R.J. Dade – Kangaroo

An 18 year old labourer living at Alpine near Colo Vale with his mother Mary Dade, Roy James Dade had lost his father James at an early age.   He joined the Kangaroos and enlisted at Goulburn (#1642). As with many other Kangaroos he sailed on the Ceramic in April 1916.

The young man found the discipline difficult and began a number of ‘Absent Without Leave’ episodes while still in camp in Australia.   In France his pay was forfeited a number of times for this offence.

Roy also had bouts of illness and was hospitalised in November 1916 and March 1917.   In May 1917 he suffered a gunshot wound to the hand and was hospitalised for treatment before returning to the front line. Dade absconded on other occasions in France, but managed to represent his Corps in a Boxing Tournament in November 1918. He completed his time of duty and was returned to Australia on board the Beltana in 1919, though suffered gastritis during the voyage.

Like many of the other returned Kangaroos, men without trade such as labourers found employment difficult during the depression years. In 1935 Roy requested duplicate papers and medal to assist in his search for work. For a time he lived in the Taree area.

Roy James Dade enlisted in World War II as a Sergeant in 21 Works Company.   He died in 1970 in Wauchope.


Our appreciation to Dahlis Evans for her diligence in compiling this story.


www.nsw.gov.au ;
www.aif.adfa.edu.au ;
www.naa.gov.au ;
The Kangaroo March by Sherry Morris and Harold Fife.


One of the few lads who joined the Kangaroos who hailed from the Southern Highlands, we’d be keen to learn more about him. Do email Angela Williamson at kangaroomarch@gmail.com .


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