|NAME||George Bradley Bowker|
|DIED||18 October 1948|
|MILITARY SERIAL NO.||14557|
|UNIT||9th Field Coy. Engineers|
|ENLISTED||Sydney 20 January 1916|
|DISCHARGED||Sydney 29 November 1919|
George Bowker applied for his advance prior to February 1920 and it was approved on 28 April 1920. His 20 acre block was located about 4 ½ miles from Billinudgel Railway station in the County of Rous, Parish of Billinudgel, in the Murwillumbah Land District and was considered to be big enough to be a home maintenance area. On 30 August 1921, he wrote to the RSS Branch, saying that he was unable to pay his ‘first year’s money’. He was affected by the low price of bananas and many had the disease, bunchy top. By October of 1921, even though his cart and harness were still on the plantation he was employed with the Tick Board trying to make a living – his financial position was hopeless. To add to his problems, in May of 1921, his horse had drowned in the creek during a flood not through any neglect on his part.
The District Officer reported on 14 October 1921, that the bunchy top on Bowker’s plantation was so bad that it raised alarm about the danger of infection to other plantations on the North Coast. Approval was given prior to June 1922 to call up Bowker’s loan of £615.15.0 and to dispose of the cart and harness which were the only remaining Departmental Securities. These were eventually disposed of for 7/6d. Bowker formally abandoned the holding around the middle of 1922. In November he wrote from Tabulam saying that he was in no position to pay back any part of his loan. He had put his War Gratuity into the block with another £267.5.0 behind him when he took up the holding.
By October 1925, Bowker was married with one child and employed temporarily as an Assistant Inspector of stock with the Department of Agriculture earning £4.12.0 per week and 15/4d for forage allowance. In view of his failure on the banana plantation being due to bunchy top, approval was given from the Auditor General and the Colonial Treasurer to write off his debt.
 SRNSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files, [12/6945 No. 3578], George Bradley Bowker, Acting Accountant’s Report 19 October 1925.
 Ibid, RSS Branch Office Memorandum 2 February 1920.
 Ibid, George Bowker to RSS Branch 30 August 1921.
 Ibid, A.A. Watson to District Officer Murwillumbah 27 October 1921; RSS Branch Office Memorandum 14 October 1921.
 Ibid, George Bowker to ? 3 October 1921.
 Ibid, June 1922.
 Ibid, District Officer Murwillumbah to the Under Secretary for Lands 31 May 1923.
 Ibid, A.A. Watson Director of SS to the Inspector-General of Police Sydney, 31 July 1922.
 Ibid, G.B. Bowker to ? 18 November 1922.
Sources used to compile this entry:
State Records NSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files; [12/6945 No. 3578], George Bradley Bowker.
National Archives of Australia: B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers (George Bradley Bowker) online: http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/scripts/Imagine.asp?B=3103537