Tag Archives: Thomas Lipscombe



Per his military service record (regimental no. 4826), Thomas Lipscombe was born at Collingwood, Victoria.[1] He gave his age as 35 years and 7 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer. His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was [height not recorded], weight 161 lbs., with a fair complexion, brown eyes, and fair 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 of Persons Enlisted for Service Abroad form was 9th November 1915 (the day the Coo-ees marched from Springwood to Penrith). The Oath to the taken by person being enlisted section on his Attestation Paper was dated from 9th November 1915. His Statement of Service in his service record is also dated from 9th November 1915, so it appears he may have joined the Coo-ee March on this day.

He completed his medical examination at Ashfield on 11th November 1915, and was attested at Ashfield by Lieutenant F. Middenway on the 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 6th January 1916 Private Lipscombe was charged with being absent without leave from the Liverpool Camp from 9th December 1915 to 3rd January 1916. He was fined.

On 5th February 1916 Private Lipscombe was charged with being absent without leave from the Liverpool Camp for 5 days. He was fined 25 shillings.

The Dubbo Dispatch and Wellington Independent reported on 3rd March 1916 that ‘’Private T. Lipscombe has been in town the past few days taking farewell of his friends prior to preceeding to the front, whither he expects to sail next week’.[2]

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was his address was Australian Hotel, Dubbo.[3]  His next of kin was listed as friend, ‘P. J. Kennay’, Australian Hotel, Dubbo, N.S.W.  [This was probably P.J. Kennedy, licencee of the Austalian Hotel, Dubbo].[4]

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

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

On 16th April 1916 Private Lipscombe was transferred to the 4th Division Artillery at Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt.

On 22nd May 1916 he was transferred to the 110th Battery.

On 1st  June 1916 he was designated a Driver, and transferred to the 10th Field Artillery Brigade.

On 5th June 1916 Driver Lipscombe left Alexandria aboard the HMT Oriana bound for France.  He arrived at Marseilles on 13th June 1916.

On 22nd January 1918 Driver Lipscombe went on leave to Paris.  He returned to the 10th Field Artillery Brigade on the 3rd of February 1918.

However, he had overstayed his leave, and had been due back on the 30th of January 1918.  He was arrested and held in detention.  Driver Lipscombe was found guilty of being absent without leave at a Court Martial held on 3th February 1918.  He was awarded 28 days Field Punishment No. 2 and fined 42 days pay.

On 18th August 1918 Driver Lipscombe was granted leave to England. He returned to the 10th Field Artillery Brigade in France on 9th September 1918.

On 3rd December 1918 Driver Lipscombe departed France, bound for England to commence his return to Australia. He arrived at Folkestone, England, later that day.

On 9th January 1919 Driver Lipscombe was charged with being absent without leave from 2359 on 7th January 1919 till 2120 on 8th January 1919. He was fined 1 days pay.

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

He arrived in Sydney on 3rd April 1919.

He was discharged medically unfit on 18th July 1919.



[2] Our Soldiers. (1916, March 3). Dubbo Dispatch and Wellington Independent (NSW : 1887 – 1932), p. 1. Retrieved April 7, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article228634920

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

[4] AUSTRALIAN HOTEL. (1917, December 4). Dubbo Dispatch and Wellington Independent (NSW : 1887 – 1932), p. 1. Retrieved April 7, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article228195676


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.