Tag Archives: Joseph Raymond McGuire

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.

Joseph Raymond McGUIRE

Joseph Raymond MCGUIRE

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4857), Joseph Ramond McGuire was born at Redfern, N.S.W. He gave his age as 33 years and 10 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as tinworker labourer. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 2 ½ inches tall, weight 126 lbs., with a dark complexion, brown eyes, and dark hair. His religious denomination was Roman Catholic.  He claimed to have two months previous service with the AIF from 3rd of May 1915 to 8th of July 1915, being discharged for bad conduct. He completed his medical on the 11th of November 1915 at Ashfield and was attested on the 11th of November 1915 at Ashfield.

He went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was 60 Hanover Street, Waterloo, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his father, B. J. McGuire, 60 Hanover Street, Waterloo, N.S.W.

Along with many of the Coo-ees, Private McGuire departed Sydney on the HMAT Star of England on the 8th March 1916. He arrived in Egypt on the 11th April 1916. On the 19th April 1916 he transferred to the 45th Battalion in Egypt.

On the 2nd June 1916 Private McGuire left Alexandria aboard the Kinfauns Castle bound for France, arriving at Marseille on the 8th June 1916.

On the 20th July 1916 whilst the Battalion was conducting training at Berteacourt Les Dames Private McGuire was charged with drunkenness in billet and being absent from 2 p.m. Parade. He was awarded 2 days forfeiture of pay.

On the 12th August 1916 during the Battle of the Somme, Private McGuire was wounded in action, receiving a shrapnel wound to his wrist whilst the 45th Battalion was in action in the vicinity of Pozieres, France. He was evacuated to the 25th General Hospital where he remained till the 17th August. He was then sent to the 4th Division Base Depot. On the 30th September he was sent back to the 45th Battalion, arriving on the 1st October 1916, whilst the Battalion was manning the front line in the vicinity of Pozieres.

On the 27th November 1916 the 45th Battalion came out of the front line after being in action in the vicinity of Guedecourt. During this time the weather had been miserable with constant rain. Private McGuire was one of the casualties evacuated to the 36th Casualty Clearing Station with trench feet. On the 29th November 1916 he was sent to the 3rd Stationary Hospital at Rouen, France. On the 4th December 1916 he boarded the hospital ship Carisbrook Castle at Le Harve for evacuation to England. On the 5th December 1916 he was admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital at Wandsworth.

Private McGuire marched out of the 3rd London General Hospital on the 20th January 1917 and went on leave till the 5th February 1917 when he reported to the 1st Command Depot at Pernham Downs. On 8th February 1917 he was transferred to the 4th Command Depot at Wareham. On the 27th March 1917 whilst still at the 4th Command Depot Private McGuire was charged with neglecting to obey orders re bounds, and he was awarded forfeiture of 4 days pay and 7 days confined to barracks.

On the 15th May 1917 Private McGuire was transferred to and taken on strength of the 61st Infantry Battalion that had just been formed. Later that year the 61st Battalion was disbanded. On the 12th September 1917 Private McGuire departed Southampton, arriving at Le Harve on the 13th September 1917 where he marched into the 4th Australian Division Base Depot. On the 16th September 1917 Private McGuire was charged with being absent from 9.30 p.m. till 10.50 p.m. He was awarded forfeiture of 2 days pay.

On the 21st September 1917 Private McGuire left the 4th Australian Division Base Depot to rejoin the 45th Battalion. He was taken on strength on the 22nd September whilst the Battalion was waiting in the vicinity of Steenvoorde, Belgium, to go into action.

From the 25th September 1917 till the 1st October 1917 the Battalion was involved in offensive operations in the vicinity of Westhoek Ridge, Belgium. On the 29th September Private McGuire received a bomb wound to his right leg. Private McGuire was being evacuated to the 10th Casualty Clearing Station when he succumbed to his wounds on the same day.

Private McGuire is buried at the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium.

Joseph Raymond McGuire's headstone at Lijssenthoek Cemetery, Belgium (Photograph: H. Thompson 28/8/2014)

Joseph Raymond McGuire’s headstone at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium (Photograph: H. Thompson 28/8/2014)

Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery – Belgium


Later on Thursday 28th August 2014 we drove to Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery in Belgium, which is located 12 km from Ieper (Ypres).

According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website http://www.cwgc.org/, the village of Lijssenthoek was on the main communication line between the Ypres battlefields and the Allied military bases in the rear, and was used for casualty clearing stations. Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery contains 9901 Commonwealth graves from the First World War, as well as 883 war graves from other nationalities.

Joseph Raymond McGuire, a labourer who joined the Coo-ees at Ashfield, is the only Coo-ee buried in this cemetery. He died of wounds on 29th September, 1917.

The photograph below shows Joseph Raymond McGuire’s headstsone (centre) at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.

Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium (Photograph: S & H Thompson 28/8/2014)

Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium (Photograph: S & H Thompson 28/8/2014)

A photograph of the headstone on Joseph Raymond McGuire’s grave will be added to his individual blog entry, and form part of a Roll of Honour for the fallen Coo-ees on this blog, after our return to Australia.