Tag Archives: William Webber

Honour Roll

Coo-ee March Roll of Honour

Stephen and I have found through our research on the 263 men who were recruited on the 1915 Gilgandra to Sydney Coo-ee March, that 41 of them died while on active service overseas during WWI.

Stephen and I visited the graves of the fallen Coo-ees in France, Belgium and England in 2012, 2014, and 2016. During our 2016 visit we took a travelling wreath to rest on  each of their graves.  The Coo-ee March 2015 Inc. (Gilgandra Sub-Committee) provided the purple Coo-ee “badge” ribbon that we placed on our wreath, which had been created to be worn by the marchers during the 2015 Coo-ee March Re-enactment in memory of the purple “badges” worn by the original Coo-ees during the 1915 Coo-ee March.  We left an Australian flag and a commemorative information card on each of their graves.

4730 Private Harold BAXTER

45th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

Harold Baxter’s headstone, at Bancourt British Cemetery, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 9/9/2016)

Harold Baxter was born at Illford, Essex, England.  He gave his age as 22 years and 4 months (though he was actually only 18 years and 4 months at the time), his marital status as single, and his occupation as a farm labourer, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Gilgandra. He was attested at Gilgandra on 9th October 1915, and completed his medical examination on the 10th October 1915 at Gilgandra.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England on 8th March 1916, with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  He was transferred to the 45th Battalion in Egypt on 19th April 1916.

Private Baxter was killed in action on 22nd November 1916, near Guedecourt, France.  His age at death is listed at 20 years on his headstone, but he was only 19 year and 6 months of age when de died.

He was buried at the Bancourt British Cemetery, at Bancourt, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2014/05/01/harold-baxter/

 

4460 Private Charles William Gordon CONROY

54th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

“CONROY C. W.” name on V. C. Corner Cemetery and Memorial (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 10/9/2016)

Charles William Gordon Conroy was born at Thames, New Zealand.  He gave his age as 41 years and 6 months, his marital status as married, and his occupation as chemist, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Orange.  He was attested, and completed his medical examination, at Orange on 25th October 1915.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A70 Ballarat on 16th February 1916, with the 14th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  He was transferred to the 54th Australian Infantry Battalion in Egypt on 1st April 1916.

Private Conroy was killed in action on 19th/20th July 1916, during the Battle of Fromelles, aged 42 years.

He has no known grave.  His name is remembered on Panel 10 at the V.C. Corner  Australian Cemetery and Memorial at Fromelles, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2015/04/07/charles-william-gordon-conroy/

 

4757 Private Bernard COYTE

13th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

Bernard Coyte’s headstone at Jeancourt Communal Cemetery Extension, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 9/9/2016)

Bernard Coyte was born at Borenore, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 21 years and 1 month, his marital status as single, and his occupation as farmer & labourer when he enlisted.  He completed his medical examination and was attested at Orange on 14th October 1915. He joined the Coo-ee March when the Coo-ees arrived at Orange on 23rd October 1915.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England on 8th March 1916, with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.

Private Coyte was killed in action on 18th September 1918, in the vicinity of Le Verguier, France, aged 24 years.

He was buried at the Jeancourt Communal Cemetery Extension at Jeancourt, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2015/03/31/bernard-coyte/

 

4753 Private James CRAWFORD

13th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

James Crawford’s headstone, Contay British Cemetery, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 8/9/2016)

James Crawford was born in Glasgow, Scotland.  He gave his age as 38 years, his marital status as single, and his occupation as farmer, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Gilgandra.  He completed his medical on 8th October 1915 at Gilgandra, and was attested on 9th October 1915 at Gilgandra.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England on 8th March 1916, with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.

Private Crawford was wounded in action near Mouquet Farm, France, on 31st August 1916.  He died of his wounds at the 49th Casualty Clearing Station on 3rd September 1916, aged 46 years.

He was buried at the Contay British Cemetery at Contay, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2014/05/30/james-crawford/

 

Lieutenant Harry DAVENPORT

4th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

Swendson H. (served as Davenport H.) name in Lieutenant section on 4th Bn. Australian Infantry Battalion panel at the Menin Gate Memorial, Ieper (Ypres), Belgium (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 11/9/2012)

Harry Davenport (aka Harry Swendson) stated on his Attestation Paper that he was born in Toronto, Canada ( but he was actually born at Hawthorn, Atchison County, Kansas).  He gave his age as 41 years (though he appears to have been several years younger), his marital status as widower, and his occupation as billiard table proprietor, when he enlisted.  He was on of the men who stepped forward and gave his name when the Coo-ees recruited in Wongarbon on 14th October 1915.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Orange.  He completed his medical examination, and was attested at Orange on 24th October 1915.

After attending the A.I.F. Officer Training School at Duntroon, Second Lieutenant Davenport embarked for active service from Sydney on SS Port Nicholson on 8th November 1916, as part of the 22nd reinforcement for the 4th Infantry Battalion.  He was promoted to Lieutenant on 16th July 1917.

Lieutenant Davenport  was wounded in action on 4th October 1917, at Broodseinde Ridge, Belgium.  He died of his wounds that same day, aged 35 years.  He was buried at Broodenside Ridge, however his grave marker was destroyed in further fighting.

He has no known grave.  His name is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2014/12/21/harry-davenport-aka-harry-swendson/

 

4759 Private Harold Brooks DAVIS

45th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

Harold Brooks Davis’s headstone at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 11/9/2016)

Harold Brooks Davis was born at Parramatta, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 18 years (although he was actually only 14 years and 8 months old at this time), his marital status as single, and his occupation as plumber, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March in the Blue Mountains on 8th November 1915.  He completed his medical examination and was attested at Ashfield on 11th November 1915.  He was the youngest of the Coo-ees to enlist.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England on 8th March 1916, with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  He was transferred to the 45th Battalion in Egypt on 19th April 1916.

Private Davis was wounded in action on 21st February 1917 in the vicinity of Guedecourt, France.  He was evacuated to the 6th General Hospital, at Rouen, France. He died of his wounds on 28th February 1917, the day before his 16th birthday.  His age is recorded as 16 years on his headstone.

He was buried at St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2015/05/04/harold-brooks-davis/

 

3017B Private Allan James DENMEAD

19th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

A.J. Denmead’s name on the Villers-Brettoneux Memorial, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 7/9/2014)

Allan James Denmead was born at Goulburn, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 27 years and 8 months, his marital status as married, and his occupation as labourer, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Bathurst.  He was attested at Bathurst on 28th October 1915.  He did not complete a medical examination on the Coo-ee March.

He was initially discharged as medically unfit with varicous veins on 13th December 1916, but he successfully re-enlisted at Bathurst on 28th June 1916.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A 11 Ascanius on 26th October 1916 with the 7th reinforcements for the 53rd Battalion.  He was transferred to the 19th Battalion after he arrived in England in early 1917.

Private Denmead was killed in action on 3rd May 1917 during an attack on the Hindenburg Line at Bullecourt, France, aged 29 years.

He has no known grave.  His name is remembered on the Villers Bretonneaux Memorial, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/tag/allan-james-denmead/

 

6251 Private Francis Charles FINLAYSON

13th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

F. C. Finlayson’s name on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 7/9/2014)

Francis Charles Finlayson was born at Redfern, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 28 years, his marital status as married, and his occupation as book keeper, when he enlisted. He joined the Coo-ee March at Parramatta.   He completed his medical examination and was attested at Parramatta on 11th November 1915.

Acting Corporal Finlayson embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A14 Euripides on 9th September 1916, with the 20th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  He reverted to the rand of Private on arrival in France on 17th January 1917.

Private Finlayson was killed in action on 4th February 1917 in an attack on the German trenches in the vicinity of Guedecourt, France, aged 29 years.

He has no known grave.  His name is remembered on the on Villers Bretonneaux Memorial, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/tag/francis-charles-finlayson/

 

6289 Sapper Charles Arthur FINN

13th Field Company, Australian Engineers, A.I.F.

Charles Arthur Finn’s headstone at H.A.C. Cemetery, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 9/9/2016)

Charles Arthur Finn was born at Mt McDonald, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 27 years and 3 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as blacksmith, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Gilgandra.   He completed his medical on 7th October 1915 at Gilgandra and was attested on 9th October 1915 at Gilgandra.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A26 Armadale on the 21st of March 1916 with the 15th reinforcements for the 1st Field Company Engineers.  Sapper Finn was transferred to the 13th Field Company Engineers on 27th August 1916.

Sapper Finn was killed in action on 7th April 1917 in the vicinity of Bapaume, France, aged 29 years.

He was buried at the H.A.C. British Cemetery, Ecoust-St. Mein, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2014/05/30/charles-arthur-finn/

 

4789 Gunner Charles Alfred HAMPSON

10th Field Artillery Brigade A.I.F.

Charles Alfred Hampson’s headstone at H.A.C. Cemetery, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 9/9/2016)

Charles Alfred Hampson was born at Petersham, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 17 years and 8 months (although he was actually only 16 years and 8 months at this time), his marital status as single, and his occupation as machinist, when he enlisted. He joined the Coo-ee March at Lithgow.  He completed his medical on 31st October 1915 at Lithgow, and was attested at Lithgow on the 1st November 1915.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England on 8th March 1916, with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.

On 16th April 1915 Gunner Hampson was transferred to the 4th Division Artillery at Tel-el-Kebir (along with his father Lightfoot).

Gunner Hampson was killed in action on 28th April 1917 during the Battle of Bullecourt, France.  Although his age is listed as 19 years on his headstone, he was only 18 years and 2 months old when he died.

He was buried at the H.A.C. Cemetery, Ecoust-St. Mein, Arras, Nord Pas de Calais, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2015/04/12/charles-alfred-hampson/

 

4791 Private Oliver James HARMON

4th Pioneer Battalion A.I.F.

O. J. Harmon’s name on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 7/9/2014)

Oliver James Harmon was born at Redfern, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 31 years and 11 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as boiler makers’ assistant, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Parramatta.  He completed his medical examination on 10th November 1915 at Parramatta, and was attested at Ashfield on 11th November 1915.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion on 8th March 1916.  On 16th April 1916 Private Harmon was transferred to the 4th Pioneer Battalion at Tel-El-Kebir, Egypt.

Private Harmon was killed in action in the Battle of Pozieres on 6th August 1916, aged 32 years.

He has no known grave.  His name is remembered on the Villers-Bretonneaux Memorial, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/?s=oliver+harmon

 

1677 Corporal William Thomas HITCHEN

45th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

Bill Hitchen’s headstone, Harefield (St. Mary) Churchyard (Photograph: S & H Thompson 26/8/2016)

William “Bill” Thomas Hitchen was born at Mudgee, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 44 years and 2 months (although he was 51 years old at the time), his marital status as married, and his occupation as plumber, when he enlisted.  “Captain” Bill Hitchen was the leader of the Coo-ee March.  His official enlistment date is 10th October 1915, the date the Coo-ee March commenced in Gilgandra.  However, he did not complete his medical examination and attestation until the 24th February 1916 at Bathurst, after he assisted in organising the Kookaburra March from Tooraweenah to Bathurst in early 1916.  He was allocated to the 2nd reinforcements to the 45th Battalion as Corporal.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A40 Ceramic on the 14th of April 1916.  After further training in Egypt, he embarked from Alexandria on the 6th of June 1916.  Soon after arriving at Plymouth, England, he was admitted to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield Park on 21st June 1916 with Melanotic Sarcoma, where he died of this illness on 3rd September 1916.  His age was recorded as 44 years on his headstone.

He was buried at the Harefield (St. Mary’s) Churchyard at Harefield, England.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2014/08/19/william-thomas-hitchen/

 

2196 Private Percy Walter HOLPEN

46th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

Percy Walter Holpen’s headstone, Le Baraques Military Cemetery, France (Photograph:S. & H. Thompson 29/8/2016)

Percy Walter Holpen was born at Brisbane, Queensland.  He gave his age as 21 years and 11 months (athough he was actually only 17 years and 9 months at this time), his marital status as single, and his occupation as carter, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Wellington.  He did a preliminary medical examination at Wellington on 16th October 1915, and was provisionally accepted for enlistment at Dripstone on the 19th October 1915.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A26 Armadale on 21st March 1916 with the 15th reinforcements for the 1st Light Horse Regiment.  He was transferred to the 46th Battalion in France on 10th July 1916.

Private Holpen died of illness (Influenza) on 26th November 1918 at the 30th General Hospital, Calais, France, aged 20 years.

He was buried at Les Baraques Military Cemetery at Calais, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2015/01/01/percy-walter-holpen/

 

1887 Private Frank HUMPHREY

60th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

Frank Humphrey’s headstone at Ste. Marie Cemetery, Le Havre, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 11/9/2016)

Frank Humphrey was born at Hull, Yorkshire, England. He gave his age as 33 years and 3 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as bricklayer, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Gilgandra.  He completed his medical examination and was attested at Gilgandra on 9th October 1915.

He was discharged with his services no longer required at Liverpool Camp on 4th January 1916.  However he re-enlisted at Wangaratta in Victoria on 11th February 1916.

He embarked for active service from Melbourne on HMAT A17 Port Lincoln on 1st May 1916 with the 3rd reinforcements for the 60th Battalion.

Soon after his arrival in France, Private Humphrey died of illness (Bacillary Dysentery) on 23rd August 1916 at the 7th Canadian Stationary Hospital at Le Harve, France, aged 34 years.

He was buried at Ste Marie Cemetery, Le Harvre, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2014/12/27/frank-humphrey/

 

4807 Private William Emerton HUNTER

45th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

W. E. Hunter’s name on the Villers-Brettoneux Memorial (Photograph: S. Thompson 7/9/2014)

William Emerton Hunter was born at Sydney, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 21 years and 1 month, his marital status as single, and his occupation as wheat lumper, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Geurie.  He completed his medical examination on 16th October 1915 at Wellington, and was attested at Dripstone on 19th October 1915.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England  on 8th March 1916 with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  On 19th April 1916 Private Hunter was transferred to the 45th Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir.

Private Hunter was killed in action on 7th August 1916, in the vicinity of Pozieres, France, aged 21 years.

He has no known grave.  His name is remembered on the Villers-Bretonneaux  Memorial, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2015/02/01/william-emerton-hunter/

 

 

4816 Private Thomas JACKSON

13th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

T. Jackson’s name on the Menin Gate Memorial, Belgium (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 11/9/2012)

Thomas Jackson was born at Longford, Derby, Derbyshire, England.  He gave his age as 32 years and 2 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Geurie.  He completed his medical examination on 16th October 1915 at Wellington, and was attested at Dripstone on 19th October 1915

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England on 8th March 1916 with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.

Private Jackson was killed in action on 16th June 1917, in the vicinity of Messines, Belgium, aged 33 years.

He has no known grave.  His name is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2015/07/04/thomas-jackson/

 

4817 Private Alan Chesher JOHNSON

45th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

A. C. Janion served as A. C. Johnson on 45th Battalion panel at the Menin Gate Memorial, Belgium (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 11/9/2012)

Alan Chesher [Chester] Johnson (aka Alan Cheshyre Janion) was born at Liverpool, England.  He gave his age as 33 years (though this may not have been correct), his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Wellington.  He completed his medical examination on 16th October 1915 at Wellington, and was attested at Dripstone on the 19th October 1915.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England on 8th March 1916 with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  On 19th April 1916 he transferred to the 45th Battalion in Egypt.

Private Johnson was killed in action on 7th June 1917 in the vicinity of Messines, Belgium.  His age at time of death was listed as 31 years on his AWM Roll of Honour Circular.

He has no known grave.  His name is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2014/11/23/alan-chesher-johnson-alan-cheshyre-janion/

 

384 Lance Corporal Darcy KEATING

4th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

D. Keating’s name on on 4th Battalion panel [in Lance Corporal section] at the Menin Gate Memorial, Belgium (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 11/9/2012)

Darcy Keating was born at Warren, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 21 years and 6 months (though it appears that he was younger), his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Wellington.  He completed his medical on16th October 1915 at Wellington, and was attested at Mumbil on 19th October 1915.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A46 Clan McGillivray on 3rd May 1916 with the 2nd reinforcements for the 1st Anzac Cyclist Battalion.

Private Keating on 7th September 1916 was transferred to the 1st Training Battalion at Perham Downs, England.  He joined the 4th Australian Infantry Battalion in France on 5th November 1916.

He was promoted to Lance Corporal on 15th July 1917.

Lance Corporal Keating was killed in action on 4th October 1917 in the vicinity of Broodseinde Ridge, Belgium.  His age was recorded as 20 years at time of death on his AWM Roll of Honour Circular.

He has no known grave.  His name is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2014/12/01/darcy-keating/

 

5489 Private Lewis LEOVILLE

45th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

Lewis Leoville’s headstone at Warloy-Baillon Communal Cemetery Extension, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 8/9/2016)

Lewis (Louis) Leoville was born at Marseilles, France.  He gave his age as 41 years, his marital status as married, and his occupation as barber.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Lithgow.  He completed his medical on 3rdNovember 1915 at Lithgow, and was attested at Lithgow on the same day.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A71 Nestor on 9th April 1916, with the 17th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  He was transferred to the 45th Battalion on 20th May 1916 in Egypt.

Private Leoville was wounded in action in the vicinity of Pozieres, France, on 8th August 1916.  He died of his wounds later that day, aged 42 years.

He was buried at Warloy-Baillon Communal Extension Cemetery, at Warloy-Baillon, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2015/01/24/lewis-leoville/

 

4832 Private Spencer John LETCHER

45th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

Spencer John Letcher’s headstone at AIF Burial Ground, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 8/9/2016)

Spencer John Letcher was born at Cowra, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 18 years and 1 month (although he was actually only 16 years and 7 months at that time), his marital status as single, and his occupation as painter, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Bathurst.  He completed his medical examination and was attested at Bathurst on 28th October 1915.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England on 8th March 1916 with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  On 19th April 1916 he transferred to the 45th Battalion in Egypt.

Private Letcher was killed in action on 6th August 1916 in vicinity of Pozieres, France.  Although his age was recorded as 18 years on his headstone, he was actually only 17 years and 4 months at the time of his death.

He was buried at the A.I.F. Burial Ground, at Flers, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2015/01/24/spencer-john-letcher/

 

4830 Private Samuel LUKE

4th Pioneer Battalion A.I.F.

Samuel Luke’s headstone at Vaulx Hill Cemetery, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 9/9/2016)

Samuel Luke was born at St. Marys, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 38 years and 11 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at St. Marys.  . He completed his medical examination and was attested at Ashfield on 11th November 1915.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England on 8th March 1916 with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  On 25th April 1916 he transferred to the 4th Pioneer Battalion at Serapeum, Egypt.

Private Luke was killed in action on 21st April 1917 during the 1st Battle of Bullecourt in the vicinity of Vaulx-Vraucourt, France, aged 40 years.

He was buried at the Vaulx Hill Cemetery, at Vaulx-Vraucourt, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2015/04/06/samuel-luke

 

4840 Lance Corporal Laurence Leslie MAGUIRE

45th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

L. L. Maguire’s name on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 7/9/2014)

Laurence Leslie Maguire was born at Gilgandra, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 25 years and 11 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Gilgandra.  He completed his medical examination at Gilgandra on 8th October 1915, and was attested at Gilgandra on 9th October 1915.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England on 8th March 1916 with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  On 20th May 1916 he transferred to the 45th Battalion in Egypt.

He was promoted to Lance Corporal on 1st November 1917.

Lance Corporal Maguire was killed in action on 2nd April 1918, in the vicinity of Dernacourt, France.  He was buried near Albert, but after the war his grave could not be located.

His age at time of death was recorded as 28 years on his AWM Roll of Honour Circular.

He has no known grave.  His name is remembered on the Villers-Bretonneaux Memorial, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2015/06/28/laurence-leslie-maguire/

 

4541 Corporal John MARTIN

54th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

John Martin’s headstone at Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 9/9/2016)

John Martin was born at Melbourne, Victoria.  He gave his age as 34 years 10 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Molong.  He completed his medical examination and was attested at Molong on 22nd October 1915.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A70 Ballarat on 16th February 1916 with the 14th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  On 1st April 1916 he was transferred to the 54th Battalion at Ferry Post, Egypt.

He was promoted to Corporal on 27th May 1917.

Corporal Martin was killed in action on 1st September 1918 at Peronne, France, aged 38 years.

He was buried at the Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension, at Peronne, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2015/03/22/john-martin/

 

4858 Gunner Wilfred Ernest MCDONALD

4th Division Heavy and Medium Trench Mortar Battery Field Artillery A.I.F.

W. E. McDonald’s name on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 7/9/2014)

Wilfred Ernest McDonald was born at Dubbo, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 21 years and 1 month, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer.  He completed his medical on the 8th October at Gilgandra before the beginning of the Coo-ee March.  He presented to join the Coo-ee March at his home town of Wongarbon on 14th October 1915. He was attested at Stuart Town on 19th October 1915.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England on 8th March 1916 with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  On the 16th of April 1916 he transferred to the 4th Division Artillery at Telelkebir.  On the 27th May 1916 he was taken on strength of the 4th Division Ammunition Column.  On the 25th June 1916 Gunner McDonald was transferred to the V4 Heavy Trench Mortar Battery.

Gunner McDonald was killed in action on 3rd May 1917 between Ecoust and Bullecourt in France, aged 22 years.

He has no known grave.  His name is remembered on the Villers-Bretonneaux Memorial, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2014/07/01/wilfred-ernest-mcdonald/

 

4920 Private Edward Joseph MCGARRY

4th Pioneer Battalion A.I.F.

Edward Joseph McGarry’s headstone at Heilly Station Cemetery, France. His name is on the bottom of the headstone (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 12/9/2016)

Edward Joseph McGarry was born at Kelso, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 35 years and 8 months, his marital status as married, and his occupation as fuelman, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Bathurst.  He was attested at Bathurst on 28th October 1915, but did not complete his medical until 13th November October 1915 at Liverpool.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England on 8th March 1916 with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  On 16th April 1916 he transferred to the 4th Pioneer Battalion in Egypt.

Private McGarry was wounded in action on 12th December 1916 in the vicinity of Longueval, France.  He died of his wounds the next day on 13th December 1916 at the 38th Casualty Clearing Station at Heilly, France, aged 35 years (per his headstone and AWM Roll of Honour Circular).

He was buried at Heilly Station Cemetery, at Mericourt-L’Abbe, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2015/01/02/edward-joseph-mcgarry/

 

4857 Private Joseph Raymond MCGUIRE

45th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

Joseph Raymond McGuire’s headstone at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 29/8/2016)

Joseph Raymond McGuire was born at Redfern, N.S.W. He gave his age as 33 years and 10 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as tinworker labourer, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March on 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.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England on 8th March 1916 with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  On 19th April 1916 he transferred to the 45th Battalion in Egypt.

Private McGuire was wounded in action on 29th September 1917 in the vicinity of Westhoek Ridge, Belgium.  He was evacuated to the 10th Casualty Clearing Station, but died of his wounds later the same day, aged 36 years.

He was buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, at Lijssentoek, Belgium.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2014/10/19/joseph-raymond-mcguire/

 

2708 Private Archibald MCINTYRE

56th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

Archibald McIntyre’s headstone at Puchevillers British Cemetery, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 8/9/2016)

Archibald McIntyre was born at Glasgow, Scotland.  He gave his age as 31 years and 6 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Blayney.  He completed his medical examination and was attested at Blayney on 26th October 1915.

He was discharged at Liverpool Camp on 29th November 1915 for defective vision.  He successfully re-enlisted on 19th May 1916 at Sydney, passing his medical examination on 19th May 1916, and was attested at the Royal Agricultural Showground at Sydney on 20th May 1916.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A40 Ceramic on 7th October 1916 with the 6th reinforcements for the 56th Battalion.

Private McIntyre was with the 56th Battalion in France when he was evacuated to hospital sick on 22nd March 1917.  He died of illness (Cerebro Spinal Meningitis) on 26th March 1917 at the South Midland Casualty Clearing Station Puchevillers, France, aged 32 years.

He was buried at Puchevillers British Cemetery, at Puchevillers, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2015/02/11/archibald-mcintyre/

 

4849 Private Jack MORRIS

45th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

J. Morris’ name on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 7/9/2014)

Charles James “Jack” Morris was born at Pennant Hills, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 18 years and 1 month, his marital status as single, and his occupation as rivetter, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Parramatta.  He completed his medical examination and was attested at Parramatta on 11th November 1915.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England on 8th March 1916 with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  On 19th April 1916 he transferred to the 45th Battalion in Egypt.

Private Morris was killed in action on the night of 5th/6th August 1916, in the vicinity of Pozieres, France, aged 18 years.

He has no known grave.  His name is remembered on the Villers-Bretonneaux Memorial, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2015/06/07/jack-morris/

 

2369 Trooper William Henry NICHOLLS

7th Light Horse Regiment A.I.F.

W. H. Nicholls’ name on the Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour (Photograph: S. &. H. Thompson 5/1/2015)

William Henry Nicholls was born at Camperdown, Sydney, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 27 years and 6 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as contractor, when he enlisted.  He completed his medical examination at Coonamble on 2nd October 1915, and was attested at Dubbo on 21st October 1915, before joining the Coo-ee March at Molong.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT Palermo on 18th April 1916 with the 16th reinforcements for the 7th Light Horse Regiment.

Trooper Nicholls was killed in action on 7th May 1918 when enemy aeroplanes bombed the camp of the 7th Light Horse Regiment  at Jericho, Palestine.  He was aged 30 years.

He was buried at the Jerusalem War Cemetery at Jerusalem, Israel.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2015/07/05/william-henry-nicholls/

 

4865 Private Karl ALEX FREDERICK NIELSEN

4th Pioneer Battalion A.I.F.

K. A. F. Nielson’s name on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 7/9/2014)

Karl Alex Frederick Nielson  (aka Karl Frederik Nielsen) was born at Sjelland, Denmark.  He gave his age as 24 years and 11 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as bushman, when he enlisted.  Although he was not attested and did not complete his medical examination until 13th November 1915 at Liverpool, his date of joining on the nominal roll was recorded as the 8th November 1915, when the Coo-ees were on their way from Lawson to Springwood. Per The Blue Mountains Echo he was one of three recruits to join the Coo-ees from Hazelbrook.

 

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England on 8th March 1916 with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  On 16th April 1916 he transferred to the 4th Pioneer Battalion in Egypt.

Private Nielsen was killed in action on 6th August 1916 in the vicinity of Pozieres, France, aged 25 years.

He has no known grave.  His name is remembered on Villers-Bretonneaux Memorial, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2015/06/20/karl-alex-frederick-nielson/

 

7048 Private Patrick Joseph O’LOUGHLIN

3rd Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

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

Patrick Joseph O’Loughlin (O’Loughlen) 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 labourer, when he enlisted.  He was one of the four recruits sent by the Parkes Recruiting Association to join the Coo-ees at Molong.  He completed his medical examination at Molong on 22nd October 1915, and was attested at Molong (8 miles east) on 22nd October 1915.

He was discharged medically unfit (varicose veins) on 29th November 1915.  However he successfully re-enlisted at Dubbo Army Camp on 27th October 1916.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A24 Benalla on 9th November 1916 with the 23rd reinforcements for the 3rd Battalion.

Private O’Loughlin was killed in action on 18th September 1917 in the vicinity of Dickebusch, near Ypres, in Belgium, aged 29 years.

He has no known grave.  His name is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2014/11/30/patrick-joseph-oloughlin-oloughlen/

 

6199 Private James O’NEILL

18th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

James O’Neill’s headstone at the Menin Road South Military Cemetery, Belgium (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 30/8/2016)

James O’Neill was born at Hay, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 35 years, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Wellington.  completed his medical examination on 17th October 1915 at Wellington, and was attested on 19th October 1915 at Stuart Town.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A11 Ascanius on 25th October 1916 with the 17th reinforcements for the 18th Battalion.

Private O’Neill was wounded in action on 19th September 1917 at Bellewaarde Ridge, Belgium.  He was evacuated to the 3rd Australian Field Ambulance, where he died of his wounds later that day, aged 37 years.

He was buried at Menin Road South Military Cemetery, at Iepers, Belgium.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2014/10/19/james-oneill/

 

 4866 Private Joseph PARRISH

4th Machine Gun Battalion A.I.F.

Joseph Parrish’s headstone at Terlincthun British Cemetery, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 11/9/2016)

Joseph Parrish was born at Monmouthshire, Wales.  He gave his age as 18 years and 5 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as miner, when he enlisted.  He presented to join the Coo-ees at Wellington.  He completed his medical examination on 16th October 1915 at Wellington, then joined the Coo-ees at Orange, where he was attested at Orange on the 24th October 1915.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England on 8th March 1916 with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  On the 16th April 1916 Private Parrish was transferred to the 4th Pioneer Battalion at Tel-el-Kebir.

On the 12th May 1918 Private Parrish was transferred to the 4th Machine Gun Battalion.

Private Parrish was wounded in action on 10th June 1918 in the vicinity of Villers-Bretonneux, France. He died of his wounds on 27th June 1918 at the 53rd General Hospital at Abbeville, France, aged 21 years.

He was buried at Terlincthun British Cemetery, at Wimille, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2015/01/29/joseph-parrish/

 

4886 Private Arthur Charles REID

4th Division Medium Trench Mortar Battery A.I.F.

Arthur Charles Reid’s headstone at La Clytte Military Cemetery, Belgium (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 31/8/2016)

Arthur Charles Reid (Read) was born at Forbes, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 25 years, his marital status as single, and his occupation as shearing machine expert, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March by the time the Coo-ees reached Katoomba.  He was attested on 5th November at Katoomba, and completed his medical examination on 6th November 1915 at Lawson.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England on 8th March 1916 with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  On 16th April 1916 Private Reid transferred to the 4th Division Artillery and his rank designation changed to Gunner.  On the 25th June 1916 he was taken on strength of the 4th Division Medium Trench Mortar Battery in France.

Gunner Reid was wounded in action on 8th September 1916 in the vicinity of Vierssraat, Belgium.  He was evacuated to the 11th Canadian Field Ambulance, where he died of his wounds the next day on 9th September 1916, aged 25 years.

He was buried at La Clytte Military Cemetery, De Klitje, Flanders, Belgium.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2014/11/15/arthur-charles-reid/

 

4891 Private John Thomas SMITH

4th Pioneer Battalion A.I.F.

John Thomas Smith’s headstone at Melcombe Regis Cemetery, Weymouth, England (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 14/9/2016)

John Thomas Smith was born at Wigan, Lancashire, England.  He gave his age as 30 years, his marital status as single, and his occupation as miner, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Wellington.  He completed his medical examination on 16th October 1915 at Wellington, and was attested on 19th October 1915 at Stuart Town.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England on 8th March 1916 with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  On 25th April 1916 he transferred to the 4th Pioneer Battalion at Tel-el Kebir.

Private Smith was wounded in action on 5th April 1918 near Henencourt Wood, France. He was evacuated to England, and died of his wounds on 23rd April 1918 at the Dorset County Hospital, England, aged 33 years.

He was buried at Melcombe Regis Cemetery, at Dorset, England.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2014/12/26/john-thomas-smith/

 

6320 Private Stanley Everard STEPHENS

13th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

S. E. Stephens’s name on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 7/9/2014)

Stanley Everard Stephens was born at Melbourne, Victoria. He gave his age as 24 years and 11 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as journalist, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Gilgandra.  He completed his medical examination and was attested at Gilgandra on 9th October 1915.  On the march he was given the rank of Acting Sergeant, and was appointed Secretary of the travelling committee of control appointed for the Coo-ee March at Stuart Town.  .

Acting Sergeant Stephens embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A14 Euripides on 9th September 1916 as 20th reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

On 22nd December 1916 he arrived at the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples, France, where he reverted to the rank of Private.

Acting Sergeant Stephens departed Sydney on the HMAT A14 Euripides on 9th September 1916 as 20th reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

His rank reverted to Private when he arrived in France on 22nd December 1916.

Private Stephens was killed in action on 11th April 1917 during an attack on the Hindenburg Line near Bullecourt, France, aged 26 years.

He has no known grave.  His name is remembered on the Villers-Bretonneaux Memorial, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2015/10/04/stanley-everard-stephens/

 

4605 Private John TARLINGTON

4th Pioneer Battalion A.I.F.

J. Tarlington’s name on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 7/9/2014)

John Tarlington was born at Glen Innes, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 38 years and 7 months, his marital status as married, and his occupation as laborer, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Blayney.  He completed his medical examination and was attested at Blayney on 26th October 1915.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A70 Ballarat on 16th February 1916 with the 14th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  On 1st April 1916 he was transferred to the 54th Battalion at Ferry Post, Egypt.  On 23rd May 1916 Private Tarlington was transferred to the 4th Pioneer Battalion in Egypt.

Private Tarlington was killed in action on 6th August 1916 in the vicinity of Pozieres, France, aged 39 years.

He has no known grave.  His name is remembered on the Villers-Bretonneaux Memorial, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2015/05/24/john-tarlington/

 

4903 Sergeant Thomas THORNE

13th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

Thomas Thorne’s headstone at Plymouth (Efford) Cemetery, England (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 13/9/2016)

 Thomas Thorne was born at Hay, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 22 years and 2 months, his marital status as married, and his occupation as motor driver, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Lawson, and was attested at Lawson on the 7th November 1915.  He completed his medical examination at Liverpool on 13th November 1915.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England on 8th March 1916 with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  He arrived in Egypt on 11th April 1916, and he was admitted to the 31st General Hospital at Port Said, Egypt, on the same day.  He was discharged for duty on 21st May 1916.

Acting Sergeant Thorne was admitted to Devonport Military Hospital on his arrival in England, and he died of Pneumonia two days later on 18th June 1916, aged 23 years.  He was the first of the Coo-ees to die on active service.

He was buried at Plymouth (Efford) Cemetery, at Plymouth, England.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2014/12/26/thomas-thorne/

 

4617 Private Joseph Patrick WALLIS

54th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

Joseph Patrick Wallis’s headstone at Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, France (Photograph S. & H. Thompson 10/9/2016)

Joseph Patrick Wallis (aka Joseph Patrick Wailes) was born at Darlinghurst, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 18 years and 4 months (although he was actually 17 years and 1 month old at that time), his marital status as single, and his occupation as seaman, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Dubbo.  He completed his medical examination and was attested at Dubbo on 13th October 1915.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A70 Ballarat on 16th February 1916 with the 14th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  On 1st April 1916 he was transferred to the 54th Battalion I Egypt.

Private Wallis was killed in action on 20th July 1916 during Battle of Fromelles, France.

He was buried at Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, Fromelles, France.  Although his headstone records his age as 19 years, he was actually only 17 years and 10 months when he died.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2014/06/01/joseph-patrick-wallis/

 

4917 Private William WEBBER

45th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

W. Webber’s name on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 7/9/2014)

William Webber was born at Granville, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 23 years and 5 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as fitter, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March on 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.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England on 8th March 1916 with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  On 19th April 1916 he transferred to the 45th Battalion in Egypt.

Private Webber was killed in action on 6th April 1918 in the vicinity of Dernacourt, France, aged 26 years.

He has no known grave.  His name is remembered on the Villers-Bretonneaux Memorial, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2015/06/08/william-webber/

 

4910 Private Rowland John WILSON

45th Infantry Battalion A.I.F.

R. J. Wilson’s name on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 7/9/2014)

Rowland John Wilson was born at Tallawang, N.S.W.  He gave his age as 24 years, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer, when he enlisted.  He joined the Coo-ee March at Lawson.  He was attested at Lawson on 7th November 1915.  He completed his medical examination at Liverpool on 15th November 1915.

He embarked for active service from Sydney on HMAT A15 Star of England on 8th March 1916 with the 15th reinforcements for the 13th Battalion.  On 19th April 1916 he transferred to the 45th Battalion in Egypt.

Private Wilson was killed in action on the night of the 7th/8th August 1916 in the Battle of Pozieres between Pozieres and Martinpuich, aged 24 years.

He has no known grave.  His name is remembered on the Villers-Bretonneaux Memorial, France.

Click here to read his full story: https://cooeemarch1915.com/2015/06/20/rowland-john-wilson/

William WEBBER

William WEBBER

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4917), William Webber was born at Granville, N.S.W. He gave his age as 23 years and 5 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as fitter. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 5 inches tall, weight 136 lbs., with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He claimed that he had no previous military experience. He completed his medical on the 11th November 1915 at Ashfield, and was attested at Ashfield on the 11th November 1915.

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 Walker Street, Five Dock, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his mother, Mrs. M. E. [Mary Elizabeth] Webber, Walker Street, Five Dock, N.S.W.

On 8th March 1916 Private Webber departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, along with many of the other Coo-ees, arriving in Egypt on the 11th April 1916. On the 19th April 1916 he was transferred to the 45th Battalion at Serapeum.

On 1st May 1916 at Serapeum, Egypt, Private Webber was charged with Being Absent Without Leave from 0815 on 29th April 1916 to 1500 on 30th April 1916. He was awarded 7 days Confined to Barracks and forfeiture of four days pay. On 25th May 1916 Private Webber was charged with being Absent for Parade at 1830. He was awarded 7 days Confined to Barracks.

On 2nd June 1916 Private Webber left Alexandria aboard the Transport Kinfauns Castle bound for France, arriving at Marseilles on 8th June 1916.

Private Webber served with the 45th Battalion through its first action at Fleurbaix, France in July 1916.

On 6th August 1916 the 45th Battalion was in action between Pozieres and Martinpuch, France. They had been under heavy artillery fire since entering the battle the day before, and suffered numerous casualties, with 32 killed (including fellow Coo-ee Jack Morris who had joined the Coo-ees at Parramatta), and 70 wounded. Private Webber was evacuated suffering shell shock, and listed as wounded in action. He was sent back to the 1st Australian Rest Station. On 14th August 1916 Private Webber returned to the Battalion when it was relieving the 46th Battalion in the front line near Pozieres.

On 16th September 1916 the 45th Battalion had been moved to Victoria Camp near Rhenninghelst, Belgium, conducting training. On this day Private Webber was charged with being Absent for Parade at 0645, 0900, 1400 on 15th September 1916. He was awarded 7 days field Punishment Number 2.

On 7th November 1916 the 45th Battalion was at Dernacourt, France, conducting training, when Private Webber was charged with Conduct to the Prejudice of Good Order and Military Discipline to with making remarks likely to cause insubordination. He was awarded 14 days Field Punishment Number 2.

On 11th November 1916 the 45th Battalion moved forward from Dernacourt to Fricourt, France. At 1030 on this day Private Webber went missing. He was not located until 1115 on 7th December 1916. Private Webber was placed under arrest and sent to the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples, France, under escort.

On 26th December 1916 a Field General Court Martial was held with Private Webber being charged with When on Active Service Deserting his Majesty’s Service. Private Webber was found guilty and sentenced to be shot. On 3rd January 1917 the sentence was varied by General Rawlinson, Commander of the 4th Army, to 10 years Penal Servitude.

On 20th January 1917 Private Webber was admitted to the Number 1 Military Prison at Rouen, France, to undergo his sentence. On 4th February 1917 the sentence was commuted to 2 years Imprisonment with Hard Labour by the Commander In Chief.

On 25th January 1918 Private Webber was released from the number 1 Military Prison at Rouen, France, with the remainder of his sentence being suspended. On 29th January 1918 Private Webber rejoined the 45th Battalion whilst it was training at La Clytte, Belgium.

On 6th April 1918 the 45th Battalion was in action in the vicinity of Dernacourt, France, when Private Webber was killed by an artillery shell that burst in the trench he was manning.

Private Cyril Roy McMillan, who had joined the Coo-ees at Parramatta, was taken as a German prisoner of war in the same battle, and he reported after his release in a letter to “The Argus” dated 20th November 1918, that Webber, whom he described as one of his ‘mates’ he had ‘enlisted with’, had been ‘killed alongside’ him, just before they ‘started to advance on the Germans’ (The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate, 18/1/1919, p. 10).

Private Webber was initially buried in the trench by his platoon members, then later reinterred at the Millencourt Communal Cemetery near Albert, however in later fighting the grave was lost or destroyed and could not be located.

Private Webber has no known grave, and is remembered on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France.

Private Webber's name on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 7/9/2014)

Private Webber’s name on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson 7/9/2014)

Private Webber’s name is commemorated on panel 140 on the Australian War Memorial First World War Roll of Honour.

Private Webber’s name is also remembered on the Five Dock War Memorial.

Villers-Bretonneux Memorial – France

VILLERS-BRETONNEUX MEMORIAL

On 7th August 2014 Stephen and I visited the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, which is located about 2 km north of the village of Villers-Bretonneux. It was our second visit to this memorial.

The photograph below shows the Villers-Bretonneus Memorial, with some of  the headstones in the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery in the foreground.

Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France (PhotographL S. & H. Thompson, 5/9/2012)

Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson, 5/9/2012)

Red poppies grow in the garden beds near the entrance to the memorial. Beautiful roses and other flowers are planted in amongst the graves in the cemetery section. Bullet holes from World War II German aircraft can be seen on a wall, and on the tower.

Bullet holes in wall at Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson, 7/9/2014)

Bullet holes in a wall at Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Photograph: S. & H. Thompson, 7/9/2014)

A quite prophetic article in The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate described the importance of this memorial, which was unveiled by King George VI on 22 July 1938, as follows:

‘A magnificent and dignified structure, it will perpetuate the memory of thousands of Australians who gave their lives on the battlefields of France in the greatest war the world has yet known. It is not the only war memorial dedicated to the memory of Australians and other sons of the Empire who died in France, but to us it is the most significant, for it marks the scene where Australians played an outstanding part in stemming the flow of the grey enemy hordes which threatened to engulf France. It was there, on April 24, 1918, that sons of Australia helped to halt the Germans who had burst through the British lines. It was the turning point of the war, for it was followed with a counter attack on April 24 – eve of the third anniversary of Anzac Day – which started the general allied advance that eventually brought peace. On that Anzac eve, there were 2500 Australian casualties, so the blood toll was heavy. The Villers-Bretonneux Memorial however, symbolises something more that the feats of arms and self-sacrifice of Australia’s sons. It stands as a reminder of the bond between France and the British Empire, cemented imperishably during 1914-18. Australians joined with the French in facing a common enemy, and France will not forget. Even when Time dims the memories of the awful horrors of the war years, the Villers-Bretonneux and other memorials will stand as mute sentinels of the friendship between the French and English. Generations to come will remember that French soil has been enriched by British blood; that sons of Australia and other parts of the Empire are sleeping beneath the poppies which blow on the foreign land they died to save …’[1]

The photograph below, taken from the tower at the top of the memorial, looking towards the main entrance, shows the size of the beautifully laid out site, and the rolling hills of the surrounding French countryside.

Looking from the Tower to the Main Entrance at Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Photograph: S. &. H. Thompson 5/9/2012)

Looking from the Tower to the Main Entrance at Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Photograph: S. &. H. Thompson 5/9/2012)

This Australian National Memorial was erected to commemorate all Australian soldiers who fought and died in France and Belgium during the First World War, and to name those who have no known grave.

According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website http://www.cwgc.org/, the names of 10,762 Australian soldiers are commemorated by this memorial. They died in the battlefields of the Somme, and Arras, and in the advance by the Germans in 1918, and the Allied advance to victory.

The memorial is situated behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, which contains the remains of graves brought in from other burial grounds and the battlefields in the area.

The names of 12 Coo-ees are commemorated at this memorial. Their names are listed in unit order on the walls.

Wilfred Ernest McDONALD 4th HTM Bty, who joined the Coo-ees at Wongarbon

Karl Alex Frederick NEILSEN 4th Pioneer BN, who joined the Coo-ees at Springwood

Oliver James HARMON 4th Pioneer BN, who joined the Coo-ees at Parramatta

John TARLINGTON 4th Pioneer BN, who joined the Coo-ees at Blayney

Francis Charles FINLAYSON 13th BN, who joined the Coo-ees at Parramatta

Stanley Everard STEPHENS 13th BN, who joined the Coo-ees at Gilgandra

Allan James DENMEAD 19th BN, who joined the Coo-ees at Bathurst

William Emerton HUNTER 45th BN, who joined the Coo-ees at Geurie

Lawrence Leslie MAGUIRE 45th BN, who joined the Coo-ees at Gilgandra

Jack MORRIS 45th BN, who joined the Coo-ees at Parramatta

William WEBBER 45th BN, who joined the Coo-ees at Ashfield

Rowland John WILSON 45th BN, who joined the Coo-ees at Lawson

A photograph of their name on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial will be placed on each individual Coo-ee’s blog entry, and form part of a Roll of Honour for the fallen Coo-ees on this blog.

[1] Villers-Bretonneux, The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate, 23 July 1938, p. 2, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article132276037

 

 

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 CUDDERFORD (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.