Tag Archives: Parkes recruits

William Charles WALKER

William Charles WALKER

Per his initial military service record (4616), William Charles Walker was born at Norfolk, England. He gave his age as 22 years and 10 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 6 ½ inches tall, weight 10 stone 4 lbs, with a medium fair complexion, brown eyes, and dark brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He had a tattoo mark of clasped hands and English and American flags on his right forearm. He completed his medical at Molong on 22nd October 1915, and was attested by Captain Nicholas at Molong (8 miles east) on 22nd October 1915. He claimed to have no previous military experience.

It was reported in The Western Champion that the Parkes Recruiting Association had held a recruiting meeting ‘for the purpose of enrolling recruits who were willing to join the volunteers now on the way, by road, from Gilgandra to Sydney’, and that ‘five men had mounted the lorry in response to the appeal’, and that ‘one of them went on to Dubbo’, with the remaining four planning to proceed to Molong to join the contingent.[1] William Charles Walker was one of the four recruits sent by the Parkes Recruiting Association to join the Coo-ees at Molong.

After completing the march he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Wayvilla, Melford Street, Hurlstone Park, Sydney, N,S,W., and his next of kin is listed as his father, M. Walker, 6th St. Clement Street, Barnsbury, London, England.

On 16th February 1916 Private Walker was one of the first group of Coo-ees to embark overseas, and departed Sydney on the HMAT Ballarat A70 as 14th reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

HMAT Ballarat A70, 18/2/1916. Photograph from the AWM Collection PB0182.

HMAT Ballarat A70, 18/2/1916. Photograph from the AWM Collection PB0182.

The HMAT Ballarat A70 arrived in Egypt on 22nd March 1916. On 1st April 1916 Private Walker was transferred to the 54th Battalion.

On 19th June 1916 Private Walker left Alexandria aboard H.T. Caledonian bound for France, and arrived at Marseilles on 29th June 1916.

Just three weeks later, on 19th/20th July 1916 Private Walker was wounded in action during the Battle of Fromelles, receiving a gunshot wound to his right arm. On 22nd July 1916 he was placed aboard the Hospital Ship Cambria at Boulogne, bound for England. On 23rd July 1916 he was admitted to the Southwark Military Hospital at East Dulwich, England.

He was discharged from hospital on 18th September 1916 and marched into the 14th Training Battalion.

His service record holds a certified extract of a marriage certificate for William Charles Walker and Jessie Elizabeth Browning at the Parish of St. James Church, Islington, dated 16th December 1916.

On 22nd February 1917 Private Walker was charged with being absent without leave from Tattoo on 2nd February 1917 till 0850 on 18th February 1917. He was awarded 17 days detention and fined 31 days pay.

On 16th March 1917 Private Walker was admitted to the Wareham Isolation Hospital suffering from Mumps. He was discharged and sent to the Number 4 Command Depot on 4th April 1917.

On 28th April 1917 Private Walker was charged with being absent without leave from Tattoo from 18th April 1917 until 22rd April 1917. He was awarded 6 days Field Punishment Number 2 and fined 16 days pay.

On 10th May 1917 Private Walker was transferred to the 61st Battalion.

On 6th July 1917 Private Walker went before a District Court Martial at Hurdcott charged with being absent without leave from Tattoo from 12th May 1917 till apprehended by the Military Police at 2030 on 12th June 1917. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 60 days detention and fined 115 days pay. He was sent to the Wadsworth detention barracks to undergo his sentence. He was released from Wadsworth Detention Barracks on 27th August 1917 and marched into the 61st Battalion.

On 13th September 1917 Private Walker departed Southampton bound for France, to reinforce the 54th Battalion. He marched into his unit in the 54th Battalion in France on 2nd October 1917.

On 30th January 1918 Private Walker was charged with being absent without leave from 9 pm on 21st November 1917 till apprehended by the Military Police at 11 am on 11th December 1917. He was awarded 24 days Field Punishment Number 2 and fined 45 days pay.

A letter in his service record from his mother dated 15th October 1919 advised that his father, Matthew Walker, was killed in an air raid in London on 28th January 1918.

On 5th February 1918 Private Walker proceeded to the UK on leave. On 20th February 1918 he was granted an extension of leave from 20th to 27th February 1918.

On 4th April 1918 Private Walker went before a District Court Martial held at 58 Warwick Square, London, charged with being absent without leave in that he failed to report to the RTO at Victoria Station at 7.30am on 27th February 1918 until he surrendered himself to the civil police on 24th March 1918. He was fined 37 days pay.

On 23rd April 1918 Private Walker went before another District Court Martial held at Warwick Square charged with deserting His Majesty’s Service on 7th April 1918 by failing to proceed overseas to join his unit in France as it was his duty to do and remained absent without leave till apprehended by the Civil Police in London on 15th April 1918. He pleaded not guilty and was found guilty. He was sentenced to 6 months detention and fined 199 days pay.

On 24th April 1918 Private Walker marched into the Lewes Detention barracks to undergo his sentence.

On 15th August 1918 he was discharged from detention with the remainder of his sentence suspended, to march into Number 1 Command Depot at Sutton Veny, England.

His service record shows that he was reported absent without leave again a week later.

On 12th November 1918 Private Walker went before a District Court Martial charged with being absent without leave from 2359 on 22nd August 1918 till 0730 on 3rd October 1918 (when he returned), then being absent without leave from 0900 on 12th October 1918 till 0930 on 2nd November 1918. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 120 days detention.

On 27th November 1918 Private Walker marched into the Lewes Detention barracks to undergo his sentence. On 13th February 1919 he was released from detention with the remainder of his sentence suspended, to the 54th Battalion.

On 6th March 1919 Private Walker was charged with being absent without leave from 1400 on 17th February 1919 till 1700 on 28th February 1919. The matter was dismissed.

On 15th March 1919 Private Walker was charged with being absent without leave from 0900 on 11th March 1919 till 1200 on 14th March 1919. He was awarded 5 days Field Punishment Number 2 and fined 9 days pay.

On 19th April 1919 Private Walker was charged with being absent without leave from 13th April 1919 to 17th April 1919. The case was dismissed.

On 17th July 1919 Private Walker was admitted to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield, England. He was discharged on 21st July 1919.

On 24th August 1919 Private Walker was “granted indefinite leave awaiting, awaiting a family ship”.

Private Walker applied for discharge in the U.K., his reason stated in his Application for a Discharge in a Country other than Australia, dated 8th September 1919, as: “My wife now being pregnant I think it wise for me to stay in England. My mother also getting on in years and her being a widow, I think it my duty to try and comfort her, but if returned to Australia, it would cause inconvenience on both sides. I can obtain employment, my relations are holding business in London. I must note the fact that my father was killed in an Air Raid over London on 28.1.18”.

This application was approved, and he was discharged in London on 18th December 1919.

[1] ‘Marching to Sydney’, Western Champion, 21 October 1915, p. 19, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article112309615

 

 

Patrick Joseph O’LOUGHLIN (O’LOUGHLEN)

Patrick Joseph O’LOUGHLIN (O’LOUGHLEN)

Per his initial military service record (Depot), Patrick O’Loughlin was born at Ballyvaugan, County Clare, Ireland. He gave his age as 27 years and 8 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as laborer. His description on his medical was height 6 feet tall, weight 13 stone, with a medium complexion, light brown eyes, and black hair. His religious denomination was Roman Catholic. He completed his medical at Molong on 22nd October 1915, and was attested by Captain Nicholas at Molong (8 miles east) on the 22nd October 1915. He claimed to have no previous military experience.

The postal address he gave on his initial Application to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force form at Molong on 22nd October 1915 was Tattersalls Hotel, Gilgandra N.S.W.

It was reported in The Western Champion (21/10/1915, p. 19) that the Parkes Recruiting Association had held a recruiting meeting ‘for the purpose of enrolling recruits who were willing to join the volunteers now on the way, by road, from Gilgandra to Sydney’, and that ‘five men had mounted the lorry in response to the appeal’, and that ‘one of them went on to Dubbo’, with the remaining four planning to proceed to Molong to join the contingent. Patrick O’Loughlin was one of the four recruits sent by the Parkes Recruiting Association to join the Coo-ees at Molong.

The Gilgandra Weekly newspaper reported on 3 December 1915 (p. 10) that O’Loughlin had enlisted at Parkes, and joined the Coo-ee March at Molong, and had said that “a mate of mine told me that the Mayor of Parkes was offering £5 to every man who would join the Coo-ees’ march. I went in search of the Mayor and found him at the Parkes railway station. I asked him if what I had been told was true, and he said Yes, I am giving five pounds to every man who joins the Coo-ees from Parkes, and passes the medical man with the route march. He then paid my train fare to Molong, and I caught the train and joined the Coo-ees at Molong.”

After completing the Coo-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion. However on the 17th November 1915 Private O’Loughlin went before a Medical Board where they recommended his discharge due to Varicose Veins. On the 29th November 1915 Private O’Loughlin was discharged as medically unfit.

In the official correspondence of the march held in the Mitchell Library collection, there is a receipt for £5 made out to P. O’Loughlin dated 16th November 1915 with note ‘Parkes townspeoples honorarium’, and an undated letter from O’Loughlin addressed to Mr A. H.Miller, Secretary of the Gilgandra Recruitment Association, about his non-payment after he was discharged, which had his address at the time listed as being Millthorpe Grand Western Hotel.

A year after his initial enlistment in the Coo-ee March, he re-enlisted at Dubbo Military Camp under the name of Patrick Joseph O’Loughlin, with regimental no. 7048, on the 27th October 1916. He completed (and passed) his medical, and was attested, that same day. He gave his age as 28 years and 8 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as laborer. His description on his medical this time was a height of 6 feet 0 ¾ inches, weight 172 lbs, with a fair complexion, brown eyes, and black hair.

On the 3rd November 1916 Private O’Loughlin was transferred from Dubbo Depot Batalion to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 3rd Battalion.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was P.O., Dubbo, N.S.W, and his next of kin is listed as mother, Mrs M. O’Brien, Corkscrew Hill, Bally Vaughan, Clare, Ireland.

On the 9th November 1916 Private O’Loughlin departed Sydney on the HMAT A24 Benalla, arriving at Devonport, England, on the 9th January 1917, marching into the 1st Training Battalion at Durrington.

On the 16th May 1917 Private O’Loughlin was charged with being Absent Without Leave from reville on the 30th April, till apprehended by the Military Police at Waterford at 8.30 pm on the 7th May 1917. He was also charged with attempting to escape from escort by jumping from a train whilst in motion. He was awarded 14 days Field Punishment number two and forfeiture of 30 days pay and spent eight days in custody awaiting trial.

On the 14th June 1917 Private O’Loughlin marched out of the 1st Training Battalion and departed for France from Southampton. On the 15th June 1917 Private O’Loughlin marched into the 1st Division Base Depot at Le Havre. On the 28th June 1917 he departed the 1st Division Base Depot and marched into the 3rd Battalion on the 3rd July 1917 whilst it was conducting training in the vicinity of Mesnil, France.

On the 18th September 1917 the 3rd Battalion was at Dickebusch, near Ypres, in Belgium, when Private O’Loughlin was killed in action, only three months after arriving at the Western Front.

Private O’Loughlin has no known grave, and is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium, under the name O’LOUGHLEN P. J.

 

O’Loughen J P on 3rd Battalion Australian Infantry panel [third row in centre on right] at the Menin Gate Memorial, Ieper, Belgium (Photograph: H. Thompson 11/9/2012)

O’Loughlen P. J. on 3rd Battalion Australian Infantry panel [name in centre of the row on the right] at the Menin Gate Memorial, Ieper, Belgium (Photograph: H. Thompson 11/9/2012)

His name is recorded as Patrick Joseph O’LOUGHLEN on the Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour database.

Patrick O’Loughlin’s name is also recorded on the Coo-ee March Memorial Gateway at Molong as one of the five men from Molong who joined the Coo-ee March on 22nd October 1915.

Reginald Henry CHAMBERLAIN

Reginald Henry CHAMBERLAIN

Reginald Henry Chamberlain enlisted four times during the First World War.

Per his military service record (regimental no. 3021), Reginald Henry Chamberlain was born at Sydney, N.S.W. He gave his age as 24 years and 5 months (at the time of his 1917 application), his marital status as single, and his occupation as motor mechanic.

He first joined on 5th November 1914, completing his medical at Liverpool on 6th November 1914, and his attestation at Liverpool on 9th November 1914. He stated he had no previous military experience on this application form. However, he was discharged as “unlikely to become an efficient soldier” on 20th November 1914.

He joined again on 7th December 1914, completing his medical and attestation at Liverpool on 9th December 1914. He was discharged on 29th December 1914 with varicocele.

Reginald Henry Chamberlain joined again on 29th July 1915, completing his medical at Sydney on 29th July 1915, and his attestation at Liverpool on 5th August 1915. The date of discharge is not shown for this enlistment period in his service record.

However, he joined again at Parkes, undertaking his medical and attestation at Parkes on 11th October 1915. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 5 ¾ inches tall, weight 123 lbs., with a medium complexion, blue/grey eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England.  He gave his age on this application to enlist form as 22 years and 11 months. Private Chamberlain was one of two recruits (along with Joseph Armstrong who joined at Parkes on the 11th October 1915), who travelled to Dubbo on the morning on Wednesday 13th October 1915, along with three others who entered Dubbo Military Camp (Western Champion, 14/10/1915, p. 18).

It was reported in The Western Champion (21/10/1915, p. 17) that the Parkes Recruiting Association had held a recruiting meeting ‘for the purpose of enrolling recruits who were willing to join the volunteers now on the way, by road, from Gilgandra to Sydney’, and that ‘five men had mounted the lorry in response to the appeal’, and that ‘one of them went on to Dubbo’, with the remaining four planning to proceed to Molong to join the continent.

However, the recruit who was sent to Dubbo by Parkes Recruiting Association to join the Coo-ees is not named anywhere in newspaper reports or in the official correspondence of the march held in the Mitchell Library. It appears one of them (Chamberlain or Armstrong) had a change of heart and decided to join the Coo-ees on their march to Sydney, instead of entering Dubbo Military Camp.

After completing the Coo-ee March Private Armstrong went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion. However, he was discharged again as being medically unfit on 29th November 1915 before a medical board at Liverpool with varicocele.

On his fourth attempt at enlistment, he successfully completed his medical and attestation on 22nd January 1917 in Sydney. On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Sydney, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed (as on his earlier applications to enlist) as his brother William Thomas Chamberlain, 19 Clevedon Road, Parnell, Auckland, N.Z.

Private Chamberlain departed Sydney on the HMAT A24 Benalla on 10th May 1917 as 7th Reinforcement for the 36th Battalion. He disembarked at Plymouth, England on the 19th July 1917. On 20th July he marched into 9th Training Battalion in England.

He proceeded to France on the 27th December 1917 from Southampton.

He marched out to the Front on 30th December 1917. On the 3rd January 1918 he was taken on strength in the 36th Battalion, and re-allocated regimental number 3021A.

He was appointed Lance Corporal on 20th February 1918.

On 30th April 1918 L/Corporal Chamberlain was transferred to the 35th Battalion. He was also wounded in action, being gassed, on the same day, and admitted to the 9th Australian Field Ambulance. He was transferred to the 12th Casualty Clearing Station on 2nd May, then to the 3rd Australian General Hospital in Abbeville on the 6th May 1918.

He embarked for England on 1lth May 1918, and was admitted to Whipps Cross Military Hospital in Leytonstone for shell gas.

He was transferred to the 1st Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, on 27th May 1918.

He was discharged from hospital on 29th May 1918, then after being granted furlough, marched into No. 4 Command Depot, Hurdcott on 12th June 1918.

On 16th January 1919 he reverted to the rank of Private on being taken on strength of A.M.T.S. (Australian Motor Transport Section) and was mustered as Driver M.T.

He was discharged from the A.I.F. in London on being demobilized on 5th October 1919, but following his request for reinstatement, was then reinstated in the A.I.F. on 27th October 1919.

Private Reginald Henry Chamberlain returned to Australia on 18th December 1919 on the HT Konigin Luise, disembarking in Sydney on 7th February 1919.

He was discharged on 21st March 1920.

Joseph ARMSTRONG

Joseph ARMSTRONG

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4430), Joseph Armstrong was born at Bally-Bofey, Ireland. He gave his age as 43 years and 5 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer. He did a preliminary medical examination at Condobolin on 8th October 1915, then completed his medical, and attestation, at Parkes on 12th October, 1915. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 7 ½ inches tall, weight 162 lbs., with a fresh complexion, blue grey eyes, and light brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He claimed to have served in the 3rd N.S.W. Imperial Bushmen for 2 ½ years in the Boer War.

Private Armstrong was one of two recruits (along with Reginald Henry Chamberlain who joined at Parkes on the 11th October 1915), who travelled to Dubbo on the morning on Wednesday 13th October 1915, along with three others who entered Dubbo Military Camp (Western Champion, 14/10/1915, p. 18).

It was reported in The Western Champion (21/10/1915, p. 17) that the Parkes Recruiting Association had held a recruiting meeting ‘for the purpose of enrolling recruits who were willing to join the volunteers now on the way, by road, from Gilgandra to Sydney’, and that ‘five men had mounted the lorry in response to the appeal’, and that ‘one of them went on to Dubbo’, with the remaining four planning to proceed to Molong to join the contingent.

However, the recruit who was sent to Dubbo by Parkes Recruiting Association to join the Coo-ees is not named anywhere in newspaper reports or in the official correspondence of the march held in the Mitchell Library. It appears one of them (Armstrong or Chamberlain) had a change of heart and decided to join the Coo-ees on their march to Sydney, instead of entering Dubbo Military Camp.

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

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was 125 Flinders Street, Sydney, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his cousin, Mrs E. Phillips, 125 Flinders Street, Sydney, N.S.W.

Private Armstrong departed Sydney on the HMAT A70 Ballarat on 16th February 1916 as 14th Reinforcement for the 13th Battalion. He arrived in Egypt on the 22nd March 1916. On the 1st April 1916 he was transferred to the 54th Battalion.

He embarked on the HT Caledonian at Alexandria on 19th June 1916, and disembarked at Marseilles, France, on 29th June 1916.

He was initially reported killed in action on 19th July 1916 at the Battle of Fromelles in France.  However he had been wounded with a bullet wound to the buttock and thigh during this battle, and taken a prisoner by the Germans. On 19th October 1916  he was officially reported as a Prisoner of War, at Wurzburg, Germany.

After the end of the war he was repatriated, arriving in England on 30th December 1918. He then returned to Australia leaving Weymouth on the transport Karoa on 28th March 1919, arriving in Australia on 10th May 1919.  He was medically discharged on 24th June 1919.