Tag Archives: Dripstone

Day 10, Tuesday, 19 October, 1915, Dripstone to Stuart Town

Transcription of extract from an article titled ‘The Route March : Growth of the “Snowball”’ in The Farmer and Settler, 22 October, 1915, p. 3 [part 2 of 3]

… [Continued]

‘Lunch at Mumbil.
An early start was made on Tuesday for the next halting point on the itinerary, which was a seven-mile stretch to Mumbil. Arrived there, the local school children sang for the “Coo-ees,” and their mothers and sisters provided a most acceptable lunch in a paddock adjacent to the queer old school house. Cheers were given, and the people assured the recruits of their good will, but they furnished no additions to the force. Mumbil was warmly thanked by the spokesmen of the party, then a move forward was made to the night camp at Stuart Town.

The Stuart Town Function.
After a swim, a mile or so out of town, column of route was once more formed, and the boys marched in, headed by the school children, and took up their quarters in the local hall. As there was no suitable accommodation available for entertainment, the townspeople arranged to give the men tea in McAtamney’s Hotel, but, of course, the “follow the King” rule held good, even there. The usual recruiting meeting was held after tea in the hall, resulting in four names being handed in. All were not able to go at once; two will follow in a day or two, and the others, as usual, will be carried on with the column until the next doctor is found. Supper was dispensed as usual by the good-hearted womenfolk, who furnished mountains of beautiful cake and pastry —though the recruits are beginning to wonder if sweets constitute quite the best ration for marching men. The boys sometimes sigh for red meat.’

Click here to view the article on Trove: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116649160

Day 9, Monday, 18 October, 1915, Wellington to Dripstone

Transcription of extract from an article titled ‘The Route March : Growth of the “Snowball”‘  in The Farmer and Settler, 22 October, 1915, p. 3 [part 1 of 3]

Growth of the “Snowball”

As the route march moves eastward the column not only grows in numerical strength, but it takes on more and more the character of a drilled and disciplined force. The men are marching well and   learning all they can of the game. One platoon has now been formed, and a second approaches full strength; acting non-coms, have also been appointed ; and as each fresh batch of recruits is added, the men are quickly “licked into shape.” The commissiariat department is working more and more smoothly; and the intelligence department is also getting into smooth running order. Mr. Harley Blackett has placed his car at the disposal of the force, and an intelligence officer goes over the ground in advance of the column checking the arrangements for camping and receptions, and studying the roads from the standpoint of a marching army with a certain distance to cover in a given time. The consequence is a clockwork adherence to the time-table.

The column marched out of Wellington nearly a hundred strong, including the staff and commisariat assistants; but the published story that there are already a hundred recruits is an “intelligent anticipation of events.” Twenty-six additional men joined at Wellington, so, with Gilgandra’s thirty-one, Dubbo’s nine, Wongarbon’s eight, and Geurie’s two, there were exactly seventy-six sworn recruits when the march swung out of town on Monday morning. Before the column had proceeded far the sergeant of police, an indefatigable recruiter, had overtaken it with four more in a motor car, and yet others are known to have thought the matter over, and to have decided to “catch up with the procession” in a day or two.  Advices have been received from towns along the line that numbers of men arc only waiting for the necessary forms to come along, when they will join the great march.

Soon after leaving Wellington, a fine, large ensign was presented to the captain by Mr. Bertie Gaden, and this flag now floats from the top of No. 1 transport waggon, in company with a Union Jack.

Lunch was prepared by the “Coo-ee’s” cook at Mr. J. Hoffner’s farm, a pleasant break in the day’s tramp.

Coo-ees being lead into Dripstone, NSW (Photograph courtesy of Gilgandra Shire Library)

Coo-ees being led into Dripstone, NSW (Photograph courtesy of Gilgandra Shire Library)

Dripstone’s Reception.
Dripstone turned out in force to welcome the “Coo-ees,” and a fine tea was provided in the hall by the ladies. Considering the smallness or the settlement the reception was a remarkably fine one. A noticeable feature of the entertainment afforded the column on its eastward march is that the smaller the place the more trouble is taken by the people to assist and entertain the men, and it might almost be said the heartier the welcome. As instances, Wongarbon and Maryvale, might be quoted. Wongarbon has certainly eclipsed all others, and its gifts and good cheer were out of all proportion to its size.

After the Dripstone tea a recruiting meeting was held, but the young men that remain are unresponsive when it comes to the point of enlisting. Q.M.S. Lee was spelled on this occasion, and the recruiting addresses were delivered by Mssrs. H. Blacket[t], Major Wynne, and W. J. Johnson. The evening concluded with dancing, which might have continued to the rosy dawn of another day if the boys had not brought in their blankets and commenced spreading them among the tripping feet of the dancers. Realising that it was not a fair thing to expect the recruits to march all day and dance all night, the hint was good humoredly taken, and the floor vacated.’

Click here to view the article on Trove: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116649160

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.