|NAME||Robert Henry FENWICK|
|BORN||3 November 1892|
|MILITARY SERIAL NO.||174|
|UNIT||1st Light Horse|
|ENLISTED||Sydney 24 August 1914|
|DISCHARGED||Sydney 24 August 1919|
Robert Fenwick’s block consisted of 100 acres and was part of Ferodale Estate located near Raymond Terrace in the Land District of West Maitland, Parish of Thorton, County of Gloucester. Fenwick purchased his land possibly in the last months of 1919. He applied for his loan on 15 December 1919. By 27 April 1920, he had still not received it.
After carrying out some business with Fenwick – T.S. Elkin, a local Grain Merchant wrote a letter of complaint to R.A. Price MLA. It appears that as the goods in question were on commission, Elkin became anxious about the delay in payment. ‘I would be glad to have their cheque – I have been told they think (that) any old time will do to pay’. Because of these types of delays, Elkin believed that ‘the unfortunate soldier (was) not by any means a welcome customer. In fact there are few who will be bothered with their business at all’.
As early as 1 October 1920, Fenwick believed that there was no possibility of making his farm pay – his case being similar to other farmers on Ferodale. His stock was in only fair condition and he had little luck growing vegetables such as broad-beans and peas, ‘they were miserable stunted plants – the worse specimen I ever saw’. The property was on reclaimed swamp and platy soil, the land deficient in lime and phosphates and the cattle were suffering from rickets and cramps.
By January 1921, Fenwick was not residing on the block and had removed his stock to a holding at Scone – his father-in-law’s property. In a letter to the Department dated 3 February 1921, Fenwick outlined his reasons for doing so as believed Ferodale was not fit for dairying purposes. He had removed the stock to Scone to ‘save them from dying’. He only discovered after purchasing the block that many people have left the area and gone penniless’. On 1 March 1921, he wrote again outlining his intention to acquire another property of 73 acres which he intended leasing from a Mr Harmon of Scone.
From the beginning farming this property was also difficult. It was absolutely bare of feed and the Lucerne was black. On 23 September 1922, he wrote to the director of Soldier Settlements that it was impossible ‘to pay the rent and the interest due’ as everything in the dairy line has been down graded.’  In continuing financial difficulty his stock and plant were sold. As well, he had entered into a share agreement with another farmer although due to having to give over half of his earnings, ‘he would be unable to provide for his family and pay his way’
Around October 1922, because his milk and cream supply had doubled, he felt that he would at last be able to make good. Rowland the Auctioneer who was holding the stock and plant made representation to the Minister for Agriculture on his behalf, asking if an extension of time would be granted to Fenwick who was described as a steady and sober man with a wife and four children. It was agreed that Rowland withdraw the stock and plant from sale and return them to Fenwick and that he execute a stock mortgage and bill of sale over the advance stock and plant. Fenwick’s positive upturn was only short lived however.
On 5 January 1923 he stated, ‘It seems impossible for me to make a living out of my stock and plant under the present conditions … I thought when I went into shares that things would be brighter … it is impossible for me to go on like this and I am getting in debt’. On 23 January 1923, it was proposed that his advance of £412.6.3 be immediately recalled. Fenwick left the property around 7 February 1923.
 SRNSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files; [12/6900 No. 3034], Robert Henry Fenwick, Application for Loan 15 December 1919.
 Ibid, R.H. Fenwick to the Director of SS? 27 April 1920.
 Ibid, T.S. Elkin to R.A. Price MLA 26 July 1920.
 Ibid, Extract from Letter Manager Raymond Terrace Soldiers’ Settlement 1 October 1920.
 Ibid, … to Secretary Repatriation Committee Scone 31 January 1921.
 Ibid, Fenwick to Director of SS 3 February 1921.
 Ibid, 1 March 1921.
 Ibid, RSS Branch Office Memorandum 22 July 1922.
 Ibid, Fenwick to the Director of SS 23 September 1922.
 Ibid, RSS Branch Office Memorandum 6 October 1922.
 Ibid, 14 October 1922.
 Ibid, Fenwick to Director of SS 5 January 1923.
Sources used to compile this entry:
State Records of NSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files [12/6900 No. 3034], Robert Henry Fenwick.
National Archives of Australia: B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers (Robert Henry Fenwick) online: http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/scripts/Imagine.asp?B=3552699