Tag Archives: Geurie



Per his military service record (Depot), Thomas Culley was born at Waterloo, Sydney.[1]  He gave his age as 30 years and 5 months, his marital status as married, and his occupation as labourer.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 4 inches tall, weight 142 lbs., with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and grey hair.  His religious denomination was Roman Catholic.  He claimed that he had no previous military service.

His next of kin was recorded on his Attestation Paper as his wife, Mrs T Culley, 13 Centre Street, Redfern, Sydney, Vic.

Thomas Culley caught a train from Geurie to Orange on a rail ticket issued on 22nd October 1915, where he joined the Coo-ees.[2]

He was named in the Leader as one of the men who enlisted with the Coo-ees at Orange.[3]

He completed his medical examination on 24th October 1915 at Orange. He was attested by Captain T. A. Nicholas at Orange on the same day.

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

On 7th December 1915 Private Culley was charged with being absent without leave from 3rd December 1915 until 7th December 1916. He was fined 10 shillings.

On 23rd February 1916 Private Culley was charged by Courts Martial with being absent without leave from the Liverpool Camp from 21st December 1915 until 31st January 1916. He was sentenced to 60 days detention.

On the 1st May 1916 Private Culley went absent without leave again at Kiama. On 23rd May he was posted as a deserter and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

The warrant was withdrawn on 30th January 1919.


[1] NAA: B2455, CULLEY T

[2] Letter from Capt. W. T. Hitchen to Superintendent of Lines Sydney dated 4th November 1915 in: 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.

[3] THE RECRUITS. (1915, October 25). Leader (Orange, NSW : 1912 – 1922), p. 4. Retrieved November 26, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article117842599

Day 7, Saturday, 16 October, 1915, Geurie to Wellington

Reception at Geurie (Sydney Mail 20 Oct 1915)

Reception at Geurie (Sydney Mail 20/10/1915)

Transcription of extract from an article titled ‘The Route March’ in The Farmer and Settler, 19 October, 1915, p. 3, [part 3 of 3 parts]:

The Snowball Growing
[Continued] …

Maryvale’s Luncheon.
The road to Wellington was fourteen miles long, but the weather was pleasant, and the going easy. Also there was a refreshing break at Maryvale, where a superb al-fresco luncheon of turkey and plum pudding had been provided by the generous-hearted women of the district Maryvale cheered the recruits and the recruits cheered Maryvale, and then  swung out on the road to Wellington.

Arrival at Wellington.
Outside the town, the column, now sixty strong, was met by bands, militia, police, riflemen, and cadets, Alderman M. McLeod and Mr. H. M. Blackmore, secretary of the Wellington Recruiting Association, representing the townspeople officially. Half the town and district took part in this outside welcome; and then in the council chambers there was speech- making and cheering and recruiting and donating— all in the most enthusiastically patriotic spirit. Ald. McLeod, Cr. A. E. Fuller, president of Macquarie Shire Council, Cr. Donald Ross, president of Cobbora Shire Council, and Mr. T. H. Thrower, M.L.A., member for the district, welcomed the recruits: and Mr. Hitchcn acknowledged the compliments of the speakers. Later the recruits were entertained at tea by the local Red Cross Society, and then marched to their sleeping quarters in the Protestant Hall.   Wellington added thirty recruits on Saturday, and much gear. Two horses were auctioned and £33 raised; an hotel collection netted £17; the employees of one store gave £5, and the proprietors more. “Go to the stores and get the   boots you need,” said one of the local re-cruiting committee; “we will foot the bill.” That was the spirit of the Wellington reception.’

Click here to access the article on Trove: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116648940

Day 6, Friday, 15 October, 1915, Wongarbon to Geurie

Leaving Wongarbon (Sydney Mail 20 Oct 1915)

Leaving Wongarbon (Sydney Mail 20/10/1915)

Transcription of extract from an article titled ‘The Route March’ in The Farmer and Settler, 19 October, 1915, p. 3, [part 2 of 3 parts]:

The Snowball Growing
[Continued] …

‘Geurie’s Reception.
On Friday morning the route march passed on to Geurie, arriving at one o’clock, just in time for the trenchman’s feed that the contingent’s own cook had prepared at the Royal Hall from viands locally supplied. In the afternoon escorted by the local band, the school children and hundreds of district residents, the recruits marched to the park where a successful recruiting appeal was made. Three men signed on to follow the drum, and four others signified their intention of following after harvest. Afternoon tea in the park, to which every home for miles around had contributed a hamper, was followed by a social, with more recruiting speeches. As a result of a tarpaulin collection in the afternoon the sum of £18 was handed to Mr. Hitchen before the column left. The Governor-General, who was passing through Geurie, sent word that he would like to meet the contingent. They were therefore paraded at the railway station on Saturday morning, and his excellency and Major Sands inspected them. He declared the Gilgandra scheme the finest recruiting movement in Australia, and promised to be in Sydney to welcome the army when it marched in and stormed the city.

The Governor-General’s words of warm approval greatly heartened the men, and they started on their way to Wellington with an additional spring in their step.’

Click here to access the article on Trove: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116648940

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.