Tag Archives: Bathurst recruits

Frank BLACK

Frank BLACK

Per his initial military service record (Depot), Frank Black was born at Cumberland, England.[1]  He gave his age as 42 years, his marital status as single, and his occupation as laborer.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was 5 feet 2 inches tall, weight 130 lbs., with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and light brown hair.  His religious denomination was Church of England.   He claimed that he had no previous military service. His postal address on his initial Application to Enlist in the Australian Imperial Force form was ‘Grafton’.

He completed his medical examination at Wellington on 28th October 1915, then travelled to Bathurst to join the Coo-ees that same day. He was attested by Captain A. C. Eade at Bathurst on 28th October 1915.

Frank Black was named in The Bathurst Times as one of four recruits who came forward to join the Coo-ees at the recruiting meeting held at Machattie Park in Bathurst on the evening of 28th October 1915.[2]

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

On 30th December 1915 Private Black was charged with being absent from Parade on 29th and 30th December 1915. He was fined 10 shillings.

On 23rd January 1916 Private Black was charged with being absent without leave from 21st to 23rd January 1916. He was fined 15 shillings.

On 28th January 1916 Private Black was charged with being absent without leave on 27th and 28th January 1916, when he was arrested by the civil police for being drunk in Sydney. He was fined 15 shillings.

On 6th February 1916 Private Black was charged with being absent without leave from 1st to 6th February 1916. He was recommended to be discharged.

On 10th February 1916 Private Black was discharged from the A.I.F. with his services no longer required.

Sixteen months later, Frank Black reenlisted in the A.I.F. on 20th June 1917 at Toowoomba, Queensland.  He made no mention of his previous service on his enlistment papers.

On his embarkation roll Private Black’s address at time of enrolment was G.P.O. Clifton, Queensland,  and his next of kin is listed as his brother, James Black, 43 Queen’s Street, Cleatormore, Cumberland, England.

Issued with Regimental no. 3747, Private Black departed Sydney on the HMAT Miltiades A28 on 2nd August 1917, with the 10th reinforcements for the 47th Battalion.

He disembarked at Glasgow, Scotland, on 2nd October 1917.

On 3rd October 1917 he marched into the 12th Training Battalion at Codford, England.

On 27th December 1917 he departed Southampton, England, bound for France to reinforce the 42nd Battalion.

He marched into the Australian General Base Depot at Rouelles, France on 28th December 1917.

On 31st December 1917 Private Black was charged with being absent without leave from 0900 on 29th December 1917 till 0700 on 30th December 1917.  He was also charged with being absent without leave from 0800 on 30th December 1917 till 0700 on 31st December 1917. He was fined 4 days pay.

On 5th January 1918 Private Black was taken on strength of the 42nd Battalion when it was training at Locre, France.

On 20th January 1918 Private Black was sent to the 11th Australian Field Ambulance sick with debility, and he was transferred to the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing station.

On 23rd January 1918 he was transferred to the 5th General Hospital in Rouen, Franc.

On 10th February 1918 he was transferred to the 6th Convalescent Depot at Etaples, France.

On 12th February 1918 he was transferred to the Australian General Base Depot at Rouelles, France, arriving on 16th February 1918.

On5th March 1918 Private Black departed Le Harve, France, bound for England.  He arrived at Weymouth on 6th  March 1918, and marched into the No. 2 Command Depot.

On 15th April 1918 Private Black departed England aboard the H.T. Marathon.

He arrived in Australia on 12th June 1918, and was discharged medically unfit with chronic rheumatism on 14th July 1918.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, BLACK F

[2] ‘In the Park’, The Bathurst Times, 29 October 1915, p. 2. Retrieved June 15, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article111246741

 

George SEAMAN

George SEAMAN

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4929), George Seaman was born at Bathurst, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 28 years and 8 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as bootmaker.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was 5 feet 5 inches tall, weight 9 stone, with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and fair hair.  His religious denomination was Church of England.  He claimed to have He claimed that he had no previous military service. He stated that he had been rejected by the A.I.F. previously for being too short.

He was attested by Captain A. C. Eade at Bathurst on 28th October 1915.  He joined the Coo-ees at Bathurst.[2]  He did not complete his medical examination until 13th November 1915 at Liverpool.

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

On 14th January 1916 Private Seaman was charged with being absent without leave from the Liverpool Camp for six days. He was fined 30 shillings.

On 7th February 1916 he was charged with being absent without leave from the Liverpool Camp for one day. He was fined 5 shillings.

On his embarkation roll Private Seaman’s address at time of enrolment was Brilliant Road, South Bathurst, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his mother, Mrs. E. [Eliza] Ingram, at the same address.

On 8th March 1916 Private Seaman, along with many of the other Coo-ees, departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, as15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  He arrived in Egypt on 11th April 1916.

On 19th April 1916 Private Seaman was transferred to the 45th Battalion in Egypt.

On 2nd June 1916 Private Seaman left Alexandria aboard the transport Kinfauns Castle bound for France.  He arrived at Marseilles on 8th June 1916.

On 4th July 1916 the 45th Battalion was at Sailly-Sur-Lys preparing to move into the trenches for the first time, when Private Seaman was evacuated to the 12th Australian Field Ambulance suffering from Enteritis. On 7th July 1916 he was sent to the 4th Division Rest Station.  He rejoined the 45th Battalion on 9th July 1916.

A month later, on 8th August 1916 the 45th Battalion was in the front line trenches between Pozieres and Martinpuich, France, when Private Seaman was evacuated with shell shock. On 10th August 1916 he was transferred from the 44th Casualty Clearing Station by ambulance train to the 14th Stationary Hospital at Boulogne, France.

The Bathurst Times reported that Private George Seaman ‘… took part in the battle of Pozieres and was buried by earth disturbed by a bomb … and he was taken to the casualty station and subsequently sent over the England …’[3]

On 12th September 1916 Private Seaman was placed aboard the Hospital Ship Newhaven for evacuation to England with debility after shell shock.  He was admitted to the War Hospital at Reading, England, on the same day.

On 16th October 1916 Private Seaman was discharged from hospital and granted leave in London until 31st October 1916 to report to the No. 1 Command Depot at Perham Downs, England.

On 2nd November 1916 he marched into No. 1 Command Depot at Perham Downs, with classification B1A [fit for light duty].

On 23rd March 1917 Private Seaman was transferred to the 61st Battalion at Wareham, England.

On 23rd April 1917 Private Seaman was transferred to the No. 4 Command Depot at Wareham, England.

On 2nd May 1917 he was transferred to the No. 2 Command Depot at Weymouth, England.

Private Seaman departed England on 22nd July 1917 for return to Australia aboard the H.M.A.T.  A71 Nestor with inguinal hernia.

He arrived in Australia on 25th September 1917.  He was discharged medically unfit on 23rd October 1917.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, SEAMAN GEORGE

[2] ‘The Coo-ees’, The Bathurst Times,  10 October 1916, p. 4. Retrieved June 9, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article109934579

[3] ‘Soldiers return’, The Bathurst Times, 28 September 1917, p. 1. Retrieved June 9, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article111567652

 

George Elsie EWENS

George Elsie EWENS

Pte. George Ewens, of Mandurama (Evening News, 20/9/1917)

Pte. George Ewens, of Mandurama (Evening News, 20/9/1917)

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4771), George Elsie Ewens was born at Mandurama, N.S.W.[1]  (His name is listed in some sections of his service record as George Leslie Ewens). He gave his age as 24 years and 3 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as farmer.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 8 inches tall, weight 11 stone, with a medium complexion, grey eyes, and dark hair. His religious denomination was Presbyterian.  He claimed that he had no previous military service.

The Bathurst Times reported on 27th October 1915 that at Blayney (where the Coo-ees had stayed overnight the night before) ‘… as a result of a collection made amongst the people of Carcoar, Mandurama and Lyndhurst … the sum of £26 had been handed to Captain Hitchen as help to his men on their way to the front’, and that ‘They had also brought along a recruit in the person of Mr. George Ewins [sic], of Mandurama’.[2]

There is an irregularity in his service record, which perhaps indicates that some of his initial paperwork may have been lost.  His Statement of Service is recorded as having commenced on 28th October 1915 (when the Coo-ees were at Bathurst).  He completed his Certificate of Medical Examination at Liverpool on 23rd November 1915.  The Oath in his Attestation Paper was dated 28th October 1915, and recorded as ‘taken and subscribed at Bathurst’, but it was not signed by an Attesting Officer until 6th January 1916.

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 Cathcart, Mandurama, N.S.W., and his next of kin was his father, J. B. [James Bell] Ewens, at the same address.  His date of joining on this document was 26th October 1915 (the day the Coo-ees stayed overnight at Blayney).

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

He was transferred to the 45th Battalion on 19th April 1916.

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

Private Ewens served with the 45th Battalion through its first action at Fleurbaix, France, in July 1916 then as it moved to Pozieres in early August 1916.  On 30th August 1916 the 45th Battalion was in the front line trenches between Pozieres and Mouquet Farm in France.  The Battalion had casualties of 1 man killed and 4 wounded.  Private Ewens was one of the wounded, suffering gunshot wounds to his back and leg.  (Fellow Coo-ee Private Healey was evacuated with shell shock on the same day).  Private Ewens was evacuated to the 44th Casualty Clearing Station, then admitted to the 13th General Hospital at Boulogne, France, the next day, on 31st August 1916.

On 2nd September 1916 Private Ewens was transferred to England aboard the Hospital Ship Newhaven, and admitted to the 2nd Eastern General Hospital in Brighton, England.

On 6th October 1916 he was discharged from hospital, and sent to the Number 1 Command Depot at Perham Downs, England.

On 8th October 1916 Private Ewens was granted leave, to report back on 25th October 1916.

On 27th October 1916 he marched out the Command Depot at Wareham.

On 11th November 1918 Private Ewens departed England to return to France.  He marched into the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples, France, on 13th November 1916.

He rejoined the 45th Battalion on 4th December 1916, when it was resting at Dernacourt, France.

On 23th February 1917 the 45th Battalion was in action near Guedecourt, France, when Private Ewens was wounded in action for the second time, receiving a gunshot wound to his left hand.  He was evacuated to a Casualty Clearing Station, then on 25th February 1917 he was placed aboard the 21st Ambulance Train.  He was moved to the 10th General Hospital at Rouen, France, where he was admitted on 26th February 1917.

On 3th March 1917 Private Ewens was transferred to the 2nd Convalescent Depot also at Rouen, France.

On 29th March 1917 he was transferred to the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples, France.

Private Ewens rejoined the 45th Battalion on 19th April 1917, when it was training at Bresle, France.

On 7th June 1917 the 45th Battalion was in action at Messines, Belgium, when Private Ewens was wounded in action for a third time, receiving a gunshot wound to his groin.  He was evacuated to the 77th Field Ambulance.  On 8th June 1917 he was sent to the 53rd Casualty Clearing Station.  On 9th June 1917 he was moved back to the 4th General Hospital.

On 18th of June 1917 Private Ewens was placed aboard the Hospital Ship Newhaven at Calais, France, for evacuation to England.  He was admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital at Wandsworth on the same day.

The Evening News reported on 20th September 1917 (with an accompanying photograph) that ‘Mr Ewens, a farmer, of Mandurama, has received word that his son, Private George Ewens, who enlisted with the Coo-ees, was wounded for the third time at Messines … Private Ewens is now in hospital in England’.[3]

On 8th October 1917 Private Ewens was transferred to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Dartford, England.  On 12th October 1917 he was discharged to Depot at Weymouth.

Private Ewens left England on 5th November 1917, for return to Australia aboard the H.M.A.T. Themistocles.

He arrived in Australia on 3rd January 1918, and was discharged medically unfit on 4th March 1918.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, EWENS G L – Ewens George Leslie : SERN 4771 : POB Mandurama NSW : POE Bathurst NSW : NOK F Ewens James Bell

[2] ‘Western News’, The Bathurst Times,  27 October 1917, p. 3. Retrieved February 10, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article111244211

[3] ‘N.S.W. Honor Roll’, Evening News,  20 September 1917, p. 6. Retrieved October 17, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article121247763

 

Percy Edward BLACKWOOD

Percy Edward BLACKWOOD

Per his military service record (Depot), Percy Edward Blackwood was born at South Melbourne, Victoria. He gave his age as 29 years, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 10 inches tall, weight 154 lbs., with a dark complexion, blue 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 Wellington on 27th October 1915, then made his way to catch up with the Coo-ees at Bathurst, where he was attested by Captain Eade at Bathurst on 28th October 1915.

The National Advocate named Percy Edward Blackwood as one of those who responded to the call made by the Coo-ees for more recruits at Bathurst.[1]

After completing the march he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 5th Depot Battalion.

On 17th November 1915 Private Blackwood went before a Medical Board where he was deemed as unfit for military service due to deficient teeth. Private Blackwood was discharged medically unfit on 29th November 1915.

Percy Blackwood re-enlisted in the AIF on 21st December 1915 at Casula, N.S.W. He was attested at Casula on 23rd December 1915, and assigned to Depot Battalion.

He was allocated as a reinforcement for the 20th Battalion on 20th January 1916.

On 5th February 1916 Private Blackwood was charged with being absent without leave from 2nd to the 5th February 1916. He was fined 4 days pay.

On 19th March 1916 Private Blackwood was charged with being absent without leave from 17th to 19th March 1916. He was fined 3 days pay.

On 4th April 1916 Private Blackwood was charged with being drunk and absent without leave on 3rd April 1916 in George Street, Sydney. He was charged and fined 10 Shillings, and his Commanding Officer also recommended he be discharged. On 6th April 1916 Private Blackwood was discharged services no longer required.

Percy Blackwood re-enlisted in the AIF again on 26th October 1916 at Dubbo, N.S.W. He was assigned to Dubbo Depot Battalion until 3rd November 1916, when he was transferred to Liverpool. He was allocated as a reinforcement for the 3rd Battalion.

On his embarkation roll his address at the time of his subsequent enrolment was P.O., Cobar, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his father, J. Blackwood, Montague Street, South Melbourne.

Private Blackwood (regimental no. 6957) departed Sydney on the HMAT A24 Benalla on 9th November 1916, with the 23rd reinforcements for the 3rd Battalion.

On 8th December 1916 he was charged with being absent without leave for 6 hours on the 4th of December 1916 at sea on the A24 Benalla troopship. He was fined 3 days pay.

Private Blackwood disembarked at Devonport, England, on 9th January 1917.

He was sent to the 1st Training Battalion at Lark Hill, England.

On 27th February 1917 Private Blackwood was charged with failing to answer defaulter’s parade on 17th February, 24th February, and 25th February 1917. He was awarded 7 days field punishment number 2.

On 15th March 1917 Private Blackwood was charged with being absent without leave from Tattoo on 10th March till 1700 on 11th March 1917. He was awarded 6 days field punishment number 2 and fined 11 days pay

On 5th May 1917 he was charged with being absent from Headquarters fatigue from 1430 till 2200 on 4th May 1917. He was awarded 1 day field punishment number 2, and forfeited 2 days pay.

On22nd May 1917 Private Blackwood departed Folkestone, England, bound for France.

On 10th June 1917 Private Blackwood was taken on strength of the 3rd Battalion when it was resting at Buire, France.

On 16th August 1917 Private Blackwood was charged with being absent without leave from 2100 on 12th August 1917 till 1830 on 13th August 1917. He was awarded 7 days field punishment number 2 and fined 9 days pay.

On 18th January 1918 Private Blackwood was charged with being absent without leave from 1200 on 31st December 1917 till he surrendered himself to the NCO in charge of the Bailleul Town Guard at 0640 on 1st January 1918. He was fined 12 days pay.

On 7th February 1918 Private Blackwood went on leave to England.

On 19th April 1918 Private Blackwood went before a Field General Court Martial charged with being absent without leave over furlough, from 0730 on 22nd February 1918 till apprehended by the Civil Police in London on 15th March 1918. He was also charged with being absent without leave from 9 a.m. on 12th April 1918 to 10 a.m. on 13th April 1918. He was awarded 90 days field punishment number 2 and fined 110 days pay.

On 30th July 1918 Private Blackwood went before a Field General Court Martial charged with desertion while on active service. He had been absent without leave from 2 p.m. on 12th July 1918 to 6.30 pm on 20th July 1918. He was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years penal servitude. He was sent to the Number 7 Military Prison at Calais, France.

On 5th October 1918 Private Blackwood’s sentence was commuted to 2 years in prison.

On 24th March 1919 Private Blackwood went before a Field General Court Martial charged with joining in a mutiny at the Number 7 Military Prison by ‘continuing … not to fall in after having been warned by proper authorities’. He was found guilty and sentenced to 11 years penal servitude.

On 18th April 1919 Private Blackwood was transferred to Portland Convict Prison in England.

On 9th September 1919 Private Blackwood departed England aboard the H.T. Raranga.

He arrived in Australia on 29th October 1919, and was discharged services no longer required on 30th October 1919.

[1] ‘The response : 21 volunteers from Bathurst’, National Advocate, 29 October 1915, p. 5, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158157113

 

Allan James DENMEAD

Allan James DENMEAD

Per his military service record (regimental no. 3017), Allen James Denmead was born at Goulburn, N.S.W. [His first name is spelt elsewhere as Allan]. He gave his age as 27 years and 8 months, his marital status as married, and his occupation as labourer. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 9 inches tall, weight 10 stone 8 lbs., with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Roman Catholic. He claimed that he had no previous military service. He was attested at Bathurst by Captain Eade on the 28th October 1915.

His preliminary medical examination report on his Application to enlist form in his service record, signed at Bathurst on 22nd October 1915, noted that he ‘has Varicose Veins in legs & willing to have them operated on’. His medical certificate was not signed during the march.

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

His medical certificate was signed at Liverpool Camp on 13th November 1915, however this had the note “signed in error”. Whilst at Liverpool Camp Private Denmead went before a medical board on 29th November 1915 where he was deemed unfit for military service due to having Varicose Veins in both legs. He was discharged on the 13th of December 1915.

The National Advocate reported that ‘Private Denmead joined the “Coo-ees” at Bathurst, but on arrival in Sydney he was discharged to undergo an operation’, and ‘on recovering he again enlisted’.[1]

On 28th June 1916 he re-enlisted at Bathurst under the name Allan James Denmead. He claimed 7 weeks previous military experience at Liverpool with the A.I.F. before being medically discharged. He stated that his trade or calling was butcher on this attestation paper. He attended the Showground in Bathurst and underwent a medical which he passed [his varicose veins not being noted], and he was attested on 28th June 1916 at Bathurst. He went into camp and began training as part of the 7th reinforcements for the 53rd Battalion.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was 69 Rocket Street, Bathurst, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his wife, Mrs. Mary [Ester] Jane Denmead, 69 Rocket Street, Bathurst, N.S.W.

Private Denmead departed Sydney on the HMAT A11 Ascanius on 25th October 1916. He arrived in Devonport, England, on 28th December 1916. He was sent to the 14th Training Battalion at Hurdcott, England.

On 28th February 1917 Private Denmead departed Folkestone aboard the SS Golden Eagle for France. He arrived at the 5th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples on 1st March 1917. On 21st March he joined departed the 5th Australian Division Base Depot bound for the 19th Battalion, having been transferred from the 53rd Battalion. On 23rd March 1917 Private Denmead joined the 19th Battalion whilst it was at the village of Grevillers in France repairing billets and roads.

Private Denmead was with the 19th Battalion as it saw action around Noreuil, France, in April 1917.

On 3rd May 1917 the 19th Battalion was part of an attack on the Hindenburg Line in the vicinity of Bullecourt, France. During this unsuccessful attack Private Denmead was reported Missing in Action.

A Court of Enquiry held by the 19th Battalion on 11th December 1917 reported that he was now listed as Killed in Action on the 3rd of May 1917.

His family inserted the following notice in the National Advocate (17/1/1918 p. 2):

‘Honor Roll. DENMEAD,–Private Allen James Denmead, killed in action at Bullecourt on May 3rd, 1917, aged 29 years. Previously reported missing on that date.
In a soldier’s grave he’s lying,
Somewhere in Bullecourt he fell,
Little we thought when he left us,
It would be our last farewell.
Loving remembrance will last forever.
Inserted by his loving wife Ettie, and children Rose, Harold, and Daisy’.[2]

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

A.J. Denmead's name on the Villers-Brettoneux Memorial (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson, 7/9/2015)

A.J. Denmead’s name on the Villers-Brettoneux Memorial (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson, 7/9/2015)

Private Denmead’s name is commemorated on panel 88 on the Australian War Memorial First World War Roll of Honour.

[1] ‘A “Cooee” Missing’, National Advocate, 8 June 1917, p. 2, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158485185

[2] ‘Advertising’, National Advocate, 17 January, 1918, p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158501973

 

Charles Henry HUNT

Charles Henry HUNT

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4804), Charles Henry Hunt was born at Hargreaves, N.S.W. He gave his age as 43 years, his marital status as widower, and his occupation as labourer. His description on his medical was height 6 feet 1 ½ inches tall, weight 176 lbs., with a medium complexion, blue eyes, and medium brown hair. His religious denomination was Roman Catholic. He claimed that he had no previous military service.

According to William Laurence Hunt’s and Jack Henry Hunt’s service records, Charles Henry Hunt signed consent forms (for persons under 21 years of age) for his two sons to enlist on 7th October 1915. According to the Bathurst Times, their father saw them off in the start of the Coo-ee March at Gilgandra, ‘but the thought of the parting was too much for him’.[1]

He went to Dubbo to enlist, and completed his medical on the 28th October 1915 (two weeks after the Coo-ees had passed through Dubbo), and was attested at Dubbo on the 28th October 1915. He then proceeded to Bathurst to catch up with the Coo-ees. According to the National Advocate, ‘on the road from Bathurst to Yetholme … a father, hearing that his two sons were amongst the marchers, overtook them near Raglan, was examined and took his place alongside his two sons’.[2]

After catching up with his two sons and the Coo-ees on Friday 29th October between Bathurst and Yetholme, he completed the Coo-ee March and went to Liverpool Camp, as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Wingadee, Coonamble, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as daughter, Miss P. O. [Pearl Olive] Hunt, St. Patrick’s Convent, Dubbo, N.S.W.

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

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

Private Hunt served with the 45th Battalion through its first action at Fleurbaix, France in July 1916 then moved with it to Pozieres in early August 1916. On the 16th August 1916 the 45th Battalion was being relieved from the front line trenches between Pozieres and Martinpuich, France. Private Hunt was evacuated to the 7th Field Ambulance with shell shock and bruises. He rejoined the Battalion after only a short absence.

On the 28th October 1916 the 45th Battalion was training at Brucamps, France when Private Hunt was evacuated to the 1st Australian General Hospital at Rouen, France, suffering from Pleurisy. He was discharged on the 24th November 1916 and sent to the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples, France, arriving on the 25th November 1916. On the 4th December 1916 Private Hunt was admitted to the 26th General Hospital. On the 7th December 1916 he was placed aboard the Hospital Ship Cambria sailing from Calais, France, for evacuation to England, suffering from Debility.

On the 11th December 1916 Private Hunt marched into the Number 1 Command Depot at Pernham Downs, England. On the 25th January 1917 he was transferred to the Number 2 Command Depot at Weymouth, England. On the 30th January 1917 Private Hunt underwent a medical board where it was determined that he suffered from Pleurisy and Rheumatism and he was classified as not suitable for active service nor home service.

On the 17th March 1917 Private Hunt departed England aboard the HMAT Beltana bound for Australia. He arrived in Sydney on the 15th May 1917, and was discharged as medically unfit on the 9th June 1917.

[1] ‘The Coo-ees’, The Bathurst Times, 10 October 1916, p. 4, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article109934579

[2] A “Tramp falls in. Father joins his two sons’, National Advocate, 30 October 1915, p. 3, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158152728

Spencer John LETCHER

Spencer John LETCHER

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4832),Spencer John Letcher was born at Cowra, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 18 years and 1 month (though he was younger), his marital status as single, and his occupation as painter. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 8 inches tall, weight 132 lbs., with a fair complexion, grey eyes, and fair hair. His religious denomination was Methodist. He claimed that he had no previous military service. He completed his medical on the 28th October 1915, and was attested at Bathurst on the 28th October 1915. He joined the Coo-ees at Bathurst.

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 15 Busby Street, Bathurst, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as father, J. J. [John James] Letcher, 15 Busby Street, Bathurst, N.S.W.

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

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

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

Private Letcher served with the 45th Battalion through its first action at Fleurbaix, France in July 1916, then moved with the Battalion to Pozieres in early August 1916. It was whist the 45th Battalion was in action in the vicinity of Pozieres, France, that Private Letcher was killed in action on the 6th August 1916. He was buried on the battlefield.

After the war Private Letcher’s grave was located and his remains exhumed. He was reburied at the nearby A.I.F. Burial Ground, Grass Lane, Flers, France.

Private S. J. Letcher's headstone at AIF Burial Ground, France (Photograph: H. Thompson 4/9/2014)

Private S. J. Letcher’s headstone at AIF Burial Ground, France (Photograph: H. Thompson 4/9/2014)

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

His name is also remembered on the Bathurst South Public School Roll of Honour board.

Research note:  His NSW Birth Certificate shows that he was born on 8th March 1899, so he was actually only 16 years and 7 months when he joined the Coo-ee March, and only 17 years and 4 months of age when he died.[2]

 

[1] NAA: B2455, LETCHER SPENCER JOHN

[2] NSW Birth Certificate, LETCHER SPENCER J 11458/1899 JOHN J LOUISA COWRA

Edward Joseph MCGARRY

Edward Joseph MCGARRY

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4920), Edward Joseph McGarry was born at Kelso, N.S.W. He gave his age as 35 years and 8 months, his marital status as married, and his occupation as fuelman. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 9 ¼ inches tall, weight 12 stone, with a dark complexion, brown eyes, and black hair. His religious denomination was Roman Catholic. He claimed that he had no previous military service. He joined the Coo-ee March at Bathurst. He was attested at Bathurst on the 28th October 1915, but did not complete his medical until the 13th November October 1915 at Liverpool.

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

On 7th February 1916 he was charged with being absent without leave for 5 days,

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was 7 Lord Street, Bathurst, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as wife, Mrs S. McGarry, 7 Lord Street, Bathurst, N.S.W.

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

On the 16th April 1916 he was transferred to the 4th Pioneer Battalion.

On the 4th June 1916 Private McGarry left Alexandria aboard the Transport Scotian bound for France, disembarking at Marseille on the 11th June 1916.

On the 28th September 1916 Private McGarry was admitted to the 4th Field Ambulance sick. He was admitted with Influenza, and transferred to the Division Rest Staton on the 29th September 1916. He was then admitted to the 13th Australian Field Ambulance with Influenza.

On the 4th October 1916 Private McGarry was discharged to duty.

On the 12th December 1916 Private McGarry was wounded in action with a gun shot wound to the chest. He died at No. 38 Casualty Clearing Station at Heilly on 13th December 1916, and was buried on the same day in Heilly Station Cemetery, which was adjacent to the Clearing Station.

Edward Joseph McGarry's headstone at Heilly Station Cemetery, France. His name is on the bottom of the headstone (Photograph: H. Thompson, 4/9/2014)

Edward Joseph McGarry’s headstone at Heilly Station Cemetery, France. His name is on the bottom of the headstone (Photograph: H. Thompson, 4/9/2014)

An article titled ‘Died on service Private E. J. McGarry A “Coo-ee’s” sacrifice’ in the National Advocate (29/12/1916, p. 1) noted that before enlisting, he was ‘employed in the locomotive department on the Bathurst railway’, and that he left a wife and two children.

William John Luther HOWARD

William John Luther HOWARD

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4802), William John Luther Howard was born at Crookwell, N.S.W. He gave his age as 24 years and 10 months, and his address as Mountain View, Biddon, Gilgandra, N.S.W. He gave his occupation as Farmer. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 9 ¾ inches tall, weight 11 stone 2 lbs., with a dark complexion, light blue eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Methodist. He completed his medical on the 27th October 1915 at Gilgandra, (after the Coo-ee March had started), and was not attested until after the March had finished, at Liverpool on the 13th November 1915. He claimed to have had no previous military service.

Private Howard joined the Coo-ees at Bathurst. A telegram in the official correspondence of the March from A.H. Miller in Gilgandra to Major Wynne on the Coo-ee March dated 28th October 1915 advised that Howard had been sent to Bathurst the night before to meet them (presumably by train). His name was listed as one of the Bathurst recruits in The Bathurst Times (29/10/1915, p. 2).

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

Private Howard departed Sydney on the HMAT Star of England on the 8th March 1916. He arrived in Egypt on the 11th of April 1916.

On the 7th June 1916 Private Howard left Alexandria aboard the Transport Huntspill bound for France, arriving at Marseille on the 14th June 1916.

After arriving in France Private Howard was sent to a Machine Gun Training School on 30th June 1916. After completing training he was posted to the 12th Machine Gun Company on the 12th August 1916, when it was engaged in heavy fighting around Pozieres.

Private Howard was admitted to hospital with influenza on 1st January 1917, returning to duty on 26th January 1917.

He was appointed Lance Corporal on the 9th October 1917 when his unit was resting out of the line at Ypres, Belgium.

On the 1st April 1918 his unit was redesignated the 4th Machine Gun Battalion.

He went on leave to the United Kingdom on 7th September 1918. He returned from leave on the 26th September 1918.

Lance Corporal Howard began his return to Australia aboard the Transport HMAT Commonwealth on the 17th April 1919. He arrived in Australia on the 19th May 1919.

He was discharged on the 12th June 1919.