Mr George John Gilmour, of Rose Street, Chatswood, was a former resident of the Gilgandra district, and a director of The Land newspaper. Following a visit to meet the Coo-ees when they were in Lawson, he arranged for funds to be raised to purchase sheepskin vests for the Coo-ees, which were presented to them on Friday 14th January 1916 at Her Majesty’s Theatre.
According to an article in The Land newspaper (31 March 1916), Mr Gilmour also proposed to collect ‘records of the march’, for ‘purposes of record in the Mitchell Library’, which would include ‘the photograph, signature, place of enlistment, and country addresses of each member of this, the first of the route marches, together with the relevant original correspondence’ in ‘consultation with Mr. Hugh Wright, the Librarian, Mr. H. P. Williams, Managing Editor of “The Land”, and Mr. Palmer of the Immigration and Tourist Bureau’. The article also stated that ‘Mr. Palmer, who as a member of Headquarters Staff, was closely associated with the Gilgandra march, already has in his possession a card containing the autographs of the officers and men, obtained when the “Coo-ees” were the guests of Katoomba, and this will be incorporated with the record of the march.’
I contacted the State Library of New South Wales regarding these records a few months ago, but unfortunately it appears that they were not collected and given to the Mitchell Library, which has no record of receiving them.
It was a commendable proposal, but the majority of the Coo-ees by this time had already left for Egypt in February and early March 1916.