Men from Snowy River March Centenary Re-enactment

Picture depicts men who have joined the Snowy River recruiting march, crossing the Queen's bridge on Monaro St, Queanbeyan on their way to Bungendore led by a piper and drummer in front of the banner reading "THE MEN FROM SNOWY RIVER." A copy of this photo and a similar one from the WW2 March are on display in the Bungendore War Memorial Hall.

Start Delegate October 2015 - Finish Sydney 11th November 2015

The Delegate Progress Association (DPA) is planning to stage a re-enactment of the 1916 Men from Snowy River March in 2015 to support the Kangaroo March Re-enactment Project.

A representative of The Bungendore War Memorial Committee has been invited to and attended a meeting in Cooma with the view of establishing a Committee to manage the Men from Snowy River March Re-enactment from Delegate to Goulburn in 2015.

The timing for this "March" is presently scheduled for the period 1st - 11th November 2015, but these dates are understood to be flexible. These dates are contingent on agreement with main centres. There will probably be short ceremonies in other small villages. It is assumed that the main centres will organise recruitment ceremonies and other celebrations. There will be a short service at each local cenotaph.

The date that involves Bungendore is:

Monday 9th November arrive by bus from Queanbeyan - March around oval and a ceremony at the War Memorial

A brief summary of the history of the Men from Snowy River Recruitment March, 1916

In 1915 Britain sent out an urgent appeal to the Colonies—more men were needed to fight on the Western Front in France. Gallipoli had been a disaster and the war was going badly in Europe.

Recruitment numbers were satisfactory in the cities and larger towns, but had fallen off in rural areas. So the idea of recruitment marches was born, with appeals going out to the more isolated areas of Australia. The marches were called “Snowball” marches with the idea of gathering recruits, as a snowball gathers snow as it rolls downhill.

The first of the marches took place on October 10th at Gilgandra, where the famous Cooee march commenced. The Kangaroos from Wagga set out for Sydney on the 1st December, 1915, closely followed by the Wallabies from Narrabri and the Waratahs from Nowra. 

The Men from Snowy River commenced in Delegate on 6th January 1916, and arrived at Goulburn after marching 202 miles, on 29th January, 1916.  They stopped at the various towns and hamlets on the route including Bungendore, for refreshments or overnight stays.  In the larger towns of Bombala, Cooma and Queanbeyan, they stayed for more than one day.

After training in Goulburn at the newly opened Military Camp, the men went by train to Sydney, and after marching through the streets of Sydney embarked on the “Port Sydney” for England via Africa. The majority of the men became part of the 55th Battalion, and served in France where they suffered high casualties.

"The Men from Snowy River March - 100 Years On" website can be found here