Tag Archives: 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.



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 CUDDEFORD (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.