Coo-ees recruiting march

This was the first of the recruiting marches organised in New South Wales during 1915.

Route: Gilgandra, Balladoran, Eumungerie, Mogriguy, Dubbo Wongarbon, Geurie, Wellington, Dripstone, Mumbil, Stuart Town, Euchareena, Boomey, Molong, Orange, Millthorpe, Blayney, Bathampton, Bathurst, Yetholme Wallerawang, Lithgow, Little Hartley, Mt Victoria, Katoomba, Lawson, Springwood, Penrith, Parramatta, Ashfield, Sydney.

Gilgandra local plumber and rifle club member William T Hitchen (Captain Bill) proposed a route march from Gilgandra to Sydney. At every town there would be a demonstration to secure more recruits.

The State Recruiting Board and the Department of Defence were not willing to support the scheme. Over the months at least 50 young men from the Gilgandra region made their own way to Sydney to enlist. Eventually in September the Gilgandra Recruiting Association decided to go ahead and raise support from the local region.

Many recruiting posters of the time used "Coo-ee". A number of songs and poems were written at the time and a competition to select the best of these was held.

After 4 months of training at the Liverpool camp the Coo-ees embarked on 8 March 1916 on the Star of England for Egypt where some stayed with the 13th Battalion, while others joined the 45th Battalion. All served in France.

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