Soldier Settlement at Carapook
Commemoration of Soldier Settlers & WW2 Deaths|
Carapook, 13 June 1999
Soldier settlers on the three post World War II estates at Carapook, Bella Vista, Tulse Hill & McNicol's are being commemorated with the unveiling of a plaque and an associated ceremony at the Carapook Hall on Sunday, 13th June 1999 of the Queen's Birthday weekend. A plaque commemorating the 3 Carapook men killed in WW2 will also be unveiled at the same time. The ceremony will commence at 12:30 pm and further details available from:
Mrs Lorna Gibbs, RMB 4179 Coleraine, VIC 3315
Ph: 03 5575 3292 - Fax: 03 5579 8565
Photograph at the Ceremony of 13 Jun 1999
The three soldier settlement schemes developed in the Carapook area after World War II were:
- Bella Vista (4 farms, 1948) - original owner G. McDonald
Settlers - D Bell, T. Eagleson, F. Kindred, A. Tindall.
- Tulse Hill (8 farms, 1948) - original owner Corney
Settlers - B. Beaton, E. Dehnert, M. Harker, C. Miller, H. Nield, A. Proctor, A. Robertson, H. Slight.
- McNicol's (18 farms, 1958) - original owner D. McNicol
Settlers - L. Arnold, H. Barby, G. Brooker, A. Burn, W. Day, G. Eldridge, A. Fitzgerald, L. Gibbs, A. Green, W. Kettle, B. Madex, A. McIntosh, D. McKenzie, A. McLeod, A. Murrell, C. Newbold, N. Robb, L. Taylor.
Ian Morton in his introduction to Rosalind Smallwood's book "Hard to go Bung - World War II Soldier Settlement in Victoria 1945 - 1962" noted:
The parents, friends and loved ones of those who fought for Australia during World War II had, without exception, known the sadness, the grief and the loneliness which had followed the loss of so many young men who fell in the slaughter in foreign lands during World War I - the war longingly portrayed as 'the war to end all wars'.
This widely-shared experience resulted in a deep determination that when the young men and women came home to the cherished peace after World War II, there would be something better, whatever the cost, for their fresh start into a new era.
The record levels of unemployment and the paralysis of world trade during the Depression of the 1930's and the period before the outbreak of war in 1939 need to be compared with the the nation's activity in wartime. During World War II everyone had a job, and people largely accepted government direction about getting on with the task of winning the war, and achieving the hitherto unparalleled levels of production necessary for victory. With that background plus the little-understood, but nevertheless important, developments in economic theory, governments developed wide-ranging and essentially practical systems of rehabilitation.
In this new spirit of commitment the Soldier Settlement Commission was established late in 1945. The commission provided ex-servicemen with an opportunity to go on the land on a way that offered the triers a real prospect of success. In the process, new opportunities were also opened up for their partners and their children.
Bella Vista is a property located at Carapook between Casterton and Coleraine in the south western district of Victoria. According to a brief article in the "Casterton News" of 27 Jan 1988, George McDONALD acquired the property which became known as Bella Vista when he arrived in the district in 1850 and built the Bella Vista homestead sometime between 1870 and 1878. He had no children and when he died the property was taken over by John McDONALD, the first head Teacher of Coleraine State School. John from Nairnshire, Scotland married Rachel McKenzie at Portland in 1858 and they had 4 children:
A section of "Tulse Hill" was converted into 4 Soldier Settlement blocks in 1948 with the new owners being:
R. Bell, T. Eagleson, F. Kindred and A. Tindall.
- John 'Captain Jack' McDONALD, b. 1860, served in the Boer War with the 2nd New Zealand Contingent
- Christina Jamesina McDONALD, b. 1866 Coleraine, married William McDONALD in 1890 and moved to NZ.
- George William McDONALD, OBE, b. 1870 Coleraine
- Norman 'Major' McDONALD, b. 1872 Coleraine, Associate Professor of Veterinary Pathology at the University of Melbourne, Country Vet of 'Bella Vista' Carapook
"Tulse Hill" was a large property to the north east of Carapook run by the CORNEY family. Thomas POVEY from Digby and Carapook was the Station Overseer in the early 1900's and a number of his sons also worked on the property. A section of this property was divided into 8 Soldier Settlement blocks in 1948 and became known as the "Tulse Hill Estate". The Soldier Settlers on "Tulse Hill" were:
B. Beaton, E. Dehnert, M. Harker, C. Miller, H. Nield, A. Proctor, A. Robertson, H. Slight.
Duncan McNICOL owned a large property at Carapook known as "Phoines" and divided into two main sections. The western section joined "Bella Vista" to the west and contained the homestead whereas the eastern section was to the east of Carapook and joined "Muntham" and "Tulse Hill".
Alan & Wal POVEY were two of the POVEY brothers who worked on McNICOL's with Alan working on the property for 32 years after leaving Carapook School. He and his family lived at 'Rosedale" on the western section of "Phoines", north west of the village of Carapook and then became manager of the eastern part of the property in the early 1950's where Alan & family lived in the newly built house known as "Mulgowrie" which became the GIBBS house when the property was divided into the 18 Soldiers Blocks in 1958. After the death of Duncan McNICOL in the 1950's the eastern section was purchased by the Soldier Settlement Commission and divided into 18 Soldier Settlement blocks. The new residents were:
L. Arnold, H. Barby, G. Brooker, A. Burn, W. Day, G. Eldridge, A. Fitzgerald, L. Gibbs, A. Green, W. Kettle, B. Madex, A. McIntosh, D. McKenzie, A. McLeod, A. Murrell, C. Newbold, N. Robb, L. Taylor.