Tag Archives: Boomey

Day 13, Friday, 22 October, 1915, Boomey to Molong

Transcription of extract from an article titled ‘The Route March : Section Leaders Appointed’ from The Farmer and Settler, 15 October, 1915, p. 3, [part 2 of 5 parts]:

Boomey was bidden farewell at 8 a.m. on Friday, 22nd, and several miles covered to The Shades, where the men of the column were treated to a poultry breakfast. Mr. It. E. Johnson, the local school teacher, a most enthusiastic worker, had his thirty or forty school children paraded to meet the marching army, and showed them a point in marching. The children also sang patriotic songs during the brief meal, and in this respect also reflected credit on their teacher. Sergeant Sam Ball, of the Light Horse, which body met the “Coo-ees” a mile or so along the road, was also an energetic organiser of the little reception, and the ladies cannot be praised enough for the trouble they took to do honor to the marching recruits. Headed by the Light Horse, the remainder of the sixteen miles to Molong was left behind with the memories of the generous treatment en route. Arriving at the outskirts of the town at 11.30, a procession was formed, and the principal streets were traversed to the martial airs of the Molong town band. At the saluting base at the recreation ground, the mayor, Alderman J. S. Taylor, inspected the column and expressed himself well pleased with the men’s appearance. After the order to dismiss, cordials were served out, and the river availed of, the opportunity for a wash. Luncheon was the next item on the programme. One of the staff had a stock of “Coo-ees” ribbons for sale at a shilling each, and we have reason to believe that at the conclusion of his   speech, he sold over a pounds’ worth.

At the recruiting meeting after lunch, Messrs. J. C. L. Fitztpatrick, M.L.A., W. Johnson, ex-M.L.A., Major Wynne, and Q.M.-Sergeant Lee were the chief speakers. Two men volunteered, and were duly sworn in, and four men turned up from Parkes, sent on by the Recruiting Association. Two other men caught up from Coonamble.

It is a significant fact that many men come along after the column has passed. There can be no doubt that the effect is greater than would appear from the actual number of men enrolled at the time. If Captain Hitchen has the opportunity of coming along again in January, as he at present intends, he will gather up an ever so much larger army, both because the harvest labor will be released, and because (this Recruiting March will have stirred up the apathetic and opened their eyes to their responsibility in this present crisis.

At three o’clock sharp the procession was re-formed, and the road to Orange taken. Tea was partaken of at Mr. Hebden’s station, about five miles out, and then the recruits pushed on at a leisurely marching pace, for the night camp. The idea of the moonlight walk was to cut as much as possible off the following day’s march, so that Orange could be entered with the men in fresh a condition as possible. The cook and No. 1 transport pushed on further, to Armstrong’s property.

The local member, Mr. Fitzpatrick, marched out of Molong with the “Coo-ees,” after seeing that they wanted for nothing in the way of blankets, sox, etc. He camped with the men. The en- rolling officer, Captain Nicholas, was sitting up by the camp fire until half- past eleven that night swearing in the latest batch of recruits.’

Click here to view the article on Trove: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116655979

Day 12, Thursday, 21 October, 1915, Euchareena to Boomey

Transcription of extract from an article titled ‘The Route March : Section Leaders Appointed’ from The Farmer and Settler, 15 October, 1915, p. 3, [part 1 of 5 parts]:

Section Leaders Appointed

As there was no formal public entertainment on Wednesday evening at Euchareena, and as the men had arrived fairly fresh, a good night’s rest put them into good fettle, and they were ready to make an early start on the ten-mile walk to Boomey. Lunch was taken three miles out under the willows at Nembriggan [i.e. Newbriggan] Creek, a charming, little spot on the road to Molong. The food was that which had been left over at the Euchareena tea, so the cook’s work was light. On the way a shearing shed in full operation was inspected, and one of the shearers signified his intention of enlisting, promising to join the “Coo-ees” at Orange. The proprietors, Messrs. Brazier Bros., gave a sheep to assist the commissiariat.

Advantage was taken of the long luncheon halt at Newbriggang [sic] Creek to divide the column into sections, so that the best possible appearance may be made when marching, and also, more important still, to enable the organising staff and N.C.O’s to handle the men more efficiently. One complete platoon of sixty-nine men was formed as follows :-
No. 1 (Gilgandra) Section.-Sergeant in charge and sixteen Gilgandra men.
No. 2 (Gilgandra) Section.-Corporal in charge; the section completed by incorporating nine Dubbo men.
No. 3 (Wellington) Section.- Corporal   in charge, and sixteen Wellington men.
No. 4 (Wellington) Section.-Sergeant in charge, and the section completed by including eight Wongarbon men.
The remainder of the strength will form the nucleus of a new section, and a number of men have been told off to special duties.

After lunch the men were marched off in sections, each acting independently of the others, and under the control 0f its own section leader. The arrangement was highly satisfactory, both N.C.O’s, and men feeling much better pleased with themselves than under the previous system where all marched in one body. The effect, too, of the four separate sections marching into Boomey at a few paces interval with the transports following, was much more attractive from a spectacular point of view.

Four o’clock was the schedule time of arrival at Boomey, and the recruits arrived “on the tick,” to find the ladies hard at work preparing tea.

It is a never-ceasing wonder to the “Coo-ees” how such feasts can possibly be prepared out in the open bush, with apparently only a dozen houses within miles. The presence of a large collection of vehicles might possibly furnish a clue if one were only curious enough to ask how far the good people had come. Mr. A. A. Rodgers, President of the Amaroo Shire Council, addressed a few words of welcome, and expressed, on behalf of the residents, their appreciation of the spirit that moved the “Coo-ees” to take up their burden for the Empire. “Spruiker” Lee acknowledged the reception on behalf of the recruits, switching into a little recruiting appeal to try to snare one or two likely birds that were fluttering round the edge of the net; but without avail.

After tea an impromptu camp fire concert was held, and some “Coo-ee” talent was unearthed, so assisted by local volunteers, a very pleasant evening spent.

A pair of blankets and an overcoat were given to one of the men by the ladies present, who saw that he was needing them. As recruits had come in rather heavily, the stock of blankets had run out. However, more were even then waiting at Orange.’

Click here to view the article on Trove: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116655979

Coo-ee March: Introduction

Gilgandra Route March (Daily Telegraph, 16 Oct. 1915)

Route of the March (Daily Telegraph 16/10/1915)

The  320 miles (515 km) “Coo-ee” recruitment march left Gilgandra with 25 marchers on Sunday, 10th October, 1915, stopping in each town and village along the route to be welcomed by local officials and members of each community, and to hold recruiting speeches to increase their ranks, and arrived in Sydney on Friday, 12th November, 1915 with its numbers increased to 263 marchers.  This march started a snowball of other similar recruitment marches in late 1915 and early 1916.

The Sydney Morning Herald  (13 November 1915, p. 20) reported the following official figures ‘of the men who actually signed on (after medical examination), between Gilgandra and Sydney:- Gilgandra, 35; Dubbo, 13; Wongarbon, 12; Geurie, 6; Wellington, 31; Stuart Town, 1; Euchareena, 1; Molong, 4; Parkes, 5; Orange, 19; Millthorpe, 2; Blayney, 11; Bathurst, 17; Glanmire, 1; Yetholme, 1; Wallerawang, 3; Lithgow, 19; Blackheath, 2; Katoomba, 11; Leura, 1; Lawson, 10; Springwood, 5; Penrith, 4; Parramatta, 27; Ashfield, 22; total, 263’.

Following is the route and timetable of the march: Sunday, Oct. 10,  Balladoran ; Monday, Oct. 11,  Eumungerie ; Tuesday, Oct. 12,  Mogriguy ; Wednesday, Oct. 13,  Dubbo ; Thursday, Oct. 14,  Wongarbon ; Friday, Oct. 15,  Geurie ; Saturday, Oct. 16-Sunday, Oct. 17,  Wellington ; Monday, Oct. 18,  Dripstone ; Tuesday, Oct. 19,  Stuart Town ; Wednesday, Oct. 20,  Euchareena ; Thursday, Oct. 21,  Boomey ; Friday, Oct. 22,  Molong ; Saturday, Oct. 23-Sunday, Oct. 24,  Orange ; Monday, Oct. 25,  Milthorpe ; Tuesday, Oct. 26,  Blayney ; Wednesday, Oct. 27,  Bathampton ; Thursday, Oct. 28,  Bathurst ; Friday, Oct. 29,  Yetholme ; Saturday, Oct. 30-Sunday, Oct. 31, Wallerawang ; Monday, Nov. 1-Tuesday, Nov. 2,  Lithgow ; Wednesday Nov. 3, Little Hartley ; Thursday, Nov. 4,  Mt. Victoria ; Friday, Nov. 5,  Katoomba ; Saturday, Nov. 6-Sunday, Nov. 7,  Lawson, Monday, Nov. 8,  Springwood ; Tuesday, Nov. 9,   Penrith ; Wednesday, Nov. 10, Parramatta ; Thursday, Nov. 11, Ashfield ; Friday, Nov. 12, Sydney.

An account of the march on a day by day basis will follow initially in this blog.  It will be based mostly on articles from The Farmer and Settler, which were provided by Stanley E. Stephens, who was the son of the editor of this newspaper sent to be the official correspondent to cover the march, and who also joined the Coo-ees as a recruit at Gilgandra.