Men from Snowy River march in Queanbeyan again

4 November 2015


A forgotten part of the region’s war history will be remembered this Sunday in Queanbeyan.

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

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

Last Sunday the Men from Snowy River marchers set off again from Delegate, this time in commemoration of the original marchers. The marchers are in Nimmitabel today and Cooma tomorrow and will be in Queanbeyan marching at 10.30am Sunday.

Queanbeyan Mayor Tim Overall said he hoped as many people as possible would come out to greet the marchers as the walked the block from the RSL building at the corner of Crawford and Monaro Sts, to the Cenotaph at the Visitors Centre along Monaro St. A ceremony will then take place.

Mr Overall said it would be a very moving march and ceremony. “By 1916 many people realised the war was not a great adventure, and families along the route of the march would have been struck by fear.” He said 149 men joined the march, with many then killed on the Western Front.
  • Sunday November 8 - Men from Snowy River re-enactment march and commemorative ceremony, Queanbeyan.
  • March to start 10.30am sharp from the RSL Building corner of Crawford and Monaro Sts, along Monaro St to the Cenotaph and Visitors Centre where the ceremony will be held.

For more information and to arrange interviews contact
Tonia Liosatos, Communications & Grants Coordinator on 6285 6588/0458 000 955