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One of Gilgandra's claims to fame is as the starting point for the Coo-ee March - a world war 1 recruitment march in 1915. The men marched 320 miles from Gilgandra, over the Blue Mountains to Sydney collecting recruits as they went. By the end their ranks swelled from 26 to 263.

The Coo-ee March captured the imagination of the people and captures my imagination too as they passed through towns and terrain I am familiar with (but would not want to walk!).  They even camped for the night at our home town Lawson in the Blue Mountains and another night at the Royal Hotel in Hartley, which is just before the big climb up the escarpment.

There is going to be a 100 years re-enactment starting in October and ending in Sydney on remembrance day in November.  I will be keeping an eye out for it.


  1. Why don't you join the march? It is an amazing part of our history. A sad one too, so many didn't come back.

    1. Not likely. I bought a book about the March and it seems that in each town they were treated to tables groaning with food and sweets. I'd be happy to do my part with a spot of baking but not walking.

  2. Yes, the walk would be terrific - in theory. I will keep an eye out for it, but Remembrance Day in the city is not my cup of tea. I remember the scene in the Mel Gibson film ...

    1. The walk will take a month and will no doubt be a small band of people … the original march was a huge publicity effort, with big receptions in every town on the way and thousands to greet them at Martin Place. I found the book I bought to be a good read because it was diary entries, letters and such so had an authenticity about it. I like that type of history.


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