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Barrack for the Kangaroos

Barrack for the Kangaroos

ALMOST READY: With the Kangaroo March re-enactment march banner based on the original are, from left: Wagga RSL sub-branch president Kevin Kerr, treasurer Brian Watts and secretary Ken May. Picture: Kieren L Tilly

 ALMOST READY: With the Kangaroo March re-enactment march banner based on the original are, from left: Wagga RSL sub-branch president Kevin Kerr, treasurer Brian Watts and secretary Ken May. Picture: Kieren L Tilly

WAGGA residents are being urged to come out in their thousands to watch the start of the Kangaroo March re-enactment on September 5, just as they did for this year’s Anzac Day march.
About 15,000 people packed the city’s main street to watch the April 25 march.
Wagga’s RSL sub-branch hopes the same Centenary of Anzac spirit will bring a big crowd to the civic centre precinct to watch a colourful celebration of the original 1915 Kangaroo March and to farewell those who are re-enacting the march by walking part or all of the way to Campbelltown.

“We’d encourage people to come along in period costume to get into the spirit,” said sub-branch secretary Ken May

The 1915 Kangaroo March left Wagga on December 1, 1915, with 88 young men who had signed up to fight for Australia in World War I.

By the time the march arrived in Sydney on January 7, 1916, there were 222 Kangaroos.

The recruitment march was the longest in NSW.

The re-enactment will take 35 days and will end at Campbelltown on October 10.

Sub-branch president Kevin Kerr wants to see a big turnout to honour the original Kangaroos and they sacrifice they made.

Off the 88 who left Wagga, only 63 survived.

“It (September 5) will be a significant day because of what these men did – they were volunteers,” Mr Kerr said.

It will be a significant day because of what these men did – they were volunteers.

– Kevin Kerr

The director of the Australian War Memorial, Brendan Nelson, has accepted an invitation to attend Wagga’s celebrations, which will begin at 10am with a performance by the Australian Army Band Kapooka.

The RSL Rural Youth Commemorative Choir will also perform, poems and prayers will be read and the story of the Kangaroos will be told.

While wreaths are laid at the Cenotaph the names of all 88 Wagga Kangaroos will be read out.

At the end of the ceremony, some 88 soldiers from Kapooka will lead the procession to North Wagga, followed by 88 Australian Defence Force personnel from RAAF Base Wagga dressed in period costume.

Enlist now to march in the Kangaroo March Re-enactment.