The 5th Regiment (Scottish Rifles) Camp at Concord West
Date posted: December 14, 2017
On Tuesday, 17th April, 1900, the Daily Telegraph published the following article:
Through the courtesy of the trustees of the Walker Estate, the 5th Regiment (Scottish Rifles) camped for the principal part of their Easter training at Rhodes. The position taken up is a splendid one overlooking the Parramatta River and closely situated to the Northern Railway line. Tents being fixed up some days previous, the men arriving from headquarters took up their quarters on Thursday at about 11:30 pm. The regiment consisted of between 300 and 400 men. A, B and C Companies represented headquarters; D Company, Newcastle; and E Company Maclean. Lieutentant-Colonel Campbell was the officer commanding, ably assisted by Major Robertson.
On Good Friday morning early parades took place and during the day the regiment was put thorugh a most instructive course of company and battalion drill. On Saturday the Newcastle company took up a position on the hill at Homebush in order to defend it from attack which was expected to be made by the other companies of the regiment.
A successful detour and well-timed advance were, however, defeated in their object by the commander of the Newcastle company detecting the enemy advancing, thanks to the conspicuousness of the white helmets and other white attractions which adorn the regimentals . . . the experience proved the utter absurdity of such apparel.
Early Sunday morning reveille woke the camp. Tents were immediately struck and breakfast followed. A special church service in the Walker Hospital grounds was subsequently attended and at 9:30 am the regiment marched back to the camping ground . . . at noon the men fell in for a march to Normanhurst, near Hornsby Junction. The men crossed the Parramatta River by way of the railway bridge, while the transport service went over by punt . . . The march was enlivened by the Scottish bagpipes and band respectively, and en route many civilians assembled to witness the procession . . . At Devlin’s Creek, between Epping and Beecroft, a halt was made for a rest of about a quarter of an hour, after which the march was continued, the regiment arriving at Normanhurst about dusk.
The object of the march to Normanhurst was for the purpose of engaging in a sham fight with the Australian Rifles at Hornsby.
(Trove Newspapers: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/) (Photographs: Sydney Mail, Saturday, 28th April 1900)