Tag Archives: Brocklehurst

Day 4, Wednesday, 13 October, 1915, Mogriguy to Dubbo

Transcription of extract from an article titled ‘Coo-ees Column’ in The Farmer and Settler, 15 October, 1915, p. 3, [part 3 of 3 parts]:

[Continued] …

 Pleasant times at Brocklehurst.  
 Wednesday morning broke cloudy, with a promise of further rain, when the column took the road for Brocklehurst.  The ladies of Mogriguy had provided breakfast, and no time was lost in starting on the longest stage of the whole route march.  The effect of further rain on the black soil was to produce a sticky glue through which the men tramped.  As the rain continued, the transports were stopped, and the waterproof sheets donated at Gilgandra were unpacked; these kept the men dry in the nine miles’ tramp before lunch.

Mr. A. Carson, the school teacher, had arranged with the ladles of Brocklehurst to prepare lunch, and they did this cheerfully and well despite the rain.  The ‘Coo-ees’ did justice to this part of the programme, and were then treated to a round of patriotic kissing by a bevy of Brocklehurst girls.  The schoolchildren led the march on to the Dubbo road, and the girls escorted the recruits for a mile on their way despite the rain.

Coo-ees at Dubbo (Town & Country Journal 20/10/1915)

Coo-ees at Dubbo (Town & Country Journal 20/10/1915)

The Welcome at Dubbo.
It was four miles to Dubbo, and on the outskirts of the town the column was met by the recruits in camp at Dubbo, and the town band as an escort.  There was a great crowd at the centre of the town, where a procession was formed, comprising the school band, Dubbo troops, the town band, the ‘Coo-ees’ and the transport waggons. The procession paraded the main streets to the town hall, where the mayor, Ald. J. Barden, and two thousand citizens were waiting.  The scene was, one of unprecedented enthusiasm.  Before the civic welcome had well begun, however, orders were received that the troops should proceed at once to the show ground camp to have overcoats issued to them; and the whole crowd followed them there and back.

Naturally, the ladies, who had tea ready, were highly indignant with the authorities over their “unceremonious and unwarranted interference.”

Coo-ees at Dubbo (Sydney Mail 20 Oct 1915)

Coo-ees at Dubbo (Sydney Mail 20/10/1915)

The mayor was considerately brief in his speech of welcome, but none the less cordial.  After a light repast of tea and cakes, the ‘Coo-ees’ marched to the drill hall for a wash, and later to the Protestant Hall to a big ‘meat tea,’ of steak and eggs, bread and butter and jam; a pleasant change of menu after banquets and poultry and such delicacies.  At a great recruiting meeting on Wednesday night, addresses were given by the chairman, Ald. Barden, Mr. Grimm, M.L.A., and Mr. Lee, and two more men were convinced that they should find places in the ranks of the ‘Coo-ees’ to fight in the great cause of civilisation versus barbarism.  Just before the meeting began two Parkes’ men presented themselves, stating that they wished to accompany Hitchens’ army to Berlin, via Constantinople. Thus the snowball army grows as it rolls onward.

Yesterday (Thursday) the march proceeded to Wongarbon.’

Click here to view the article on Trove:http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116673914

Day 2, Monday, 11 October, 1915, Balladoran to Eumungerie

Breakfast at Balladoran (Daily Telegraph 14/10/1915)

Breakfast at Balladoran (Daily Telegraph 14/10/1915)

Transcription of extract from an article titled ‘Coo-ees Column’ in The Farmer and Settler, 15 October, 1915, p. 3, [part 1 of 3 parts]:


The ‘Coo-ees’ moved out of Balladoran at half-past ten on Monday morning on the second day’s march, the Union Jack and the Australian flag leading and a company of school children acting as a guard of honor.

At the town boundary a halt was made, and a short address was delivered by Mr. Berriman on behalf of the townspeople.  He spoke of the great deeds performed by the Australians at the Dardanelles, and expressed a confident belief that in years to come hearts would glow and pulses thrill at the story of the achievements of ‘Hitchen’s Coo-ees.’

Captain Nicholas, O.C., and Q.M.S. Lee responded, expressing the ‘Coo-ees’ ” gratitude to the Balladoran residents for their liberal hospitality. The men gave three cheers for the towns-people, then the schoolmaster led the children in singing the National Anthem, and cheers for the soldiers were lustily given to finish.

The march was then resumed under unpleasant conditions. The weather was very warm, and the dust and flies were particularly objectionable. By easy stages Mr. Wheaton’s homestead, two miles from Eumungerie, was reached. The transport waggons and cook had preceded the party, so lunch was ready, prepared from the stores carried, and was thoroughly enjoyed, as the good people of Gilgandra and Balladoran had given liberally of the best.’

Arrival at Eumungerie.

After a good rest, some instruction in the elements of drill was given by the officer commanding, and a move was then made to Eumungerie, which was the location of the second night’s camp. This town was reached a little after five o’clock, and the boys were delighted to find   that arrangements had been made for them to have a shower bath. They appreciated the thoughtfulness that put the ablutions earlier on the programme than the speech-making; and they enjoyed the speeches all the more for having clean skins. The dinner provided by the ladies of Eumungerie was an excellent one, and the boys, fresh from their bath, did full justice to it. Mr. J. Wheaton, chairman of the Eumungerie Recruiting Association, Mr. McLennan, vice-chairman, and Mr. McKeown, secretary, voiced the townspeople’s welcome, and Q.M.S. Lee, the ‘Coo-ees” official speechmaker, responded on behalf of his comrades.

After dinner there was music and dancing, then when the crowd was at its biggest, Mr. Wheaton introduced Mr. McLachlan, the school inspector from Dubbo, and Mr. Blackett, who had driven from forty miles the other side of Dubbo, to meet the Gilgandra recruits. These gentlemen and Mr. Lee delivered rousing recruiting speeches, and two young men, S. Walker, of Balladoran, and H. Sharpe, of Eumungerie, announced their intention of being in the January contingent after harvest. When these men stepped up on the platform they were given a hearty cheer that must have strengthened their resolution to do their duty for King and country.

An appeal for the Sheepskin Vest Fund found ready givers, and one local lady, Mrs. H. Griffith, gave £1 to the ‘Coo-ees” marching fund.

Advantage was taken of the occasion by the townspeople to present one of the   ‘Coo-ees’ that joined from Eumungerie with a wristlet watch to show their appreciation of his manliness and sense of duty in thus enlisting to take up his share of the burden. [This was Leslie Greenleaf].

The evening concluded with more dancing and the singing of several songs, but the majority of the ‘Coo-ees’ were glad to ‘sneak’ away to their blankets.

During the stay at Eumungerie, Mr. J. Wheaton showed a fine spirit of patriotic generosity in giving the recruits carte-blanche at his store; attempts to thank him were good naturedly brushed aside. A noticeable feature of all the good treatment is that the people absolutely refuse to be thanked, and, indeed, declare that they cannot do enough for the boys from the Castlereagh that are going forth at the call of duty.’

Click here to view the article on Trovehttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116673914