Centenary of the Kangaroo MarchPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Roger Johnson

The monument, consisting of an etched sign and plaques, commemorates the centenary of the Kangaroo March which passed through Illabo in 1915 during World War One. 

The plaques commemorate the men from Illabo who joined the march to enlist for service in World War One. A re-enactment of the march took place in 2015.

Eighty eight potential soldiers left Wagga Wagga on 1 December 1915. They marched via Harefield, Junee, Illabo, Bethungra, Cootamundra and Wallendbeen.  At Wallendbeen on 9 December, the Governor-General addressed the marchers. After Wallendbeen, they marched via Nubba to Murrumburrah and the next day they were at Harden. They then marched through Galong, Binalong and Bowning to Yass. From Wagga Wagga to Yass was a total of 132 miles, the march travelled at an average of 8.8 miles per day.

As with other marches, the men were fed and feted by the local population; at Murrumburrah, for instance, donations included 114 puddings and 9 sheep to be baked gratis by the local bakers, 200 loaves of bread, 850 potatoes and 30 dozen eggs. They marched to Campbelltown via Goulburn. The Kangaroo recruits travelled from Campbelltown into Sydney by train arriving on 7 January 1916 with somewhere between 210 and 230 recruits. It had been decided that this recruitment drive would finish at Campbelltown so that a country contingent could be created. There were reports of rowdy and drunken behaviour along the route by the marchers. The best known recruit from this march was John Ryan, who was awarded the Victoria Cross.



Address:Olympic Highway & Layton Street, Illabo Memorial Gardens, Illabo, 2590
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.814786
Long: 147.740323
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:04-December-1915
Actual Event End Date:04-December-2015


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:2015
Front Inscription

Kangaroo March

A century on

Plaque :

To commemorate the servicemen who joined the Kangaroo March at Illabo,

4th December 1915

Plaque :
[ Names ]

Plaque :

A century on... in memory of the " Kangaroos" who marched in the Wagga Wagga - Yass Recruitment March to Sydney camping in Illabo on 4 and 5 December 1915 en route for the Western Front

Kangaroo March Centenary Re-Enactment Association Inc.

Source: MA,NRWM
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au