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Following Britain’s declaration of war on Germany on 4 August 1914, Australia and the other members of the British Empire were also at war. The first Australian to perish on the Western Front was Lieutenant William Malcolm Chisholm—of the Lancashire Regiment—in the Battle of Le Cateau in France on 26 August 1914. Closer to home, Australian troops secured German New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago in September–October 1914. Australians landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey on 25 April 1915. By October 1915, Australia had lost 7279 men at Gallipoli and thousands more were wounded. More recruits were needed.

On 5 November 1915, a public meeting was held in the Exhibition Hall in Brisbane to initiate a snowball recruitment march. Snowball Marches—named for their ability to gather up men along the way—began with the ‘Cooees’ march from Gilgandra to Sydney in October 1915. The Dungarees was the second of such marches—travelling from Warwick to Brisbane. The last was the ‘Cane Beetles’ march—from Bartle Frere to Cairns for Anzac Day in April 1916.

Twenty-eight Dungarees departed Warwick on 16 November 1915, and 125 Dungarees were welcomed in Brisbane on 30 November 1915. Most expected to serve at Gallipoli, but troops were withdrawn from here by 20 December 1915. The Dungarees were to serve in either the Middle East or the Western Front.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
9 July 2019
Last updated
3 December 2015
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