Tag Archives: Thomas Delaney



Per his military service record (regimental no. 4764), Thomas Delaney was born at Parramatta, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 31 years and 1 month, his marital status as married, and his occupation as labourer. His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 3 inches tall, weight 119 lbs., with a medium complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He claimed that he had no previous military service.

His ‘Joined on’ date on his Attestation Paper was 11th November 1915 (the day the Coo-ees marched from Parramatta to Ashfield). He completed his medical examination and was attested at Ashfield on 11th November 1915.

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

‘Tom Delaney’ was one of 14 ‘local boys’ (along with several other Coo-ees) to be presented with a sheepskin vest and a money belt, and a wristlet watch, at a farewell held in the Elite Hall in Guildford on Thursday 9th December 1915.[2]

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Woodville Road, Guildford, N.S.W., and his next of kin was listed as his wife, Mrs R. M. Delaney, at the same address.[3]

On 8th March 1916 Private Delaney, along with many of the other Coo-ees, departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.

Troopship HMAT A15 Star of England. Australian War Memorial Collection AWM H17014.

He arrived in Egypt on 11th April 1916.

On 16th April 1916 he transferred to the 4th Pioneer Battalion at Tel El Kebir, Egypt.

On 4th June 1916 Private Delaney left Alexandria aboard the Transport Scotian bound for France.  He arrived at Marseilles on 11th June 1916.

He served with the 4th Pioneer Battalion in France and Belgium.

On the 24th of January 1917 the 4th Pioneer Battalion was conducting works in the vicinity of Longueval, France when Private Delany was admitted to the 13th Australian Field Ambulance, then transferred to the ANZAC Corps Rest Station with Rheumatism.[4] On 31st January 1917 he was transferred by Ambulance Train to the 2nd General Hospital where he was admitted on 1st February 1917, and diagnosed with Myalgia.

On 25th February 1917 Private Delaney was sent to the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples, France.

On 14th March 1917 he rejoined the 4th Pioneer Battalion when it was resting in the vicinity of Longueval, France.[5]

On 23rd July 1917 Private Delaney was detached to the 2nd ANZAC Corps School.

Private Delaney rejoined the Battalion on 15th August 1917 when it was conducting works in the vicinity of Kemmel Hill, Belgium.[6]

On 21st September 1918 Private Delaney was granted leave to England.

On 7th October 1918, whilst on leave, Private Delaney was admitted to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital at Bulford, England, sick. He was discharged from hospital to the Convalescent Training Depot at Parkhouse, England, on 11th November 1918.

Private Delaney marched into the No.1 Command Depot at Sutton Veny, England, on 26th November 1918.

On 15th January 1919 Private Delaney commenced his return to Australia aboard the HMAT City of Exeter.

He arrived in Australia on 6th March 1919.  He was discharged Medically Unfit on 20th March 1919.


[1] NAA B2455, DELANEY T

[2] FAREWELLING. (1915, December 11). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), p. 5. Retrieved November 15, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86106306

[3] Australian War Memorial. First World War Embarkation Rolls, Thomas Delaney, HMAT Star of England A15, 8th March 1916.

[4] Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries, 1914-18 War, AWM AWM4 Subclass 14/16 – 4th Australian Pioneer Battalion, AWM4 14/16/11 – January 1917 ; NAA B2455, DELANEY T

[5] Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries, 1914-18 War, AWM AWM4 Subclass 14/16 – 4th Australian Pioneer Battalion AWM4 14/16/13 – March 1917

[6] Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries, 1914-18 War, AWM AWM4 Subclass 14/16 – 4th Australian Pioneer Battalion, AWM4 14/16/18 – August 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.