Monday, May 2, 2016

BRL 4 Soldier Settlement at Bald Hills

"Sometimes we just don't realise that each passing moment of our lives is one step closer to creating an historical event"

Those are words which perhaps we all should take a moment to absorb.

All the wasted opportunities of the past 50 years will one day be all those missed opportunities associated with our journey along the pathway of life.

Unfortunately it is only when we get pretty well along that pathway, that we take the time to look back and reflect.

A fellow Family historian shared her thoughts amongst those of us working on the German lineages.

I am sometimes like a broken record, I cannot say it enough when doing your family history remember to record what you know first, all your childhood experiences and memories, go through your photos and write as much as you can on the back, or create a book using power point, do not lose the now stories while searching for the history. Remember we are very quickly becoming the history, let us be the best recorded era of all times. 

If you are like me, i knew my Great Grandparents, and Grandparents some of whom are the very pioneers we and others so painstakingly research. There are many who were not lucky to have met even their grandparents, if you were lucky like me please write it down.

so tip 1... is to work from the known towards the unknown.
tip 2..... have a good system for recording your information.
tip 3.... record the information as soon as you find it, never say i will get to that later and create a stash of unrecorded info and photos. We are all guilty, if your stash is growing be sure to make a full day and clear the backlog.
tip 4.....what is the purpose of your research, remember to keep your goal in mind, are you writing a book, creating a special album, or have you become obsessed. 

You perhaps think this should be tip 1.... not so, it is only after we begin that we reach a point where we need to ask the all important question.

....I ask the question are family researchers/ the keeper of family records and information born or do we create ourselves ? 

Is it important to have an understanding of your immediate family line? "Yes of course". Is it important that you record every twig and branch, that is a question we must all come to and find a comfortable place at where, to end our research on each branch.

tip 5....... Has this branch been put into book form already, ask around find if there are already books available and create a library of "family history" books.      Cal S.

Wise words in this technological world, where photos are stored on "chips" and "clouds".

In my career, we would have taken thousands of photos, we thought it pretty good when he could at least have a large photo of a property, and not some small Kodak moment!  5 x 7 became the norm, and the photos got even bigger than that!

Where are they all?  Good question, and one that I am unable to answer.  Sure we often threw them out when we had a cleanup, without ever thinking that one day, those photos would be a part of history.

All those old houses, some well cared for, some not, they just became the object that we were dealing with, not a window into the past!


As it is now when following the events of the district post World War I.

The returning soldiers were offered payment by the Government based on how many days they served overseas.  Then there was a scheme to provide housing in Soldier Settlements.  It would appear though that many of those areas chosen were not that  suitable for farming.  Our grandfather had a grant at Orthollo, near Injune.  Out west where the dingos outnumbered the goats and sheep.  Hidden Springs it was called!   It probably looked a likely place when viewing a map.  Flat land, nothing around.

It didn't work.  The farmers walked off their selections, in debt.

In Brisbane nothing changed.  The Government selected flat lands at Wyampa, near Bald Hills, and created a Soldier's Settlement there.   The lots were originally Lot 103,104 and 105, and on the 1930 map the sub-division is shown.

From the map the land owners are:

S Dixon              Lot 220  57 acres
A.H. Davies        Lot 221   54 acres +
H Carvell            Lot 222 and 223  18 acres
S Dixon              Lot 224     19 acres
R Goddard          Lot 226      20 acres  
P G Richens        Lot 227      28 acres
T Mobbs             Lot 228      22 acres
E.J. Carseldine    Lot 105, 231 and 230 31+ acre
G.W. Carseldine  Lot 229 232   40+ acres
D Anderson         Lot 233  29 acres.

The information about the Soldier's Settlements is quite disturbing for those men, who fought in a War, to have to come home and fight another war with the authorities, all because the lands selected for soldier settlements were generally unsuited as to their intended use.  The land in question is huge 500 acres, and the degree of quality of the land from the corner of Bracken Ridge Road to Deep Water Bend would indeed be quite different.

The Telegraph Newspaper of Friday 16th January 1920 advises that there is a block of 560 acres of land bought from Mr Miller at Bald Hills for the settlement of soldiers.  The land is on the right hand side of the Government Road, and it belonged to Samuel Miller.

Perhaps it was because of my long career in real estate, that made this research more disturbing, as these men had been treated very unfairly!

On Tuesday 20th February 1920  

Mr P.W. Shannon sat in the Land Court yesterday to determine the compensation due to Samuel Miller, dairyman Bald Hills for the resumption by the Government of 565 acres of land at Bald Hills for soldiers' settlement.  The land comprises portions 103, 104, and 105 and is situate at The Pocket, Bald Hills.  The proposal is to cut the land into 20 acre blocks for market gardening for soldiers.

The offer was £11/6/4 per acre a prudent offer, which had been accepted by Mr Miller.

In September 1920, unemployment was high, and the Government advised they needed 20 men to clear the soldier settlements at Bald Hills.

In July 1921, there was a report Bald Hills Farms

In order to verify our report's observations on the character of the land in the soldier settlement near Bald Hills, to which exception has been taken by the Minister for Lands, and by one correspondent, (Mr G.W. Carseldine, of Bald Hills who holds one of the blocks, but has not yet taken up residence on it) the "Courier" despatched a photographer to the locality.  The four views reproduced on this page are selected from a number of photographs which he took.  They will assist readers to decide whether the comment published was justified or not.  The scenes are typical of the settlement, of which it is admitted by the authorities that 100 acres of the total, area of 500 acres consists of salt-pan.  Mr Edward Farrell one of the soldier settlers, holding 43 acres, who first drew attention to the matter declared "that the land is so bad that it is not even any use trying to grow anything"

Again which the Minister quoted official reports which declared that "the statement regarding Mr Farrell's block that there are only two acres of cultivable land is entirely incorrect, as five acres were measured out for the first clearing, and there are still approximately four acres further that can be successfully used as a market garden.   The balance of the portion could be turned into good grazing land by clearing and ringbarking."  A further report




BALD HILLS "FARMS." (See illustrations on Page 24)

Complaints from soldier settlers in Queensland have become, so insistent and so extensive in their compass that the public are inclined at times to treat them as chronic. It has seldom been' the task of anybody to inquire into the origin of the multifarious troubles which beset those men for whom, when the war raged, "nothing could be too good but who are, now, in only too many instances, obliged to. continue their fight against nature, circumstances, and interminable red tape, unassisted, and without the definitely expressed sympathy of the community.

Matters have reached such a stage at the Bald Hills .soldiers' settlement, however, that there, is not only room for severe comment in the results which have attended the administration of the various  land blocks, but for investigation into the reason why such an obviously unsuitable area was ever selected for the purpose to which it has been put. , .. ..

When a visit was made to the locality recently by a representative of the "Brisbane Courier' several of the farmers pat their cases plainly, and in more than one. instance pathetically, before him, but  more eloquent than even their expressive language was the testimony proffered by the landscape itself. A more desolate, discouraging, and hopeless rural picture would be difficult to imagine. There were spaces which resembled a vertiable slough' of despond. Of the total expanse .of 500 odd acres (divided into about 21 portions) nearly 200 acres was claimed by ti-tree and mangrove swamps, which constituted nothing more valuable than a hunting ground for millions of giant mosquitoes. 

This "paradise" was made almost unapproachable by a road so liquid in parts that it was impassable to anything but pedestrians, who, perforce, had to dodge the innumerable bogs and pitfalls which could not be faced by vehicles of any kind.  On the previous day one man tried the experiment of driving his horse  and cart to the township, but he never arrived there. It took the combined efforts of the horse and six men to drag the cart from its bed of mud. The natural consequence of this condition of affairs is that many of the settlers are forced to walk miles for their food supplies, and to postpone the carriage of heavier necessities until "something is done." Whether that-"something'^ will be performed by the Kedron Council, which is said to be the responsible authority, or by the. Government, is not known. It is stated that the Lands Department paid nearly 7,000 for this tract of country. 

An effective illustration of the practically insurmountable difficulties which beset these ex-servicemen is afforded by the case of Mr. Edward Farrell, who, after a distinguished career in the British Secret Service, and the Royal Flying Corps (in which he had two'planes shot down under him)., was encouraged by the Agent-General's Office to go to Queensland and take up land under the provisions of the Discharged Soldiers' Settlement Acts of 1917 to 1920.  He duly arrived in this State with his wife and two small children, and, after waiting two months, took up the holding he at present occupies, because he had no alternative. 

Nominally  his "farm" comprises 43 acres and  30 perches, and a roomed cottage. For actual purposes there are only two acres of ground on which anything other than mangroves, ti-trees, prickly-pear, lantana, and occasional clumps of marine grass would grow. Even there, salt water is struck at a depth of from 6in. to 9in.

 The house itself actually stands on a tidal marsh from which a most aggressive odour emanates. The capital value of the whole property is officially computed to be £11 an acre, although an offer has since been made to reduce it by £1 per acre. Mr. Farrell stated that he had always met with the most autocratic treatment from the department, which had persistently ignored his demands for a revaluation. His small private means had dwindled to nothing and he had no prospect of paying the rent when it became due next September. "To bring a man and his family 13,000 miles for treatment of this kind is a damnable shame," he said. "The land is so bad that it is not even any use trying to grow anything.  The whole thing is disgraceful. 

Another married man nearby had a somewhat similar story to relate.  He pointed out that although he was asked to pay rent for 22 acres; no less than 8 acres of the total area was ti-tree, swamp. In spite of the fact .that he and his wife worked week in and week out, without respite, at the task of clearing and preparing the soil for cultivation, little progress had been made, and they had so capital left with which to buy seed for crops. It had been his intention to follow "mixed farming, but if no concession was made by the department he would not only not be able to produce his rent on the day when it becomes due, but would have to leave the piece without a penny in his pocket to reward his months of labour.

 Mr. H. Carvell, who has a holding in the same neighbourhood, lives in a house which is practically destitute of furniture. He, too, is arduously fighting the battle of reclamation with little or no success. Ultimately he hopes to plant melons and keep pigs, but he has no sort of idea where he is going to collect the money on rent day. He held the opinion that it would be a big help to the settlers if the Government would postpone the payment of rent until the second or third year, so that there would at least he a little hard cash in hand for development purposes. 

He added that the  apparent policy in regard to the control of the settlers' purchases of stock and material reacted disadvantageously upon everybody. In theory they were supposed to be able to buy in the open market. In practice the contrary was the case. Recently he had the opportunity of obtaining a good cow from a local vendor at a very reasonable price.. The deal had been disapproved by the' local supervisor, and a much dearer, but not a better, animal had. been found for him elsewhere. In other ways, too, obstacles were put in the way of the settler. It was altogether difficult to understand the point of view of the Government, which, while supposed to represent labour, was trying to screw the last penny out of men who had to work continuously to make the barest of livings. . 

Just across the boundary line were the 54 acres leased to Mr. A. H. Davis This holding was notable for  the following facts:—That rent was demanded for 54 acres, when (1) only 1.5 acres was cleared, and (2) when from 25 to 30 acres consisted of saltwater, marsh-land, and ti-tree swamp. Much of this bleak, dreary, unhealthy stretch of pear-infested, lantana scourged, heavily-timbered waste resembled the morasses which are to be seen at Luggage Point. Mr. Davis, when asked what he intended to do about it, replied, laconically, that he -did not know. '"If I had only realised what it was like," he added. "I would not have come near the place." He admitted that he was included in the number who could not solve the problem which would present itself on. rent day. 

Another settler said he was so desperate for want of money that he allowed . a neighbour to milk his cows for a consideration, and went out ploughing other people's land, for which he was paid by the Government £2/5/ an acre-exactly half of that which would be demanded by a labourer from a private employer for similar work. It is but just to state that there were five of the 21 settlers who looked forward to paying their way.

These were men who had a little capital to tide them over the initial stages and trials, and who had had considerable rural experience. More significant still, they were the lucky few who possessed the only really good land in the area, but even they, for all their bright prospects, considered the settlement.unsuitable for small 'holding purposes, and better adapted to dairying, especially in a dry season.

A very old resident, of Bald Hills, when invited to give his opinion of the settlement, said': "I would not exchange my little five-acre block up here for 20 acres of the best land they have in the settlement."

The annual rental was in the vicinity of 20 pounds per year.  They seemed to be a Perpetual Lease.

G.W, Carseldine was in 1923 growing cotton among the grapes.

He also wrote a lengthy report to the newspaper providing his viewpoint about the blocks.  He was obviously successful with his grapes.  Perhaps his land was not quite so bad as some of the others.  His extensive family links with farming would have also given him an advantage as to the location.


In 1925 Vera Richards of the Soldiers Settlement, was seeking defamation against Edwin Carseldine for alleged defamation!

In 1929 Gus Davis was fined for not having a wireless licence, as was Henry Carvell.

In 1930 Mr A, H Davis (Gus) of the Soldiers Settlement reported on the fishing Mr and Mrs Albrecht 25, including three flathead of 2 lb each; Mr W Coombes 40 mixed with many big whiting, Mr J McKelvey and party 17 flathead, 20 whiting, and a few in tailer and jewfish.  Messsrs P Grenning and G York 50 large whiting and five bream.


Luckily there were spirited men like George Carseldine.  While he was successful with growing grapes and cotton, for a time on the land, he was also very vocal with his writings to the newspaper and the Council in regard to the condition of the road, other local matters.  He was the President of the Growers, and again vocal in that role.

He suffered a bad accident in a chaffcutter.   He was an artist................

 George Carseldine was a talented Queensland artist whose early promise was truncated by the effects of World War One. George William Carseldine was born at the family home 'Fairfield’, Bald Hills, Brisbane, the fourth child of a family of four girls and six boys born to Joseph and Sarah Agnes née Protheroe. He attended the Bald Hills State School and later was a student of R. Godfrey Rivers at the Brisbane Technical College.

He exhibited at the Queensland Art Society 1904-14 where he was Honorary Secretary 1912-14. He also exhibited at the rival New Society of Artists for a few years and was included in the South Australian Society of Arts Federal Exhibition 1913. He enlisted in the A. I. F. in 1914 when he was attached to 1st Australian General Hospital and served in Egypt and France holding the rank of sergeant.

 Before returning to Australia he spent six months studying commercial art at the Edinburgh School of Art in 1919. The war must have had a serious effect as subsequently he only exhibited at the Queensland Art Society in 1920 and posthumously at the Society’s Golden Jubilee in 1938.

Carseldine married Emma Kate Pitney in 1924. During his earlier life he worked as a clerk for house and land agents, Cameron Bros, Adelaide Street and also at the Brisbane Markets. In later years worked a farm at Stanthorpe and later at the Bald Hills Soldier Settlement but had a nervous breakdown during the 1930s when he destroyed most .of his work.


Just refresh your memory - The Soldier Settlement was Mosquito Creek!
 and now Tinchi Tamba Wetlands, 


Tinchi Tamba Wetlands

Tinchi Tamba Wetlands Reserve is over 380 hectares in size and is part of a network of coastal wetlands on the edge of Moreton Bay. The wetlands are located 19 kilometres north of the Brisbane CBD, between Pine River and Bald Hills Creek and includes tidal flats, mangroves, salt-marshes, melaleuca wetlands, grasslands and open forest.

Freshwater and saltwater flooding shapes the wetlands. High tides flood the mangrove and tidal flats, creating food-rich environments for fish, crabs, molluscs and birds. Spring tides flood the saltmarshes several times every year. During major floods most of Tinchi Tamba is covered by water.

Visitors to the reserve can explore the areas by foot on the Bird Hide and Island Circuit tracks or by canoe following the Eagle and Island canoe trails. Barbecue, picnic, toilet and fishing facilities are available at Deep Water Bend. 

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