Tag Archives: Katoomba recruits

Joseph Jacob John HERRINGE

Joseph Jacob John HERRINGE

Joseph Herringe and his mother Mrs Bridget Herringe (Photograph courtesy of Marie Cribbin)

Per his military service record (regimental no. 5700), Joseph Jacob John Herringe was born at Cowra, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 21 years and 7 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as fitter.  He stated he has been apprenticed as a gasfitter for 3 years to A. Wright at Cowra. He claimed that he had 2 years previous military service with the 41st Infantry at Cowra.

His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination form was height 5 feet 10 inches tall, weight 147 lbs., with a ruddy complexion, brown eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Roman Catholic.

He completed his medical examination on 11th November 1915 at Ashfield, and was attested by Lieutenant Frank Middenway at Ashfield on 11th November 1915. His date of joining was recorded as 11th November 1915, the day the Coo-ees marched from Parramatta to Ashfield.

It appears that Joseph Herringe may have first presented to join the Co-ees at Katoomba, as a ‘J. Herringe’ was listed in The Blue Mountain Echo on 12th November 1915 as ‘one of the lads who answered the call, and marched out [of Katoomba] with the “Coo-ees” on their triumphant march to the sea’.[2]  (Several of the Coo-ees listed in this article did not undertake their attestation and medical examination until further along the march, or until they reached Liverpool Camp).

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

Private Herringe, along with Private Colin Wren, ‘of the Coo-ees’, were ‘among the lads in khaki’ reported to be in Cowra on leave in the Cowra Free Press on 27th November 1915.[3]

They were both reported being on leave again ‘spending the festive season with their relatives and friends’ in the Cowra Free Press on 30th December 1915.[4]

On his embarkation roll Private Herringe’s address at time of enrolment was Grenfell Road, Cowra, N.S.W. His next of kin was recorded as his mother, Mrs B. [Bridget] M. Herringe, at the same address.[5]

On 3rd May 1916 Private Herringe departed Sydney on the HMAT A46 Clan McGillivray, along with fellow Coo-ees Private Saunders and Private Keating, as part of the 18th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.

HMAT Clan MacGillivray A46

He arrived in Egypt in June 1916.

On 6th August 1916 Private Herringe departed Egypt bound for England aboard the Transport Megantic.

He was sent to the 4th Training Battalion at Rollerstone, England.

On 23rd September 1916 Private Herringe departed England bound for France.

He marched into the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples, France on 24th September 1916.

He was taken on strength of the 13th Battalion on the 4th of October 1916 whilst it was training and reorganising in the vicinity of Reninghelst, Belgium.

On 18th October 1916 the 13th Battalion was relieving the 15th Battalion in the front line in the vicinity of Zonnebeke, Belgium, when Private Herringe was wounded by mustard gas poisoning.  He was moved back to the 11th Australian Field Ambulance, then to the 3rd Australian Field Ambulance.

On 20th October 1917 Private Herringe was sent to the 2nd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station. On 22nd October 1917 he was admitted to the 16th General Hospital at Le Treport, France.

On 5th November 1917 Private Herringe was placed aboard the Hospital Ship Panama for evacuation to England. On 6th November 1917 he was admitted to the 1st Southern General Hospital at Birmingham, England, with status ‘gassed severe’.

He was discharged on 15th November 1917, and marched into the No. 3 Command Depot at Hurdcott, England.

On 12th February 1918 Private Herringe was transferred to the Overseas Training Brigade at Longbridge Deverill, England.

On 23rd February 1918 Private Herringe was charged with being absent without leave from midnight on 21st February 1918 until 8.30 a.m. on 23rd February 1918. He was awarded 4 days field punishment no. 2, and fined 5 days pay.

On 4th March 1918 Private Herringe departed Southampton, England bound for France.  He marched into the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Le Harve on 5th March 1918.

He re-joined the 13th Battalion on 9th March 1918 whilst it was training in the vicinity of Neuve Eglise, France.

On 28th April 1918 Private Herringe was sent to the 14th Australian Field Ambulance then moved to the 20th Casualty Clearance Station with a condition not yet diagnosed. He was discharged and returned to the 13th Battalion on 30th April 1918 when it was at Glisy, France.

On 25th May 1918 the 13th Battalion was conducting training at Allonville, France, when Private Herringe was sent to the 4th Australian Field Ambulance suffering pyrexia.  He was moved back to the 61st Casualty Clearing Station. On 26th May 1918 he was placed aboard the 20th Ambulance Train and evacuated to the 56th General Hospital at Etaples, France, where he was admitted on 27th May 1918.

On 1st June 1918 Private Herringe was placed aboard the Hospital Ship Princess Elizabeth for evacuation to England with severe trench fever. He was admitted to the Reading War Hospital in England later that day.

Private Herringe was discharged from hospital on 5th July 1918, and given leave until 19th July 1918.  He marched in to the No. 1 Command Depot at Sutton Veny, England, on 19th July 1918.

On the 10th of August 1918 Private Herringe was transferred to the Overseas Training Brigade at Longbridge Deverill, England.

On 19th August 1918 Private Herringe was transferred to the 12th Training Brigade at Codford, England.

On 19th November 1918 Private Herringe was admitted to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital at Bulford, England, suffering warts.  He was discharged on 6th December 1918 and returned to the 12th Training Battalion.

On 15th January 1919 private Herringe marched into the Concentration Depot at Codford to await his return to Australia.

Private Herringe departed Liverpool, England on 19th February 1919 for return to Australia aboard the H.T. Orca.

He arrived in Australia on 9th April 1919.

A letter in his file dated 1st February 1921, addressed to the O.C., Base Records, reported that he was ‘still on Hospital strength’.

H was discharged medically unfit on 14th May 1921.

 

[1] NAA B2455, HERRINGE J J J 5700

[2] ‘March O’er the Mountains’, (1915, November 12). The Blue Mountain Echo (NSW : 1909 – 1928), pp. 2-3. Retrieved September 21, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108042142

[3] ‘Soldiers on Leave’, (1915, November 27). Cowra Free Press (NSW : 1911 – 1921), p. 2. Retrieved October 3, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article99695725

[4] ‘On Leave’, (1915, December 30). Cowra Free Press (NSW : 1911 – 1921), p. 2. Retrieved October 8, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article99696209

[5]  First World War Embarkation Roll Joseph Jacob John Herringe, https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/R1830996

 

Cecil George HAYES

Cecil George HAYES

Per his military service record (regimental no. 2465), Cecil George Hayes was born at Bathurst, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 18 years, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 4 inches tall, weight 9 stone 6 inches, with a dark complexion, grey eyes, and black hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He claimed that he had 3 months military service in the Senior Cadets. He completed his medical on the 5th November 1915 at Katoomba, and was attested at Katoomba by Lieutenant F. Middenway on the same day.

‘Cecil Hayes’ was named in The Blue Mountain Echo as one of the recruits who joined the Coo-ees at Katoomba.[2]  He was reported in The Blue Mountain Echo as ‘proudly bearing aloft the Katoomba flag’ when the Coo-ees marched out of Katoomba.[3]

After completing the Coo-ee March he went to Menangle Park Camp as reinforcement for the 6th Light Horse Regiment.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Main Street, Katoomba, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his father, William Hayes, at the same address.

On 26th April 1916 Trooper Hayes departed Sydney on the HMAT Port Macquarie A39 with the 17th reinforcements for the 6th Light Horse Regiment (along with fellow Coo-ee Ronald Hector Perkins).

After arriving at Suez in Egypt, on 21st June 1916 Trooper Hayes was taken on strength with the 2nd Light Horse Training Regiment at Te-el-Kebir.

On 15th July 1916 he was taken on strength of the 12th Company of the Imperial Camel Corps.

On 11th November 1916 Trooper Hayes was transferred to the 3rd ANZAC Battalion of the Imperial Camel Corps.

On 17th December 1916 Trooper Hayes was admitted to the New Zealand Field Ambulance sick with influenza. He was discharged and returned to his unit on 19th December 1916.

On 2nd January 1917 Trooper Hayes was charged with Neglect of Duty on 30th December 1916 whilst on line piquet. He was awarded 14 days field punishment no. 2.

On 8th January 1917 Trooper Hayes was charged with delay in obeying an order by an NCO. He was awarded 7 days field punishment no. 2.

On 5th July 1917 Trooper Hayes was admitted sick to hospital in Palestine. On 13th July 1917 he was admitted to 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital at El Arish with septic sores.  On 14th July 1917 he was transferred to the 36th Stationary Hospital at Mahemdia, Egypt.   He was discharged to ICC details at Australian Base Depot Company at Abbassia from hospital on 15th August 1917.

On 10th September 1917 he rejoined his Battalion in Palestine.

On 23rd February 1918 Trooper Hayes joined the Signal Training Unit at Moascar.

He wrote from Palestine in a letter home published in The Blue Mountain Echo on 22nd March 1918 “This life suits me down to the boots, and in spite of the hard work and poor tucker I’m packing on weight daily. My work as signaller is risky, but there are risks in anything nowadays, and whilst I’ve had three close calls I’m still as fit as every, I think a fellow’s fate is booked from the cradle, and nothing will change it. I have met some fine men in the Army, and like them greatly, but, at all times, I’m thinking of my old mate, [fellow Coo-e] Reg Duff, in France, and wondering if he is still going strong… I am into this till the end, dad, so buck up and I’ll pull through”.[4]

He rejoined his Battalion on 29th June 1918.

On 1st July 1918 Trooper Hays was transferred to the 15th Light Horse Regiment.

On 13th March 1919 Trooper Hayes was charged with drunkenness at Beirut on 8th March 1919. He was awarded 7 days field punishment no. 2 and fined 10 days pay.

On 25th May 1919 Trooper Hayes was charged with a number of offences including overstaying his leave from 1700 till 1830 on 24th May 1919. He was awarded 28 days field punishment no. 2.

On 5th July 1919 Trooper Hayes was charged with a number of offences including being absent from 1600 parade on 3rd July 1919, breaking camp, and causing a disturbance in town. He was awarded 28 days field punishment no. 2, and fined 30 days pay.

While still undergoing this punishment, on 24th July 1919 Trooper Hayes commenced his return to Australia aboard the H.T. Dongala.

He arrived in Australia on 25th August 1919, and was discharged termination of period of enlistment on 21st October 1919.

[1] NAA: B2455, HAYES C G 2465

[2] ‘March o’er the Mountains’, The Blue Mountain Echo, 12 November 1915, pp. 2-3, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108042142

[3] ‘March o’er the Mountains’, The Blue Mountain Echo, 12 November 1915, p. 6, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108042142

[4] ‘Friday, March 22, 1918. Signaller Cecil Hayes’, The Blue Mountain Echo,  p. 2. Retrieved March 7, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108248103

 

Joseph Clark GILMOUR

Joseph Clark GILMOUR

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4779), Joseph Clark Gilmour was born at Glasgow, Scotland.[1]  He gave his age as 27 years and 8 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as mercer.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination form was height 5 feet 5 inches tall, with a fair complexion, grey eyes, and fair hair.  His religious denomination was Presbyterian.  He claimed that he had 6 years previous military service with the Royal Army Medical Corps.

He was attested and completed his medical examination at Liverpool on 13th November 1915, the day after the end of the Coo-ee March.  However, his date of joining on his embarkation roll is 5th November 1915, the day he joined the Coo-ee March at Katoomba.  “J. C. Gilmour” was named in The Blue Mountain Echo as one of ‘the lads who answered the call, and marched out with the Coo-ees’ at Katoomba.[2]

He had been working for Messrs. Hermann and Co. Ltd, at Coonamble,  and was presented with a ‘set of safety razors and fountain pen’ before he left Coonamble, and caught the train at Dubbo on 4th November 1915 to join the Coo-ees at Katoomba.[3]

After completing the Co-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion, with the rank of Acting Corporal.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was not listed.  His next of kin is listed as his father, D. [David] Gilmour, 107 Pollock Street, Glasgow, S.S. [South Side], Scotland.

On 8th March 1916 Acting Corporal Gilmour, along with many of the other Coo-ees, departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England.  He arrived in Egypt on 11th April 1916.

On 16th April 1916 he was transferred to the 5th Division Cyclist Corps at Tel-el-Kebir.

On 9th May 1916 he was appointed Lance Corporal.

On 13th June 1916 he was promoted to Corporal.

On 17th June 1916 Corporal Gilmour departed Alexandra, Egypt, bound for France.  He arrived at Marseilles, France. on 25th June 1916.

On 22nd July 1916 Corporal Gilmour was promoted to Company Quarter Master Sergeant with the 2nd ANZAC Cyclist Battalion.

On 17th August 1916 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was detached for duty with the New Zealand Division Headquarters.

On 29th December 1916 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was granted leave to England.  Hejoined the 2nd ANZAC Cyclist Battalion on 10th January 1917, when it was at Douliou, France.

On 7th June 1917 the 2nd ANZAC Cyclist Battalion was working on a cavalry track in the vicinity of Messines, Belgium, when C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was wounded in action, receiving a gunshot wound to his right arm.  He was sent to the 77th Field Ambulance, then moved to the 1st New Zealand Field Ambulance. On 9th June 1917 he was moved back to the 11th Casualty Clearing Station.  Later that day he was admitted to the 4th Stationary Hospital at Arques, France.

On 15th June 1917 he was discharged and returned to his unit, arriving on 16th June 1917 when it was in the vicinity of Steenwerck, France.

On the 31st of August 1917 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was granted leave.

He returned to the 2nd ANZAC Cyclist Battalion from leave on 15th September 1917.

On 16th September 1917 he was sent to the 133rd Field Ambulance sick, then was moved back to the 41st Casualty Clearing Station.  On 17th September 1917 he was placed aboard the 26th Ambulance Train and moved to the 1st Australian General Hospital at Abbeville, France, being admitted on the 18th of September 1917.  He was transferred to the 39th General Hospital at Le Havre on 19th September 1917.  He was discharged from hospital on 1st October 1917 and sent to the Australian General Base Depot at Le Harve, France.  He re-joined his unit on 18th November 1917.

A letter he wrote to a Miss C. DeGill in Penrith in December 1917 thanking her for a gift of socks was published in the Nepean Times:

Just a line to let you know I received a pair of socks with your name and address enclosed in one of the socks, and I take this opportunity of thanking you for your kindness in sending such a useful gift, and I can assure you that the socks received by our battalion were appreciated by our boys. We are glad to know that the majority of people at home think something of those who are over here fighting for them, and we are proud of those gifts which are distributed to us occasionally. We also had sweets, tins of cocoa, and milk, flannel shirts and other items, mostly all of which are very useful to us, especially at a time like this – when the winter is setting in and getting very cold. I might say we are in the line just at the present time and doing some good work. As you reside in Penrith I think it might be interesting for me to tell you that I am one of the Gilgandra Coo-ees – and well I remember the reception we got at Penrith. I suppose you were one of the crowd who helped to make that reception the success it turned out to be. However, I shall never forget the day we marched into Penrith, and I might also state, that as far as I can learn there are not many of the Coo-ees left, but I happen to be one of the lucky ones, although I have had my fair share of being wounded and have recovered.  I must conclude, hoping this finds you well, it leaves me in the best of health. Again thanking you for your kindness in sending such a useful gift”.[4]

On 16thJanuary 1918 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was transferred to the Australian Corps Cyclist Battalion in France.

On 26th January 1918 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was granted leave to England.  He returned Australian Corps Cyclist Battalion on 11th February 1918.

On 9th March 1918 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour attended the Australian Corps Infantry School for a course of instruction.  He re-joined his Battalion on 28th March 1918.

On 27th April 1918 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was detached for duty with the Area Commandant at Amiens .  He returned from the detachment on 9th May 1918.

On 24th June 1918 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was transferred to the 35th Battalion in France.

On 1st August 1918 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was sent to the 10th Australian Field Ambulance sick with Influenza.  He was moved back to the 5th Casualty Clearing Station later that day.  On 3rd August 1918 he was admitted to the 3rd General Hospital at Le Treport, France.  He was discharged on 12th August 1918, and sent to the Australian Convalescent Depot on 13th August 1918. On 5th September 1918 he was sent to the Australian Base Depot at Le Harve, France.

He re-joined the 35th Battalion on 12th September 1918.

On 2nd November 1918 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was detached for duty with the 24th Company of the Australian Army Service Corps.  He returned from detachment to the 35th Battalion on 10th November 1918.

On 12th December 1918 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was transferred to the Administrative Headquarters in England.

On 2nd January 1919 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was transferred to the Australian Army Pay Corps.

On 25th February 1919 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was admitted to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Dartford, England, with an ingrown toenail.  He was discharged on 11th April 1919.

On 30th June 1919 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour was granted Non Military Employment Leave.

He returned to the 35th Battalion on 22nd September 1919.

On 6th October 1919 C.Q.M.S. Gilmour departed Southampton, England, aboard the Transport Pakeha bound for Australia.

He arrived in Australia on 24th November 1919, and was discharged Termination of Period of Enlistment on 17th January 1920.

 

[1] AA: B2455, GILMOUR J C

[2] March o’er the Mountains’, The Blue Mountain Echo, 12 November 1915, p. 3. Retrieved March 7, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108042142

[3] ‘Our Soldiers’, The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate, 16 November 1915, p. 3. Retrieved May 14, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77602202 ; N.S.W. Government Railways & Tramways docket from Dubbo to Katoomba dated 4th November 1915 in the official correspondence of the march held in the Mitchell Library collection.

[4] ‘Soldiers’ Welcome Socks’, Nepean Times, 9 March 1918, p. 3. Retrieved May 14, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86191998

 

Robert William PETTIGREW

Robert William PETTIGREW

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4876), Robert William Pettigrew was born at Stanley, Victoria.[1]  He gave his age as 30 years and 7 months, his marital status as widower, and his occupation as teamster.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination form was height 5 feet 5 ¾ inches tall, with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and fair hair.  His religious denomination was Church of England.  He claimed that he had no previous military service.

He completed his medical examination at Katoomba on 5th November 1915 (the day the Coo-ees stayed overnight at Katoomba), and was attested by Lieutenant Edward Shaw at Katoomba on the same day.

‘R. W. Pettigrew’ was named in The Blue Mountain Echo as one of ‘the lads who answered the call, and marched out with the Coo-ees’ at Katoomba.[2]

After completing the Co-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 Mrs P. Birtles, Wattlegrove Station, Wooragee, Victoria, and his next of kin is listed as his step-sister, Mrs P. Birtles, as the same address.

On 8th March 1916 Private Pettigrew, along with many of the other Coo-ees, departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England.  He arrived in Egypt on 11th April 1916.

On 13th April 1916 he was admitted to the No. 2 Australian Stationary Hospital at Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt, with asthma.

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

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

On 1st July 1916 Private Pettigrew was charged with being absent from entrainment parade at Marseilles on 15th June 1916 . He was fined 8 days pay.

On 9th August 1916 Private Pettigrew was taken on strength of the 45th Battalion when it was manning the support line in the vicinity of Pozieres, France.

Private Pettigrew was with the 45th Battalion in the field in France for the next 12 days, where it was in support from 9th to 11th August 1916 supplying fatigue and working parties, then engaged in the reserve and front lines from 12th to 15th August 1916.  The 45th Battalion then undertook several days marching as the Battalion moved from the front line to Albert, Warloy, and Herissart, then marched to Berteaucourt ‘in heavy rain’ on 19th August 1916, to be reorganised and refitted.[3]

On 21st August 1916 Private Pettigrew was taken by ambulance train from the 4th Casualty Clearing Station and admitted to the 13th General Hospital at Boulogne, France, suffering from bronchial asthma. On 22nd August 1916 he was placed aboard the Hospital Ship St Dennis in Boulogne Harbour from evacuation to England with bronchitis. On 21st August 1916 Private Pettigrew was taken by ambulance train from the 4th Casualty Clearing Station and admitted to the 13th General Hospital at Boulogne, France, suffering from bronchial asthma. On 22nd August 1916 he was placed aboard the Hospital Ship St Dennis in Boulogne Harbour from evacuation to England with bronchitis.

On 23rd August 1916 he was admitted to the Chatham Military Hospital in England. On 12th October 1916 he was transferred to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital in England.

He was discharged on the 21st of October 1916 and granted leave to report to the No. 1 Command Depot at Perham Downs on 6th November 1916.

On 8th November 1916 Private Pettigrew was charged with being absent without leave from 3.30 pm on 6th November 1916 till 8.45 pm on 7th November 1916. He was awarded 7 days confined to camp and fined 2 days pay.

On 13th November 1916 Private Pettigrew was transferred to the No. 4 Command Depot at Wareham, England.

On the 3rd of March 1917 Private Pettigrew was transferred to the No. 2 Command Depot at Weymouth, England.

On 4th May 1917 he was admitted to Verne Citadel holding station at Portland, England, with asthma.

On 23rd May 1917 Private Pettigrew departed England aboard the HMAT A33 Ayrshire bound for Australia for medical discharge with asthma.

After arriving in Australia he was discharged Medically Unfit on 21st January 1918.

[1] NAA: B2455, PETTIGREW ROBERT WILLIAM

[2] March o’er the Mountains’, The Blue Mountain Echo, 12 November 1915, p. 3. Retrieved March 7, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108042142

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

 

Sydney Raymond CARVER

Sydney Raymond CARVER

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4745), Sydney Raymond Carver was born at Hill End, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 30 years and 6 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as fettler.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination form was height 5 feet 6 inches tall, with a dark complexion, brown eyes, and black hair.  His religious denomination was Methodist.  He claimed that he had served for 5 years in the Hill End Rifle Club.

He was attested by Captain A. C. Eade at Katoomba on 5th November 1915 (the day the Coo-ees marched from Mount Victoria to Katoomba).  He did not complete his medical examination until 13th November 1915 at Liverpool.

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

Sydney Raymond Carver was also known as “Tom” Carver.[2]  He was referred to as ‘Private Tom Carver, of the Coo-ees … home on final leave’, in the Lithgow Mercury on 29th December 1915.[3]

The National Advocate reported that Private S. Carver was given a send-off on Thursday night 30th December 1915 in the Royal Hall at Hill End, where he was presented with a wristlet watch.[4]

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Hill End, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his father, B. [Benjamin] Carver, Hill End, N.S.W.

On 8th March 1916 Private Carver, along with many of the other Coo-ees, departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England.  He arrived in Egypt on 11th April 1916.

On 19th April 1916 he was transferred to the 45th Battalion in Egypt.

On 2nd June 1916 Private Carver left Alexandria aboard the transport Kinfauns Castle bound for France arriving at Marseilles on 8th June 1916.

On 4th July 1916 Private Carver was sent to the 4th Australian Field Ambulance suffering from Influenza.  On 7th July 1916 he was sent to the 4th Division Rest Station.  He rejoined the 45th Battalion on 9th July 1916.

On 30th July 1916 Private Carver was promoted to Lance Corporal.

On 24th August 1916 he was promoted to Corporal.

On 6th April 1917 he was promoted to Sergeant.

On 11th April 1917 the 45th Battalion was moving into the front line in the vicinity of Noreuil, France when Sergeant Carver was wounded in action, receiving a shrapnel wound to his left leg.  He was sent to the 4th Australian Field Ambulance, then moved back to the 9th Casualty Clearing Station, then the 56th Casualty Clearing Station.  On 12th April 1917 he was placed aboard the 11th Ambulance Train.  On 13th April 1917 he was admitted to the 1st General Hospital at Entretat, France.

On 25th April 1917 Sergeant Carver was placed aboard a hospital ship for evacuation to England.  On 26th April 1917 he was admitted to the 2nd Southern General Hospital at Bristol, England.

He was discharged from hospital on 21st May 1917, and granted leave to report to the No. 1 Command Depot at Perham Downs on 5th June 1917.

On 26th June 1917 he was transferred to the Overseas Training Brigade.

On 9th December 1917 Sergeant Carver departed Southampton bound for France.  He arrived at the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Le Harve, France, on 10th December 1917.

He rejoined the 45th Battalion when it was training at Haut Allaines, France, on 16th December 1917.

On 5th April 1918 the 45th Battalion was in action around Dernacourt, France, when Sergeant Carver was wounded in action for the second time, receiving a gunshot wound to his abdomen.  He was sent to the 13th Australian Field Ambulance, then back to the 29th Casualty Clearing Station.  On 6th April 1918 he was placed aboard the 27th Ambulance Train being admitted to the 7th Canadian General Hospital on the 7th of April 1918 at Etaples, France.

On 25th April 1918 he was placed aboard the Hospital Ship Princess Elizabeth for evacuation to England.  On 26th April 1918 he was admitted to the County of Middlesex War Hospital at Napsbury  in England.

On 3rd June 1918 he was transferred to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield, England.  He was discharged on 18th June 1918 and sent to the No. 3 Command Depot at Hurdcott, England.

On 3rd July 1918 Sergeant Carver was admitted to the Fovant Military Hospital sick.  He was discharged on 31st July 1918.

On 11th September 1918 Sergeant Carver was transferred to the No. 1 Command Depot at Sutton Veny, England.

On 21st October 1918 Sergeant Carver was sent to the Overseas Training Brigade.

He departed Southampton on 21st November 1918 bound for France.  He arrived at the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Le Harve, France, on 22nd November 1918.

He rejoined the 45th Battalion in France on 1st December 1918.

On 19th March 1919 Sergeant Carver was sent to the 12th Australian Field Ambulance sick with old abdomen wound.  He was discharged, and rejoined the 45th Battalion, on 25th March 1919.

On 6th April 1919 Sergeant Carver was sent to the Australian Base Depot at Le Harve.

On 11th April 1919 Sergeant Carver was admitted to the 39th General Hospital sick at Le Havre.

On 18th April 1918 he was placed aboard a hospital ship for evacuation to England.  He was admitted to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital at Bulford, England, on 19th April 1919.

He was discharged on 4th July 1919 and sent to the No. 2 Depot at Sutton Veny, England.

On 23rd July 1919 Sergeant Carver departed England aboard the H.T. Suevic bound for Australia.

He arrived in Australia 10th September 1919, and was discharged medically unfit on 10th November 1919.

The Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative reported that Sergeant Carver was one of the soldiers who were given a welcome home at a large gathering held at the Royal Hall in Hill End on Friday 3rd October 1919.  Each soldier was given an inscribed gold medal, and a ‘useful bundle of clothing from the ladies’ knitting circle’.[5]

Research note: Sydney Raymond ‘Tom’ Carver was not named in The Blue Mountain Echo as one of ‘the lads who answered the call, and marched out with the Coo-ees’ at Katoomba.[6]  His “Joined on” date on his Attestation Paper is 5th November 1915, so it appears possible that he may have joined the Coo-ees somewhere on that day before they reached Katoomba. The Coo-ees picked up two recruits in Blackheath on route from Mount Victoria to Katoomba.[7]  One of these men was Thomas Walsh.  ‘T. Carver’ and ‘T. Walsh’ are listed together on the Blackheath Roll of Honor published in The Blue Mountain Echo on 13th April 1917.[8]  It appears a possibility that ‘Tom’ Carver may have been the other recruit who joined the Coo-ees at Blackheath.  

[1] NAA: B2455, CARVER S R

[2] ‘CARVER, Sydney Raymond (Tom) : Service Number – 4745’’, Hill End War Memorial, http://www.heatgg.org.au/resources/databases/hill-end-war-memorial/

[3] ‘Hill End’, Lithgow Mercury, 29 December 1915, p. 4. Retrieved March 27, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article218453720

[4] ‘’Hill End Recruits’, National Advocate, 6 January 1916, p. 3. Retrieved March 27, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article158046862

[5] ‘Soldiers’ Welcome Home’, Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative, 9 October 1919, p. 12. Retrieved March 27, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article157039404

[6] ‘March o’er the Mountains’, The Blue Mountain Echo, 12 November 1915, p. 2. Retrieved September 21, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108042142  [on page 3]

[7] ‘The Route March’, The Farmer and Settler,  9 November 1915, p. 3. Retrieved March 27, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116669569

[8] ‘Eastertide at Blackheath’, The Blue Mountain Echo, 13 April 1917, p. 3. Retrieved March 29, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108244227

Thomas WALSH

Thomas WALSH

Per his military service record (Depot), Thomas Walsh was born in Melbourne, Victoria.[1]  He gave his age as 43 years and 4 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 6 inches tall, weight 9 stone 7 lbs., with a dark complexion, grey eyes, and brown hair.  His religious denomination was Church of England.  He claimed he had no previous military experience. Marked against his next of kin on his Attestation Paper was “No Relatives”.

He was attested at Katoomba by Captain A. C. Eade on 5th November 1915 (the day the Coo-ees marched from Mount Victoria to Katoomba).  He did not complete his medical examination until 13th November 1915 at Liverpool.

He appears to have been one of the two recruits that joined the Coo-ees at Blackheath during their march from Mount Victoria to Katoomba on 5th November 1915.  His initial Application to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force form dated 5th November 1915 was addressed to the Recruiting officer at Blackheath, and his postal address was left blank.  The Preliminary Medical Examination section was signed by a medical officer at Blackheath on 5th November 1915.  The Certificate of Recruiting Officer section at the bottom of this form was signed by Captain Eade at Lawson on 7th November 1915.

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

However, it appears that his service in the Australian Imperial Force was short.

On 15th January 1916 Private Walsh was posted as a deserter. A warrant for his arrest was issued the on 19th February 1916. The warrant was withdrawn on the 13th of January 1920.

Research note: It may just be a coincidence, but the signature of this Thomas Walsh is very similar to that of another Thomas Walsh aged 43 years and 5 months, who was attested at Liverpool on 20th January 1916, who was also born at Melbourne, and was assigned to the same company that the Coo-ees were initially assigned to in the 13th Battalion.  The “Joined on” date of this Thomas Walsh was 4th November 1915, but there is nothing in his service record to indicate where this occurred.  This Thomas Walsh was sent overseas in May 1916, served on the Western Front, and returned to Australia in 1917.  However his next of kin was listed as his mother, who had a different surname, and there were some small differences with his appearance, and a different occupation was listed.

[1] NAA: B2455, WALSH THOMAS

Lewis Reginald DUFF

Lewis Reginald DUFF

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4766), Lewis Reginald Duff was born at Katoomba, N.S.W. [1]  He gave his age as 18 years and 6 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination form was height 5 feet 5 ¾ inches tall, with a dark complexion, brown eyes, and brown hair.  His religious denomination was Presbyterian.  He claimed that he had no previous military service.

His father Lewis J. Duff gave his consent on his son’s Application to Enlist in the Australian Imperial Force form.  Lewis Reginald Duff completed his medical examination at Katoomba on 5th November 1915, and was attested by Lieutenant F. Middenway at Katoomba on the same day.

‘Lewis Duff’ was named in The Blue Mountain Echo as one of ‘the lads who answered the call, and marched out with the Coo-ees’ at Katoomba.[2]

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

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Alma Cottage, Lurline Street, Katoomba, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his father, L. Duff, at the same address.

On 8th March 1916 Private Duff, along with many of the other Coo-ees, departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England.  He arrived in Egypt on 11th April 1916.

On 19th April 1916 he was transferred to the 45th Battalion in Egypt.

On 2nd June 1916 Private Duff left Alexandria aboard the transport Kinfauns Castle bound for France.  He arrived at Marseilles on 8th June 1916.

Private Duff served with the 45th Battalion in France and Belgium for most of the remainder of the First World War.

Letters sent home to his parents which were published in The Blue Mountain Echo, in which he is usually referred to by his middle name, “Reg. Duff” (as both his father and grandfather were called Lewis Duff), tell us something of his experiences during the war.

A letter dated 15th September 1916 that Private Duff wrote to his parents at Katoomba was printed in The Blue Mountain Echo: “I have just come from the trenches, after a solid seven days without a spell. This is my third stretch out, and, so far, I’m altogether. Scratched in several places, but nothing serious. Our last experience was the worst, so far. It rained nearly all the time, and, in some places, we were up to our knees in mud and water. It was deadly, but we bogged through. We were relieved by the Canadians – fine fellows, fine fighters. I doubt if we will go back to the old lines. We are being re-fitted, and it is rumoured we are to the entrained and sent to another part of the front. All our old cloth go to the wash. It is commencing to get very cold here, and we are getting the misty rains, just like the Mountains… I forgot to mention our company received ‘special mention’ in army orders for the work done. Our officers are very proud- so that’s something”.[3]

His brother Cecil Duff wrote home to his parents from England in late 1916 that “I met an officer of the platoon young Reg. is in last Monday, and he gives a good account of him’’ and he said “Reg. was a game little fighter, very hardy, and was well liked…”.[4]

The next entry in Private Duff’s service record is not for nine months after he arrived in France, when it was recorded that on 5th March 1917 he was promoted to Lance Corporal.

Three months later, on 14th June 1917 he was promoted to Temporary Corporal.

His rank was made Corporal on 15th July 1917.

In a letter to his parents [not dated] that was published in The Blue Mountain Echo on 28th September 1917, Corporal Duff wrote: “Orders are out for another push on the Flanders front, and long ere you receive this we will be back and up to our neck in it again.  We are getting quite used to it now, as, although I have not mentioned much about it, I have been right in the thick of it all along. I have been in very push from the beginning of last year’s offensive at Pozieres. Our Battalion went through that. We were then recalled and sent up to Ypres, in Belgium, and then back down on the Somme again, landing there for the big start in November. We hung on there till April of this year, through all the fighting at Gueudecourt. We were instrumental in forcing Fritz to retreat from Bapaume, and we followed close on his wake right up to the Hindenburg line, at Bullecourt. We didn’t go over here, but, later, when our other Battalions broke through, we returned and aided in holding our gains for a couple of days. When we were relieved, the Huns drove out successors out again, but we doubled back and took them again. After that we were sent to Messines, where there was more rough work. On the completion of that stunt (“stunt,” by the way, is a soldierism for engagement or contract), we went further along the line, where they were hard at it when my squad got furlough. You will see by the foregoing that our boys have done their bit. There are not many left of the old Battalion – that is, of the boys who came with me from Egypt. One by one they drop out, and now men take their places, but so far I’ve been lucky, very lucky. I’ve had enough escapes to account for half a dozen good men, but I’m still all together, so that’s the main thing. Hope I pull through as well on my return, as there’s lots of work ahead”.[5]

On 27th February 1918 Corporal Duff was granted leave to England.  He rejoined the 45th Battalion on 15th March 1918.

On 15th July 1918 Corporal Duff was promoted to Sergeant.

On 31st August 1918 Sergeant Duff was detached for duty to the Permanent Cadre of the 3rd Training Brigade in England.

On 2nd September 1918 Sergeant Duff arrived at Folkstone, England from France.  On 3rd September 1918 Sergeant Duff marched in to the 3rd Training Brigade and to the Permanent Cadre at the Musketry School in Tidworth, England.

On 23rd September 1918 Sergeant Duff was detached to the Drill School at Chelsea, England.

On 20th October 1918 Sergeant Duff was taken on strength of the 12th Training Battalion at Hurdcott, England.

On 11th November 1918 Sergeant Duff was transferred to the No. 2 Camp at Park House, England.

On 14th December 1918 he returned to the 12th Training Battalion.

The Blue Mountains Echo on 28th March 1919 printed an extract from a letter sent by Sergeant Reg. Duff to his mother from Hurdcott, England, in which he stated that he “received three parcels last night (23.1.19)” and that” One was from home, with Xmas cake and sox…”, and that “I was expecting to be going home shortly ; but I had a disappointment yesterday, when they told me I would be going back to France on January 28… I am just back from my Xmas leave. I had a few days in Scotland, but spent most of my time in London, as I know some nice people there. I had only been back from my leave a few days when they gave me the Xmas leave. Well, I don’t want any more leave now ; I’ll wait until I get home”.[6]

On 29th January 1919 Sergeant Duff departed Southampton bound for France.  He arrived at the Australian Base Depot at Le Harve, France, on 30th January 1919.  He rejoined the 45th Battalion on 5th February 1919.

On 6th April 1919 Sergeant Duff arrived at the Australian Base Depot at Le Harve to commence his return to Australia.

On 15th April 1919 Sergeant Duff departed France bound for England.  On 16th April he marched into the No. 4 Group at Hurdcott, England.

On 2nd June 1919 Sergeant Duff departed Devonport, England, aboard the H.T. Beltana bound for Australia.

He arrived in Australia on 19th July 1919.  He was discharged Termination of Period of Enlistment on 12th September 1919.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, DUFF L R

[2] ‘March o’er the Mountains’, The Blue Mountain Echo, 12 November 1915, p. 3. Retrieved March 7, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108042142

[3] ‘The Soldiers’ Mailbag’, The Blue Mountain Echo (NSW : 1909 – 1928), 10 November 1916, p. 1. Retrieved March 7, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108042760

[4] ‘Fragments from France, The Blue Mountain Echo, 2 February 1917, p. 3. Retrieved March 7, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108248522

[5] ‘Right in the Thick of It’, The Blue Mountain Echo, 28 September 1917, p. 1. Retrieved March 7, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108249657

[6] ‘News of Our Boys’, The Blue Mountain Echo,  28 March 1919, p. 6. Retrieved March 7, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108246428

Thomas Henry TURVEY

Thomas Henry TURVEY

Private T. H. Turvey, of Gilgandra "Coo-ees", awarded Military Medal (Newspaper unknown, 1917)

Private T. H. Turvey, of Gilgandra “Coo-ees”, awarded Military Medal (Newspaper unknown, 1917)

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4902A), Thomas Henry Turvey was born at Gulgong, N.S.W. [1]  He gave his age as 22 years and 9 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as laborer.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 8 ½ inches tall, weight 10 stone 10 lbs., with a dark complexion, light blue eyes, and dark hair.  His religious denomination was Roman Catholic.  He claimed that he had no previous military service.  He completed his medical examination on 4th October 1915 at Gilgandra, and was attested by Captain Eade at Lawson on the 7th October 1915.

Thomas Turvey stated that he had joined the Coo-ees at Katoomba in a court case in December 1915, in which he was a witness.[2]  The Coo-ees had stayed overnight at Katoomba on 5th November 1915.

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

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Gilgandra, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his father, T. [Thomas] Turvey, Gilgandra, N.S.W.

On 8th March 1916 Private Turvey, along with many of the other Coo-ees, departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, and arrived in Egypt on 11th April 1916.

He was transferred to the 45th Battalion on 20th May 1916.

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

On 19th July 1916 Private Turvey was taken on strength of the 45th Battalion.

Private Turvey served with the 45th Battalion through its first action at Fleurbaix, France, in July 1916, then the Battle of the Somme around Pozieres, Mouquet Farm and Flers, without injury or illness.

His service record states that he was allocated the letter “A” to his regimental number on 22nd February 1917 on account of duplication of numbers.

Private Turvey was serving with the 45th Battalion when it was in action around Guedecourt, France, where on 27th February 1917 he was recommended for, and subsequently awarded, the Military Medal for bravery in the field, for his action on the 22nd/23rd February 1917.  This award was published in the London Gazette Supplement no. 30036 on 26th April 1917, and promulgated in the Commonwealth Gazette No. 133 on 21st August 1917.[3]

The citation for the Military Medal reads: “For his gallant conduct and devotion to duty during an attack on a enemy trench near Guedecourt on the night of 22/23rd Febry. 1917 when as a runner he maintained communication overland under artillery and machine gun fire between the front line and Headquarters. His work in this respect was quite consistent with his previous fine record established for coolness and determination in the face of all obstacles”.[4]

On 7th June 1917 the 45th Battalion was involved in an attack at Messines Ridge when Private Turvey received a gunshot wound to the abdomen.  He was one of 352 members of the 45th Battalion wounded during the attack.  Another 100 were killed and 50 missing.   He was evacuated to the 77th Field Ambulance, then to the 53rd Casualty Clearing Station.  On 9th June 1917 he was admitted to the 2nd Australian General Hospital at Wimereux.

On 11th June 1917 Private Turvey was placed aboard the Hospital Ship St Patrick for evacuation to England, and he was admitted to Royal Herbert Hospital at Woolwich with a gunshot wound to his right side on the same day.

On 22nd June 1917 Private Turvey was transferred to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield, England.

On 13th July 1917 he was discharged from hospital, and sent to the No. 2 Command Depot at Weymouth, England.

On 27th July 1917 Private Turvey commenced his return to Australia aboard the H.M.A.T. Demosthenes.

He arrived in Australia on 29th September 1917, and was discharged medically unfit on 1st November 1917.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, TURVEY THOMAS HENRY

[2] ‘Alleged Disloyal Conduct’, The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate, 3 December 1915, p. 4. Retrieved February 26, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77602826

[3] The London Gazette, 26 April 1917, Supplement 30036, p. 3948, https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/30036/supplement/3948 ; Commonwealth Gazette, No. 133, 21st August 1917, p. 1786, https://www.legislation.gov.au/content/HistoricGazettes1917 (and copy in service record)

[4] Australian War Memorial. Recommendation for Military Medal, Thomas Henry Turvey, 27th February 1917, https://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1625170/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Graham WATSON

John Graham WATSON

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4909), John Graham Watson was born at Katoomba, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 25 years, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer.  His description on his medical was height 5 feet 9 ½ inches tall, weight 162 lbs., with a medium complexion, blue eyes, and medium hair. His religious denomination was Church of England.  He claimed that he had no previous military service.

He appears to have mistakenly been named as ‘W. Watson’ in The Blue Mountain Echo as one of ‘the lads who answered the call, and marched out with the Coo-ees’ at Katoomba.[2]

He was attested at Springwood by Lieutenant F. Middenway on 8th November 1915 (when the Coo-ees were at Springwood), but did not complete his medical examination until 15th November 1915 at Liverpool.

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

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Bent Street, Katoomba, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his sister, Miss E. [Elsie] A. Watson, at the same address.

On 8th March 1916 Private Watson, along with many of the other Coo-ees, departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, and arrived in Egypt on 11th April 1916.

On 7th June 1916 Private Watson left Alexandria aboard the Transport Ionian bound for France, and he arrived at Marseilles on 14th June 1916.

Private Watson marched into the 13th Battalion on 19th August 1916 when it was resting and reorganising at Pernois, France.  (Fellow Coo-ee William Stirling Mason from Katoomba had joined the 13th Battalion in France on the same day).

A letter home from another Katoomba soldier, Reg. Duff, dated 15th September 1916, that was published in The Blue Mountain Echo, reported that ‘Snowy Mason and Jack Watson have joined the 13th Battalion’.[3]

On 10th October 1916 Private Watson was promoted to Lance Corporal in the field, in Belgium.

On 21st January 1917 he was promoted to Temporary Corporal.

On 4th February 1917 the 13th Battalion successfully attacked the German Front Line trenches near the village of Guedecourt, France.  During this attack T/Corporal Watson was wounded in action, receiving a gunshot wound to his right leg. (William Stirling Mason was also wounded in action with shrapnel wounds on the same day).  T/Corporal Watson was evacuated and admitted to the 10th General Hospital at Rouen, France, on 7th February 1917.  He also on this date reverted to the rank of Lance Corporal, on being wounded.

On 11th February 1917 Lance Corporal Watson was placed aboard the Hospital Ship Aberdonian for evacuation to England.  On 13th February 1917 he was admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital at Wandsworth.

On 2nd April 1917 he was transferred to the 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Dartford, England with a gunshot wound to his right foot.  He was discharged on 9th April 1917, and sent to the Number 2 Command Depot at Weymouth, England.

On 3rd May 1917 Lance Corporal Watson was admitted sick to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital at Bulford, England.  He was discharged on 21st June 1917, and returned to the Number 2 Command Depot.

On 29th of June 1917 Lance Corporal Watson was transferred to the Number 3 Command Depot at Hurdcott, England.  Soon after he was the sent to the Overseas Training Brigade at Perham Downs.

On 13th August 1917 he departed Southampton bound for France.  On 14th August 1917 he arrived at the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Le Harve.

On 16th of August 1917 Lance Corporal Watson was admitted to the 39th General Hospital sick.  He was discharged and sent back to the 4th Australian Division Base Depot on 24th August 1917.

On 1st September 1917 he marched into the 13th Battalion when it was resting and reorganising at Verte Rue in France.

On 24th October 1917 Lance Corporal Watson was with the 13th Battalion when it was preparing to move from Ypres to Rheninghelst in Belgium, when he was sent to the 3rd Australian Field Ambulance with gas poisoning, then moved back to the 17th Casualty Clearing Station.  On 26th October 1917 he was admitted to the 9th General Hospital at Rouen, France.  On 6th November 1917 he was placed aboard a hospital ship for evacuation to England.  On 7thth November 1917 he was admitted to the Winchester Military Hospital with severe gas poisoning.

On 7th February 1918 he was transferred to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield, England.

On 16th March 1918 Lance Corporal Watson departed England aboard the Transport Kanowna bound for Australia.

He arrived in Australia on 25th May 1918, and was discharged Medically Unfit on 26th July 1918.

[1] NAA: B2455, WATSON J G

[2] ‘March over the Mountains’, The Blue Mountain Echo, 12 November 1915, p. 2. Retrieved September 21, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108042142

[3] ‘The Soldiers’ Mailbag’, The Blue Mountain Echo, 10 November 1916, p. 1. Retrieved February 22, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108042760

 

William Stirling MASON

William Stirling MASON

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4839), William Stirling Mason was born at ‘Eketahana’ [i.e. Eketahuna], New Zealand.[1]  His middle name of “Stirling” is spelt “Sterling”on some sections of his service record, but it is spelt as “Stirling” in his signature.  He gave his age as 21 years and 8 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer.  His description on his medical was height 5 feet 6 inches tall, weight 8 stone 12 lbs., with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and light brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England.  He claimed that he had 12 months service in the Senior Cadets in New Zealand and he had been rejected for the AIF in the past for chest measurement.

The Blue Mountain Echo named ‘W. Mason’ as one of ‘the lads who answered the call, and marched out with the Coo-ees’ at Katoomba.[2]

He was attested at Springwood on 9th November 1915, and completed his medical examination on 9th November 1915 at Penrith, N.S.W.  (The Coo-ees had travelled from Springwood to Penrith on 9th November 1915).

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

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Waratah Street, Katoomba, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his father, W. [Walter] Mason, at the same address.

On 8th March 1916 Private Mason, along with many of the other Coo-ee,s departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, and arrived in Egypt on 11th April 1916.

It is not recorded when Private Mason departed Egypt, but he ended up in the 4th Training battalion in England.

On 30th July 1916 Private Mason departed Rollerstone in England bound for France.  He marched into the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples on 1st August 1916.

He joined the 13th Battalion on 19th August 1916 when it was resting and reorganising at Pernois, France.

On 4th February 1917 the 13th Battalion successfully attacked the German Front Line trenches near the village of Guedecourt, France.  During this attack Private Mason was wounded in action. receiving multiple shrapnel wounds to his right arm.  He was evacuated and admitted to the 3rd Canadian Stationary Hospital at Boulogne, France on 7th February 1917.

On 9th of February 1917 Private Mason was placed aboard the Hospital Ship Princess Elizabeth in Boulogne Harbour for evacuation to England.

On 10th February 1917 he was admitted to the Norfolk War Hospital.

Private Mason was discharged on 5th March 1917, and granted leave to report to the Number 4 Command Depot at Wareham, England, on 21st March 1917.

On 3rd April 1917 Private Mason was admitted to the Military Hospital at Wareham with measles.

On 12th April 1917 he was moved to the 16th Field Ambulance at Woolwich, then was admitted to the Woolwich Military Hospital later that day.  He was discharged and sent back to the Number 4 Command Depot on 21st April 1917.

On 27th April 1917 Private Mason was transferred to the newly formed 63rd Battalion at Pernham Downs (which was later disbanded on 19th October 1917).

On 12th September 1917 Private Mason departed Southampton bound for France, to reinforce the 13th Battalion.  He arrived at the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Le Harve on 13th September 1917.

On 21st September 1917 he departed the 4th Australian Division Base depot to rejoin the 13th Battalion.  On 30th September 1917 he marched into the 13th Battalion, when it was in the Steenvoorde area in northern France.

Two weeks later, on 16th October 1917, Private Mason was with the 13th Battalion manning the support line in the vicinity of Zonnebeke, Belgium, when he was wounded in action by Mustard Gas.  He was sent to the 11th Australian Field Ambulance with a blistered head, then moved back to the 3rd Australian Clearing Station.  He was placed aboard the 26th Ambulance Train and on 19th October 1917 he was admitted to the 3rd Stationary Hospital at Rouen, France.

On 22nd October 1917 he was placed aboard Hospital Ship Grantully Castle for evacuation to England.  On 24th October 1917 he was admitted to the Queen Mary Military Hospital at Whalley in Lancashire.

On 16th November 1917 Private Mason was discharged from hospital, and granted leave to report to the Number 1 Command Depot at Sutton Veny on 30th November 1917.

On 2nd January 1918 Private Mason marched into the Overseas Training Brigade at Longbridge, England from Number 1 Command Depot.

On 23rd January 1918 Private Mason departed Southampton bound for France.  He arrived at the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Le Harve on  24th January 1918.

On 26th January 1918 Private Mason departed the 4th Australian Division Base depot to rejoin the 13th Battalion.  On 30th January 1918 he marched into the Battalion when it was manning the front line in the vicinity of Hollebeke, Belgium.

On the 1st of March 1918 Private Mason was with the 13th Battalion being relieved by the 10th Battalion from the support lines when the enemy launched a trench raid. Private Mason’s company was caught in the enemy barrage and 5 men were killed, and 5 wounded, including Private Mason, who sustained a shrapnel wound to his forehead and another to his right hand.  Both were minor. He was sent to the 1st Australian Field Ambulance.  He was treated and rejoined the Battalion the next day.

On 13th of November 1918 Private Mason was granted leave from France to England until 28th November 1918.

While on leave in England, on 17th November 1918 was admitted to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield, England, suffering Bronchitis.  This was reported as ‘Influenza seriously ill’ on 20th November 1918.

Private Mason was discharged on 6th of December 1918 and granted leave to report back to the Hospital at Harefield on  11th December 1918.  He was discharged on 14th December 1918, and sent to the Number 2 Command Depot at Weymouth, England.

On 18th January 1919 Private Mason departed England aboard the H.M.A.T. Ulysses bound for Australia.  He arrived in Australia on 15th March 1919.

The Blue Mountain Echo reported that Private ‘Will Mason’, along with other returning local soldiers, was presented with a smoker’s outfit at a welcome home function held at the Katoomba Town Hall on 31st March 1919.[3]

Private Mason was discharged Medically Unfit on 1st May 1919.

[1] NAA: B2455, MASON WILLIAM STIRLING

[2] ‘March over the Mountains’, The Blue Mountain Echo, 12 November 1915, p. 2. Retrieved September 21, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108042142  [on page 3]

[3] ‘A Royal Welcome. Katoomba’s Heroes Received. A Memorable Evening’, The Blue Mountain Echo, 4 April 1919, p. 1. Retrieved February 19, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108245995