Tag Archives: John Quinn



Per his military service record (regimental no. 4881), John Quinn was born at Moana, N.S.W. He gave his age as 29 years and 11 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as fitter. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 9 inches tall, weight 165 lbs., with a fair complexion, grey eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Roman Catholic. He claimed to have had previous military service of 2 years in the Royal Australian Engineers and 3 years in the Royal Australian Artillery. He completed his medical on the 9th October 1915 at Gilgandra, and was attested by Captain Nicholas at Gilgandra on the 9th October 1915.

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 C/o Shire Council, Gilgandra, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as father, W. Quinn, Tocum Wall Post Office, N.S.W.

On 8th March 1916 Private Quinn departed Sydney along with many other Coo-ees on the HMAT Star of England, arriving in Egypt on the 11th April 1916.

On the 16th April 1916 he was transferred to the 4th Pioneer Battalion.

On the 4th June 1916 Private Quinn left Alexandria aboard the Transport Scotian bound for France, arriving at Marseille on the 11th June 1916.

On the 10th July 1916 he was transferred to the 46th Battalion.

On 23rd July 1916 Private Quinn was admitted to 1 Canadian General Hospital in Etaples with an old injury to the right leg. On 24th August 1916 he was transferred to 6 Convalescent Depot, Etaples. He was transferred to 5 Convalescent Depot in Boulogne on 10th September 1916. He was transferred to base details, and marched into Etaples on 16th October 1916. He was employed in the Sanitary Squad, Etaples.

He was handed to area command for duty on 10th July 1917, then was transferred from the field to 1st Anzac Rfts. Camp on 18th August 1917.

On 11th November 1917 when he was transferred the Australian Employment Company in France.

On 15th September 1918 he went on leave to the United Kingdom. On 29th September 1918 he rejoined his unit in France from leave.

He marched out to the Australian General Base Depot at Rouelles on 5th December 1918. He was transferred to England on 12th December 1918. He marched into No. 2 Command Depot at Weymouth on 13th December 1918.

Private Quinn began his return to Australia on the 5th March 1919 aboard the Transport Nevasa, arriving at Sydney on the 23rd April 1919. He was discharged as medically unfit on the 3rd October 1919 with ‘disability – right lower limb crushed by shell’.

Day 1, Sunday, 10th October, 1915, Gilgandra to Balladoran

The start at Gilgandra (Daily Telegraph 12/10/1915)

The start at Gilgandra (Daily Telegraph 12/10/1915)

Transcribed from The Farmer and Settler, 12 October, 1915, p. 3.


Gilgandra’s greatest of all events, the start of the route march, became a fact of history on Sunday last, when the contingent after a simple religious ceremony stepped out on its long march to the coast.

On Saturday, when the ‘Farmer and Settler’ special reporter, who will march to Sydney, arrived at Gilgandra, he found Captain Nicholas and Drs. Burkitt and Cooper, of Dubbo, on the ground. Captain Nicholas has been appointed to take charge of the contingent, and be will be their leader and instructor all the way through to Sydney.

On Saturday afternoon twenty-five recruits were sworn in. Two failed to pass the doctor, but they will march through to the coast nevertheless. The number of recruits would have been double if the recruiting association had not been compelled to wait so long for the permission of the military authorities, the result being that many men grew tired of waiting, and went into camp. The doctor said that the Gilgandra men were as fine a body of recruits as he had seen, with good feet and sound constitutions. On Saturday night a torchlight procession paraded the town, headed by the band. The recruits were followed by the rifle club and the boy scouts. In the interval of a picture show, Major Winn, of Sydney, and Private Lee, the ex-clergyman recruit, made special appeals to the young men to volunteer.

There were fully three thousand persons, almost the whole population of the district, at the open-air consecration service on Sunday morning, when the Rev. W. Jenkins commended the men to their Creator.

The shire president, Mr. Barden, said he was sure that the twenty-five starting out would be five hundred at the end of the long march. Almost the whole of the people, the largest gathering ever seen at Gilgandra, accompanied the march to Boberah, where a general programme of hand-shaking took place. A guard of honor of young horsewomen   rode at the head of the procession, and the local recruiting association and shire councillors took part. Captain Nicholas formed up his little force — grown already to thirty-one men; and Mr. W. T. Hitchens had the honor of giving the first words of command–‘Quick march.’ Amid resounding cheers the route march had begun, and it was followed for several miles of its long journey, by a great cavalcade of horses and vehicles. Then there was a halt, with more good-byes, more cheers, and the rifle club fired a parting volley.

The heat was intense, and the dust hung over the troops like a pillar of cloud — a fiery cloud, so that when the first stop, Marthaguy, was reached, all were grateful for the lunch spread by the residents, and not less for the facilities provided for a wash and a freshen up. At Marthaguy one new recruit fell in. Many of the Gilgandra folk still followed the column. The young daughter of a prominent citizen left her car and marched alongside the men for some distance; she announced her intention of being present in Martin Place at the finish, and declared that if she had been a boy she would have marched all the way, and gone to the front with the contingent. It is a pity that some of the boys have not the spirit of the girls.

Patriotic sons of the West. A 320 mile march (Sydney Mail 20/10/1915)

‘Patriotic sons of the West. A 320 mile march’ – Coo-ees on the road to Balladoran (Sydney Mail 20/10/1915)

At Balladoran the townspeople met the column a mile out of town and escorted them to their camp with banners, and gave them a hearty welcome. The camp was reached at five o’clock, and here another recruit joined the column.

Following are the names of the first twenty-five to enlist:–

John Quinn, John Macnamara, Stanley E. Stephens, Jack Hunt, William L. Hunt, Albert W. Pearce, Leslie W. Greenleaf, Arthur C. Finn, Francis N. White, Alfred Wardroffe, Victor Quinton, William Alston, Sidney Bennett, John R. Lee, Harold Baxter, Charles R. Wheeler, E. T. Hitchen, James McKeown, James Crowford, Charles E. Marchant, Andrew J. MacGregor, Lawrence L. McGuire, Robert C. Campbell, Peter Wilson, and Frank Humphrey.’

Click here to view the article on Trove: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116668904