Tag Archives: Richard Evans

Richard EVANS

Richard EVANS

Per his military service record (regimental no. 5368), Richard Evans was born at Deniliquin, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 26 years and 3 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer.  His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 5 ½ inches tall, weight 154 lbs., 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, and was attested by Lieutenant F. Middenway, at Ashfield on 11th November 1915 (the day the Coo-ees marched from Parramatta to Ashfield).

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

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Robinson Street, Croydon, N.S.W., and his next of kin was listed as his mother, Mrs A. [Annie] Evans, at the same address.[2]

On 9th April 1916 Private Evans departed Sydney on the HMAT Nestor A71 with the 17th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion (along with several other Coo-ees), bound for Egypt.

Photograph of HMAT A71 Nestor loaded with troops on an earlier voyage, taken 11 October 1915. Part of the Australian War Memorial Collection. PB0607.

He arrived in Egypt on 15th May 1916. He was immediately admitted sick to the 31st General Hospital at Port Said, Egypt.

On 21st July 1916 he was transferred to the Lowland Field Ambulance, then was admitted to the Government School Hospital at Port Said. He was discharged on 25th July 1916.

On 6th August 1916 Private Evans left Alexandria aboard the Transport Megantic, bound for England.

On 19th August 1916 he was admitted sick to the Military Hospital at Fargo, England.

On 24th August 1916 Private Evans was admitted to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital at Bulford, England.

On 17th November 1916 he was transferred to the Military Hospital at Parkhouse, England.

He was discharged from Hospital on 28th February 1917, and marched into the No. 4 Command Depot at Wareham, England.

On 12th March 1917 Private Evans was charged with absenting himself from Parade on 9th March 1917 without permission. He was awarded 48 hours detention.

On 27th March 1917 he was charged with neglecting to obey Depot Orders on 26th March 1917. He was awarded 3 days Field Punishment No. 2.

On 3rd April 1917 he was charged with being absent without leave from 30th March 1917 till 2nd April 1917. He was awarded 7 days Field Punishment No. 2, and fined 11 days pay.

On 7th April 1917 Private Evans marched into the Drafting and Hardening Depot at Perham Downs, England.

On 15th April 1917 he marched into the 4th Training Battalion at Codford, England, under escort.

On 8th May 1917 Private Evans was charged with breaking isolation, drunkenness and being absent without leave from 8 a.m. 7th May 1917 till 10 p.m. 7th May 1917. He was awarded 10 days Field Punishment No. 2, and fined 11 days pay.

On 9th May 1917 Private Evans departed Folkestone, England, bound for France. He marched into the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples, France, on 10th May 1917.

Private Evans joined the 13th Battalion on 13th May 1917, when it was training at Ribemont, France.[3]

Four days later, on 17th May 1917 Private Evans was evacuated to the 53rd Casualty Clearing Station with a condition not yet diagnosed. On 21st May 1917 he was transferred to the 2nd Australian General Hospital at Wimereux, France, with Bronchitis and Influenza.

On 24th May 1917 Private Evans was placed aboard Hospital Ship Jan Breydel at Boulogne for evacuation to England. He was admitted to the Duston War Hospital at Northampton, England. On 29th August 1917 he was transferred to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield, England, with Influenza.

He was discharged on 3rd September 1917 and marched into the No. 2 Command Depot at Weymouth, England.

Private Evans commenced his return to Australia on 31st October 1917 aboard the H.M.A.T. Berrima, arriving in Australia on 30th December 1918.

He was discharged medically unfit on 21st February 1918, with defective vision.

He re-enlisted in the A.I.F. at Liverpool on 12th April 1918, and was assigned to Camp Supply Depot for home service.  Driver Evans was discharged at his own request on 4th May 1918.


[1] NAA: B2455, EVANS R

[2] Australian War Memorial. First World War Embarkation Roll, Richard Evans,  5368.

[3] Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries, 1914-18 War – AWM4 Subclass 23/30 – 13th Infantry Battalion, May 1917.

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.