Tag Archives: Edgar Lewis Cuddeford


Edgar Lewis CUDDEFORD (MM)

Per his military service record (regimental no. 5352), Edgar Lewis Cuddeford was born at Albury, N.S.W.[1]  (His name was recorded as Edward Lewis Cudderford on his embarkation roll).[2] He gave his age as 18 years and 6 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as ‘engineering’ on his Attestation Paper. (His occupation was listed as ‘Engineer’ on his embarkation roll, however he was an engineering apprentice at Clyde Engineering Company, with 1 year and 11 months served of a 5 year apprenticeship, at the time he enlisted).[3]  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 2 ½ inches tall, weight 110 lbs., with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He claimed to have 4 years previous military service in the Senior Cadets.

He completed his medical examination at Parramatta on 10th November 1915 (where the Coo-ees held a recruitment meeting, and stayed that evening). He was attested by Lieutenant Edward V. Steel at Ashfield on 11th November 1915 (the day the Coo-ees marched from Parramatta to Ashfield).

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

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Yelta, Station Street, Harris Park, N.S.W., and his next of kin was listed as his mother, Mrs M. J. [Mary Jane] Cuddeford, Mahonga Station, via Albury, N.S.W.[4]

On 9th April 1916 Private Cuddeford departed Sydney on the HMAT Nestor A71 with the 17th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion (along with several other Coo-ees), bound for Egypt.

Photograph of HMAT A71 Nestor loaded with troops on an earlier voyage, taken 11 October 1915. Part of the Australian War Memorial Collection. PB0607.

On 20th May 1916 he was transferred to the 45th Battalion in Egypt.

On 7th June 1916 Private Cuddeford left Alexandria aboard the transport Huntspill, bound for France.  He arrived at Marseilles on 14th June 1916.

He was sent to the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples, France.

On 9th August 1916 Private Cuddeford was taken on strength of the 45th Battalion when it was manning support trenches in the vicinity of Pozieres, France.[5]

Private Cuddeford served with the 45th Battalion through its actions on the Western Front as a Battalion Headquarters runner, undertaking dispatch work.

He managed to survive the war unscathed. He stated in an oral history interview undertake later in his life (in 1983), that ‘I was fortunate that way’ and that ‘I never got wounded’.[6]

On 11th March 1918 Private Cuddeford was granted leave to England. He re-joined the 45th Battalion in France on 3rd April 1918.

On 18th July 1918 Private Cuddeford was sent to the 4th Army Rest Camp. He re-joined the Battalion on 28th July 1918.

On 18th September 1918 the 45th Battalion was engaged in action against the enemy in the vicinity of Le Verguier, France,  in which Private Cuddeford took part.

He was later awarded a Military Medal. The citation reads: ‘For bravery and devotion to duty during attack of 18th September, 1918, on old British outpost line near LE VERGUIER. Private Cuddeford is a Battalion Headquarters Runner, and during the advance, continually carried messages under adverse and most trying circumstances to various portions of the attacking line, always returning and giving voluntary and correct information of the situation. During consolidation, and after, owing to casualties in runners Private Cuddeford on numerous occasions volunteered to take messages, always proving most reliable and cheerfully carrying out his duties.’[7]

Notification of Private Cuddeford’s  award was gazetted in Second Supplement No. 31512,  to The London Gazette, 20th August 1919 (page 10585), and was also published in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, no. 135, dated 11th December, 1919.[8]

On 30th January 1919 Private Cuddeford marched out of the 45th Battalion to commence his return to Australia.

On 10th February 1919 he departed Le Harve, France, bound for England. He arrived at Weymouth on 11th February 1919.

On 13th April 1919 Private Cuddeford departed England aboard the H.T. Commonwealth bound for Australia.

He arrived in Australia on 12th June 1919.

He was discharged Termination of Period of Enlistment on 7th July 1919.



[2] Australian War Memorial. First World War Embarkation Roll, Edward Lewis Cuddeford,  5352.

[3] NAA: B2455, CUDDEFORD E L  ; FIRST TO BE KILLED. (1916, September 2). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), p. 11. Retrieved April 8, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86069235

[4] Australian War Memorial. First World War Embarkation Roll, Edward Lewis Cuddeford,  5352.

[5] Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries, 1914-18 War, AWM4 Subclass 23/62 – 45th Infantry Battalion, AWM4 23/62/6 – August 1916.

[6] Edgar Lewis Cuddeford MM (5352) as a private 45th Infantry Battalion AIF, France 1916-1918, interviewed by Dr Alistair Thomson on 6 September 1983, Australian War Veterans of the Great War – 1914 – 1918 Oral history project, 6 September 1983, AWM Accession no. S01308, https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C88153


[8] The London Gazette, 19 August 1919, Supplement 31512, p. 10585,  https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/31512/supplement/10585 ; Government Gazette Proclamations and Legislation (1919, December 11). Commonwealth of Australia Gazette (National : 1901 – 1973), p. 2373. Retrieved April 8, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article232512820




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.