Tag Archives: Coonamble recruits

Joseph Clark GILMOUR

Joseph Clark GILMOUR

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4779), Joseph Clark Gilmour was born at Glasgow, Scotland.[1]  He gave his age as 27 years and 8 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as mercer.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination form was height 5 feet 5 inches tall, with a fair complexion, grey eyes, and fair hair.  His religious denomination was Presbyterian.  He claimed that he had 6 years previous military service with the Royal Army Medical Corps.

He was attested and completed his medical examination at Liverpool on 13th November 1915, the day after the end of the Coo-ee March.  However, his date of joining on his embarkation roll is 5th November 1915, the day he joined the Coo-ee March at Katoomba.  “J. C. Gilmour” was named in The Blue Mountain Echo as one of ‘the lads who answered the call, and marched out with the Coo-ees’ at Katoomba.[2]

He had been working for Messrs. Hermann and Co. Ltd, at Coonamble,  and was presented with a ‘set of safety razors and fountain pen’ before he left Coonamble, and caught the train at Dubbo on 4th November 1915 to join the Coo-ees at Katoomba.[3]

After completing the Co-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion, with the rank of Acting Corporal.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was not listed.  His next of kin is listed as his father, D. [David] Gilmour, 107 Pollock Street, Glasgow, S.S. [South Side], Scotland.

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

On 16th April 1916 he was transferred to the 5th Division Cyclist Corps at Tel-el-Kebir.

On 9th May 1916 he was appointed Lance Corporal.

On 13th June 1916 he was promoted to Corporal.

On 17th June 1916 Corporal Gilmour departed Alexandra, Egypt, bound for France.  He arrived at Marseilles, France. on 25th June 1916.

On 22nd July 1916 Corporal Gilmour was promoted to Company Quarter Master Sergeant with the 2nd ANZAC Cyclist Battalion.

On 17th August 1916 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was detached for duty with the New Zealand Division Headquarters.

On 29th December 1916 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was granted leave to England.  Hejoined the 2nd ANZAC Cyclist Battalion on 10th January 1917, when it was at Douliou, France.

On 7th June 1917 the 2nd ANZAC Cyclist Battalion was working on a cavalry track in the vicinity of Messines, Belgium, when C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was wounded in action, receiving a gunshot wound to his right arm.  He was sent to the 77th Field Ambulance, then moved to the 1st New Zealand Field Ambulance. On 9th June 1917 he was moved back to the 11th Casualty Clearing Station.  Later that day he was admitted to the 4th Stationary Hospital at Arques, France.

On 15th June 1917 he was discharged and returned to his unit, arriving on 16th June 1917 when it was in the vicinity of Steenwerck, France.

On the 31st of August 1917 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was granted leave.

He returned to the 2nd ANZAC Cyclist Battalion from leave on 15th September 1917.

On 16th September 1917 he was sent to the 133rd Field Ambulance sick, then was moved back to the 41st Casualty Clearing Station.  On 17th September 1917 he was placed aboard the 26th Ambulance Train and moved to the 1st Australian General Hospital at Abbeville, France, being admitted on the 18th of September 1917.  He was transferred to the 39th General Hospital at Le Havre on 19th September 1917.  He was discharged from hospital on 1st October 1917 and sent to the Australian General Base Depot at Le Harve, France.  He re-joined his unit on 18th November 1917.

A letter he wrote to a Miss C. DeGill in Penrith in December 1917 thanking her for a gift of socks was published in the Nepean Times:

Just a line to let you know I received a pair of socks with your name and address enclosed in one of the socks, and I take this opportunity of thanking you for your kindness in sending such a useful gift, and I can assure you that the socks received by our battalion were appreciated by our boys. We are glad to know that the majority of people at home think something of those who are over here fighting for them, and we are proud of those gifts which are distributed to us occasionally. We also had sweets, tins of cocoa, and milk, flannel shirts and other items, mostly all of which are very useful to us, especially at a time like this – when the winter is setting in and getting very cold. I might say we are in the line just at the present time and doing some good work. As you reside in Penrith I think it might be interesting for me to tell you that I am one of the Gilgandra Coo-ees – and well I remember the reception we got at Penrith. I suppose you were one of the crowd who helped to make that reception the success it turned out to be. However, I shall never forget the day we marched into Penrith, and I might also state, that as far as I can learn there are not many of the Coo-ees left, but I happen to be one of the lucky ones, although I have had my fair share of being wounded and have recovered.  I must conclude, hoping this finds you well, it leaves me in the best of health. Again thanking you for your kindness in sending such a useful gift”.[4]

On 16thJanuary 1918 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was transferred to the Australian Corps Cyclist Battalion in France.

On 26th January 1918 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was granted leave to England.  He returned Australian Corps Cyclist Battalion on 11th February 1918.

On 9th March 1918 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour attended the Australian Corps Infantry School for a course of instruction.  He re-joined his Battalion on 28th March 1918.

On 27th April 1918 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was detached for duty with the Area Commandant at Amiens .  He returned from the detachment on 9th May 1918.

On 24th June 1918 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was transferred to the 35th Battalion in France.

On 1st August 1918 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was sent to the 10th Australian Field Ambulance sick with Influenza.  He was moved back to the 5th Casualty Clearing Station later that day.  On 3rd August 1918 he was admitted to the 3rd General Hospital at Le Treport, France.  He was discharged on 12th August 1918, and sent to the Australian Convalescent Depot on 13th August 1918. On 5th September 1918 he was sent to the Australian Base Depot at Le Harve, France.

He re-joined the 35th Battalion on 12th September 1918.

On 2nd November 1918 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was detached for duty with the 24th Company of the Australian Army Service Corps.  He returned from detachment to the 35th Battalion on 10th November 1918.

On 12th December 1918 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was transferred to the Administrative Headquarters in England.

On 2nd January 1919 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was transferred to the Australian Army Pay Corps.

On 25th February 1919 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was admitted to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Dartford, England, with an ingrown toenail.  He was discharged on 11th April 1919.

On 30th June 1919 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was granted Non Military Employment Leave.

He returned to the 35th Battalion on 22nd September 1919.

On 6th October 1919 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour departed Southampton, England, aboard the Transport Pakeha bound for Australia.

He arrived in Australia on 24th November 1919, and was discharged Termination of Period of Enlistment on 17th January 1920.

 

[1] AA: B2455, GILMOUR J C

[2] March o’er the Mountains’, The Blue Mountain Echo, 12 November 1915, p. 3. Retrieved March 7, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108042142

[3] ‘Our Soldiers’, The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate, 16 November 1915, p. 3. Retrieved May 14, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77602202 ; N.S.W. Government Railways & Tramways docket from Dubbo to Katoomba dated 4th November 1915 in the official correspondence of the march held in the Mitchell Library collection.

[4] ‘Soldiers’ Welcome Socks’, Nepean Times, 9 March 1918, p. 3. Retrieved May 14, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86191998

 

Samuel CLARK

Samuel CLARK

Per his initial military service record (Depot), Samuel Clark was born at Coonabarabran, N.S.W. He gave his age as 33 years and 1 month, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 2 ½ inches tall, weight 118 pounds, with a medium complexion, grey eyes, and dark brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He completed his medical examination at Dubbo on 8th November 1915, and was attested by at Dubbo on 8th November 1915. He claimed to have 3 months previous service in the Australia Light Horse, then was discharged due to illness.

His next of kin in his service record was listed as his mother, Mrs Josephine McDonald, Frederick Street, Dudley, near Newcastle.

The postal address he gave on his initial Application to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force form at Dubbo on 22nd October 1915 was ‘Coonamble’. He did a preliminary medical examination at Coonamble on 22nd October 1915.

A Statutory Declaration in his service record stated that he ‘joined the Route March of recruits marching from Gilgandra to Sydney’.  Although he enlisted at Dubbo on 8th November 1915, the Coo-ees were marching from Lawson to Springwood in the Blue Mountains on that date. He would have had to have caught up by train to join the Coo-ee March as it neared Sydney.

A letter from The Council of the Municipality of Penrith dated 3rd May 1916 stated that S. Clark ‘joined the Coo-ees at Penrith’, so he must have been one of the two recruits referred to in the Nepean Times as ‘not residents’ who joined the Coo-ee March during the Coo-ees’ overnight stay at Penrith on the 9th November 1915.[1]

After the Coo-ee March, Private Clark went before a Medical Board at Liverpool Camp on 17th November 1915, and was found medically unfit with Varicole, and was discharged on 29th November 1915.

[1] Alex Halden (Joe) Miller papers mainly relating to the Gilgandra Coo-ee Recruitment March, New South Wales, 1912-1921, 1939. Gilgandra Coo-ee Recruitment March correspondence and papers, 1915-1939 ; ‘Coo-ees at Penrith’, Nepean Times, 13 November 1915, p. 3, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86168730

William Henry NICHOLLS

William Henry NICHOLLS

Per his military service record (regimental no. 2369), William Henry Nicholls was born at Camperdown, Sydney, N.S.W. He gave his age as 27 years and 6 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as contractor. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 10 inches tall, weight 143 lbs., with a fair complexion, green eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He claimed that he had 12 months experience in the school cadets.

He completed his medical on the 2nd October 1915 at Coonamble, and was attested at Coonamble on the 21s October 1915. However another Application to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force form in his service record was made at Dubbo on 21st October 1915 (after the Coo-ee March had passed through this town), and his medical examination form dated 2nd October 1915 at Coonamble is countersigned by Dr. E.H. Burkett at Dubbo and dated 21st October 1915.

William Henry Nicholls was reported to have been ‘one of the Coo-ees’ in the Leader.[1] It appears that he was one of the two men from Coonamble reported in the Gilgandra Weekly as catching up with the Coo-ees at Molong on 22nd October 1915 – the other being ‘Coonambleite’ Jack Parker, who also did his medical at Dubbo on 21st October 1915.[2]

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

On the 23rd March 1916 he was transferred to the 16th Reinforcements for the 7th Light Horse Regiment.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Coonamble, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his aunt, Salina [sic] Ann Bradbury, Richmond, Rocky Point Road, Sans Souci, N.S.W.

On 18th April 1916 Trooper Nicholls departed Sydney on the HMAT A56 Palermo, arriving in Egypt on 18th May 1916.

On 21st May 1916 Trooper Nicholls was admitted to the Government Hospital at Suez with Mumps. On 17th June 1916 he was discharged from hospital and rejoined the 2nd Light Horse Training Regiment at Tel-El-Kebir, Egypt.

On 5th August 1916 Trooper Nicholls departed the 2nd Light Horse Training Regiment to join the 7th Light Horse Regiment. On 16th August 1916 Trooper Nicholls marched into the 7th Light Horse Regiment when it was resting at Bir Etmaler, Egypt.

On 14th February 1917 the Regiment was conducting training at Masaid, Egypt. Trooper Nicholls was detached to the Division Headquarters for duty. He returned to the Regiment on 1st March 1917 when it was resting at Sheik Zowaiid, Egypt.

On 8th March 1917 the Regiment was conducting usual camp duties at Bir Abu Shunnar, Egypt – on this day Trooper Nicholls was charged with loss of equipment viz sword and bayonet.

On 24th of April 1917 the Regiment was manning outposts and Patrolling in the Sinai after being involved in the Second Battle of Gaza. A Squadron of the 7th Regiment had an engagement with a party of Turkish Cavalry at Tel Al Tarar. 18 Turks were captured one of them wounded. Trooper Nicholls was evacuated to the 54th Casualty Clearing Station at Deir el Belah suffering Heat Exhaustion. On 25th April 1917 he moved by Hospital Train to the 26th Casualty Clearing Station at El Arish, arriving on 28th April 1917. On 30th April 1917 he was transferred to the 24th Stationary Hospital at Kantara, Egypt, suffering from Pyrexia (Fever), arriving on the 1st of May 1917. Later that day he was transferred to the 14th Australian General Hospital at Abbassia, Egypt.

On 16th May 1917 Trooper Nicholls was discharged from hospital and reported to the 2nd Light Horse Training Regiment at Moascar, Egypt.

On 30th May 1917 Trooper Nicholls was detached for duty at the Headquarters of the Australian New Zealand Mounted Division Training Centre. Trooper Nicholls remained on this detached duty until 7th November 1917 when he was sent back to the 2nd Light Horse Training Regiment.

On 18th November 1917 Trooper Nicholls left the 2nd Light Horse Training Regiment for return to the 7th Light Horse Regiment. On the way, on 20th November 1917 he was admitted to the 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance suffering from Gonorrhoea. That same day he was transferred to the 66th Casualty Clearing Station. On 21st November 1917 he was transferred to the 44th Stationary Hospital at Kantara, Egypt. On 22nd November 1917 he was sent to the 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital at Moascar, Egypt.

On 18th December 1917 Trooper Nicholls was discharged from hospital and returned to the 2nd Light Horse Training Regiment. On 31st December 1917 Trooper Nicholls was sent to the rest camp at Port Said, Egypt. On 20th January 1918 he left the rest camp and returned to the 2nd Light Horse Training Regiment.

On 21st March 1918 Trooper Nicholls was charged with When on Active Service Absenting himself Without Leave from 0900 20th March 1918 until he reported himself at 0830 21st March 1918. He was awarded 7 days confined to Camp and fined 2 days pay.

On 12th April 1918 Trooper Nicholls rejoined the 7th Light Horse Regiment when it was in action around Wadi Augua, Palestine.

On 7th May 1918 the 7th Light Horse Regiment was at Jericho, Palestine, when at 0500 eight enemy aeroplanes bombed the camp. The Regiment’s casualties were 3 killed and 10 wounded. Trooper Nicholls was one of those killed in action.

Trooper Nicholls is buried in the Jerusalem War Cemetery, Israel. A photograph of his grave can be seen at (and purchased from) http://twgpp.org/information.php?id=1242338

Trooper Nicholls’ name is commemorated on panel 5 on the Australian War Memorial First World War Roll of Honour.

W. H. Nicholls' name on the Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour (Photograph: S. &. H. Thompson 5/1/2015)

W. H. Nicholls’ name on the Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour (Photograph: S. &. H. Thompson 5/1/2015)

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission Register lists that he was the son of the late Arthur and Louisa Nicholls.[3]

[1] ‘Personal’, Leader, 22 May 1918, p. 1, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article100963899

[2] ‘With the “Coo-ees.” From town to town’, Gilgandra Weekly , 20 October 1915, p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119923919 ; ‘Our soldiers’, The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate, 2 November 1915, p. 2. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77601759

[3] Nicholls, Tpr. William Henry, 2369, Commonwealth War Graves Commission Register, Jerusalem War Cemetery, http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/647728/NICHOLLS,%20WILLIAM%20HENRY