Cadets re-enact the March of the Dungarees from the Warwick Town Hall.
Cadets re-enact the March of the Dungarees from the Warwick Town Hall. Deanna Millard

City’s tribute to 28 men who did their patriotic duty

THE Warwick CBD was a sea of patriotic colours as the much-anticipated March of the Dungarees commemorations took to the streets.

The march marked the 100th anniversary of the original March of the Dungarees in 1915 when 28 young Warwick men enlisted to join the war effort amid news of growing numbers of casualties.

The 1915 march was one of many organised across the country in an effort to enlist healthy young men to join the fight for their country.

Friday's march was led by army cadets carrying the names of the original volunteers. The procession wound its way through town before the eventual return to Warwick Town Hall.

A giant television screen was assembled to bring the performances and musical entertainment to crowds outside.

Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg joined the celebrations and praised the organisers.

"It's a great event to be a part of," he said.

RIGHT: Colonel Chris Austin, Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg, Warwick RSL Sub-Branch president John Skinner, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Thomas and Southern Downs Mayor Peter Blundell at the 100th anniversary of the March of the Dungarees.
RIGHT: Colonel Chris Austin, Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg, Warwick RSL Sub-Branch president John Skinner, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Thomas and Southern Downs Mayor Peter Blundell at the 100th anniversary of the March of the Dungarees.

"I think you'd almost have a better view from outside with this big screen, it's a great addition."

Anu Woodruff Becker welcomed the marchers back to the Town Hall with a flute performance in full period costume. Inside the Town Hall, Warwick and District Historical Society members performed re-enactments and singer Norma O'Hara performed.

Letters, poems and songs of soldiers from the time were read out in remembrance of a time that asked so much from the volunteers, their friends and families.

The night before 28 volunteers left Warwick in 1915, the community gathered to offer unified support and spirited applause as the men apprehensively awaited their departure at dawn.

On Saturday the 139 army cadet unit Dungarees left Warwick to retrace the steps of the original march with a first stop at Glengallan Heritage Centre.

The cadets presented an address to Glengallan Homestead Trust directors and volunteers, which included a plaque to commemorate the first stop on the historic recruitment march more than 100 years ago where a lunch was provided by the Warwick Recruitment Centre.This marked the first leg of a 239km march to Brisbane for the volunteers.

On Saturday the re-enactment stopped at Allora and Clifton state schools. Today the marchers will make a presentation at the Drayton War Memorial on their way to Toowoomba.



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