davis is buried in the St. Sever Cemetery Extension at Rouen, France.

Harold Brooks Davis' headstone at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 7/9/2014)

Harold Brooks Davis’ headstone at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 7/9/2014)

Private Davis’ name is commemorated on panel 139 on the Australian War Memorial First World War Roll of Honour. His age at time of death is recorded on the Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour database, and on his headstone, as being 16 years of age.

His birth certificate shows that he was born on 1st March 1901, the son of James Davis and Elizabeth Davis (nee Brooks).[4]  This means that he had been only 14 years, 8 months, and 7 days old, when he joined the Coo-ee March. He was the youngest of the Coo-ees.

Sadly, when he died of his wounds on 28th February 1917, he was still only 15 years old – this was the day before his 16th birthday.

Private Davis’ name is also remembered on the Leura Lone Pine Park Memorial Gates.

[1] NAA: B2455, DAVIS H B

[2] ‘Leura’, The Blue Mountain Echo, 9 March 1917, p. 3, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108247441

[3] ‘The route march’, The Farmer and Settler, 9 November 1915, p. 3, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116669569

[4] NSW Birth Certificate Parramatta 15787/1901 Harold B. Davis

The 22 Ashfield recruits

Who were the 22 Ashfield recruits?

The Coo-ees held a recruiting meeting, and stayed the night at the Drill Hall at Ashfield on Thursday, 11th November, 1915 – their last night of the Coo-ee March on their long route from Gilgandra to Sydney.

This is now the site of the Ashfield Boys High School gymnasium, and a new car park named Coo-ee Car Park in memory of the 1915 Coo-ee March built recently by the Wests Ashfield Leagues Club.  A plaque about the Coo-ees at Ashfield was unveiled at the Coo-ee Car Park on 21st April 2015.

Plaque at Coo-ee Car Park, Ashfield (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson, 23/4/2015)

Plaque at Coo-ee Car Park, Ashfield (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson, 23/4/2015)

A plaque on an obelisk is situated in the grounds of the Ashfield Boys High School. It has been there for some time. On it are the words: “Celebrating Gilgandra Coo-ee Marchers 11 November 1915 22 Ashfield men joined with the Coo-ee marches here on this day”.

Coo-ee March obelisk at Ashfield Boys High School (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 3/3/2014)

Coo-ee March obelisk at Ashfield Boys High School (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 3/3/2014)

Although the “official” count for the total number of Coo-ees recruited on the 1915 Gilgandra to Sydney Coo-ee March per newspaper articles of the time was 263, with Ashfield having a total of 22 recruits, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on 13th November 1915 (p. 19) that ‘the contingent left the western suburb’ of Ashfield ‘about 263 strong, but there are others now to be sworn in – men who joined the little army yesterday.’ The Farmer and Settler reported about Coo-ees numbers on 21st December 1915 (p. 3) that ‘there were no fewer than 277 men on their last pay sheet in camp’.

We have found the following names of 23 men who were attested at Ashfield at the time the Coo-ees were recruiting at Ashfield. We note that one (Bert Kilduff) had paperwork dating only from 12th November 1915 in his service record, so perhaps the ”official” count of 22 recruits was taken the night before at Ashfield, and he was not included.  Although two others also completed their medical examination and signed their attestation paper at Ashfield on the 12th November 1915 (Thomas Edward Bow and Charles Seal), they had both signed the bottom of the first page in their ‘Attestation paper of persons enlisted for service abroad’ on the 11th November 1915.

Attested 11th November 1915 at Ashfield

Robert AYRES (service no. 4729)

Richard John CROCKER (no service no.)

Edward Lewis CUDDERFORD (service no. 5352)

Harold Brooks DAVIS (service no. 4759)

Edgar DAWSON (no service no.)

Thomas DELANEY (service no. 4764)

William ELLERY (service no. 4769)

Richard EVANS (service no. 5368)

Joseph Jacob John HERRINGE (service no. 5700)

Robert Michael HICKEY (service no. 5099)

Albert HULBERT (no service no.)

Hector LEE (service no. Depot)

Thomas LIPSCOMBE (service no. 4826)

Sam LUKE (service no. 4830)

Joseph Raymond MCGUIRE (service no. 4857)

Selby George MEGARRITY (service no. 4841)

William Allen Luther PHILPOT/PHILPOTT (service no. 5164)

William WEBBER (service no. 4917)

Jack Graham WIGGINS (service no. 4918)

Joseph John WILLIAMS (service no. 4912)

Attested 12th November 1915 at Ashfield the (the day the Coo-ees left Ashfield and the last day of the Coo-ee March)

Charles Edward BOW (service no. 4735)

Bert KILDUFF (service no. 4818)

Thomas SEAL (service no. 4895)

Not all of these men were local to the Ashfield area. Some were men who had joined the Coo-ees earlier in the march, or caught up with them at Ashfield, who signed their attestation paper to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force at Ashfield.

William Ellery was reported to be a long term resident of the Dunedoo area before he left to join the Coo-ees.  Edgar Dawson started filling out his paperwork in his service record in Bathurst.  Jack Wiggins was known as a Springwood recruit. Sam Luke joined the Coo-ees at St Marys. Selby Megarrity undertook his medical at Penrith, the day before the Coo-ees arrived at Ashfield.

Fourteen of the Ashfield recruits embarked overseas with the majority of the Coo-ees on the transport  HMAT A15 Star of England on the 8th March 1916.  Five more embarked on other ships soon after.

An individual blog entry will be added to this website for each of the above named Coo-ees.

Samuel LUKE

Samuel LUKE

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4830), Samuel Henry Luke was born at St. Marys, N.S.W. He gave his age as 38 years and 11 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as Laborer. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 8 inches tall, weight 154 lbs., with a medium complexion, brown eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He claimed that he had no previous military service. He completed his medical on the 11th November, 1915 at Ashfield, and was attested at Ashfield on the 11th November, 1915.

However, according to the Nepean Times (13/11/1915, p. 6), he joined the Coo-ees on Wednesday 10th November 1915, when they were at St. Marys.

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

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was St. Marys, near Penrith, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as brother, J. Luke, St. Marys, near Penrith, N.S.W.

On 8th March 1916, Private Luke departed Sydney on the HMAT Star of England, arriving in Egypt on the 11th April 1916.

He was sent to the 4th Training Battalion at Tel El Kebir, Egypt where he trained until the 25th of April 1916 and was transferred to the 4th Pioneer Battalion at Serapeum, Egypt being taken on strength on the 29th of April 1916.

On 4th June 1916 Private Luke left Alexandria aboard the Transport Scotian bound for France, arriving at Marseilles on 11th June 1916.

Private Luke served with the 4th Pioneer Battalion throughout its service on the Western Front including Pozieres in August 1916, Mouquet Farm in September 1916, and Flers in October 1916.

On 21st April 1917 during the First Battle of Bullecourt the 4th Pioneer Battalion was constructing tramways in the vicinity of Vaulx–Vraucourt, France when Private Luke was killed in action by a high explosive shell. He was buried in the Vaulx Hill Cemetery, France.

 

Samuel Luke's headstone at Vaulx Hill Cemetery, France (Photograph: S & H Thompson, 6/9/2014)

Samuel Luke’s headstone at Vaulx Hill Cemetery, France (Photograph: S & H Thompson, 6/9/2014)

Private Luke’s name is commemorated on panel 174 on the Australian War Memorial First World War Roll of Honour.

Private Luke’s name is also listed on the St. Marys War Memorial.