|NAME||Frank William HODDINOTT|
|MILITARY SERIAL NO.||86|
|UNIT||1st Mobile Vet. Section|
|ENLISTED||Sydney 13 November 1914|
|DISCHARGED||Sydney 29 March 1919|
only courting disaster for the settler
rank William Hoddinott applied for his Advance on 13 March 1919. This was approved on the same day. He wanted the money to use for fencing and ploughing, a house, sheds, plough, horses and various other fittings. He eventually had two blocks of land, the first taken up in 1923 (SGP 1923/31) and the second (SP 25/18) in 1925. The blocks were within Lawson Park Soldier Settlement at Leadville and each block consisted of 276 acres. The two blocks were located in the County of Napier, Parish of Narangarie, Land District of Dunedoo. He took up occupation 8 May 1919.
Hoddinott applied several times during 1919 and 1920 for changes to the items on his Advance schedule. In the regime of constant scrutiny that characterised soldier settlement any changes had to be approved by the Department of Lands.
By 18 December 1920 Hoddinott’s repayments of his interest were in arrears to the amount of £11.12.11. Hoddinott believed that the blocks on Lawson Park SS were too small, preventing settlers making a living – the size of the blocks, ‘only courting disaster for the settler’
On 19 May 1921, he wrote to the Director of SS, declaring he was unable to pay interest owing and arrears on his principal debt. He was unable to sell his wheat, his expenses were high and even though he was not married he ‘was under obligation to provide food and shelter to his aged parents’. It was suggested that Hoddinott be required to execute a lien but he requested that this not be executed until January 1923 due to his financial position. It was agreed that the lien be deferred until after the 1922 harvest.
In April the execution of a crop lien was still an issue with Hoddinott.
I cannot execute a lien over a crop which is not yet sown and which may not even provide me with living expenses for one cannot guarantee the seasons and one as to find cash to buy food and clothing.
The Manager of the SS estate, A. Wilson agreed with him.
I should like to point out that a lien on a crop with present prospects here is not worth the paper it is written on.
Hoddinott believed that by signing a lien, ‘he was signing his living away’. He proposed that if he was advanced more money to acquire more milking cows, he would then be able to execute a crop lien to cover all accrued interest.
Because the Inspector or SS believed the ‘Lawson Park Settlers made a mistake in trying to run their blocks as wheat areas it was difficult for them to now get established in other lines such as dairying’, it would be in the interests of the Department to grant Hoddinott an additional advance not to exceed £100. His arrears at this time amounted to £138.18.1.
Hoddinott had a lot of bad luck losing three of his horses ‘in the pink of condition’. He was not seen by the RSS Branch inspector as being in a good financial position. However, because he ‘bore a good character and taking consideration the many undesirable settlers in the neighbourhood on whom no adverse action was taken’, his case was let stand. It was effectively an extension of the loan. Individual inspectors could and did exercise this kind of clemency.
By May 1923, Hoddinott had executed a lien over his crops although because of the complete failure of his crop was not to be asked to execute one over his 1923-24 crop.
In July 1923, Hoddinott asked for a reduction in cost of fencing citing the case of another settler Gallagher. Hoddinott also believed that as the fence was shared between him and Gallagher, the (cheaper) cost should be shared.
Due to what the RSS Branch believed was his ‘long period of free occupancy it was recommended that no reduction be made’. Instead a debt of £10 for ploughing was written off. In March 1924 Hoddinott again applied for an extension of time to pay amounts due. This was approved until 21 January 1925. And again in July 1925, he applied for another extension stating that he intended to pay £150 on or before February 1926.
On 19 July 1925, he applied to his local member of parliament for more land. He sought consideration, the same as he believed other farmers in the area had received – several who now held two blocks. The block he applied for was adjacent to his current block. The property, a Settlement Purchase, was allotted to him on 24 July 1925, bringing his total acreage up to 552 acres.
It was also proposed that he be forced to forfeit his holding, although this decision was waived August 1925.  In September 1925, Hoddinott requested permission to use the whole of the proceeds of his crop to meet his liabilities. He was concerned that the proceeds of his own share would not be enough for him to carry on. By September 1925, it was reported that Hoddinott had paid nothing on his Principal or is Advance although he again signed a lien on a crop of 200 acres the next season. He was again granted an extension of time to pay until 31 January 1926.
On 21 September 1926, he wrote to the Under Secretary stating that he had been unable to crop 200 acres due to ‘abnormal weather conditions during the sowing period’. He also suffered because of heavy rains which caused the Coolaburragundy and Talbragar rivers to flood. This caused considerable damage to his fencing.
Throughout 1927 and much of 1928 this settler continued to have problems with crop failure, noxious weeds, overdue payments and the execution of liens. In December 1928, an adverse report received from the District Surveyor referred to the neglected condition of all structural improvements and that ‘he was also considerably indebted to outside creditors’. Despite this it was reported ‘Hoddinott could afford a new motor cycle’. He was still single in 1931, not living on the property and was driving a motor lorry on piece work at Leadville – ‘his earnings (were) small’.
By January 1930 both his blocks had been forfeited because of non payment of instalments of purchase money. 2 November 1931, Hoddinott had debts amounting to £233.8.5 – a figure judged to be ‘irrecoverable’ 
 SRNSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers Settlement loan files; [12/6855 No. 1303], Application for an Advance 13 March 1919.
 Ibid, AJ Wilson to Director of SS 13 September 1920.
 Ibid, RSS Branch Office Memorandum 18 December 1920.
 Ibid, FR Hoddinott to Director of SS 19 May 1921.
 Ibid, RSS Branch Office Memorandum 12 December 1921?
 Ibid, Hoddinott to Director of SS 4 April 1922.
 Ibid, A Wilson to The Director SS 10 May 1922.
 Ibid, Hoddinott to the Director of SS 4 May 1922.
 Ibid, Ibid.
 Ibid, RSS Branch office Memorandum, Inspector’s Report 23 May 1922.
 Ibid, 19 March 1923.
 Ibid, RSS Branch Office Memorandum 22 May 1923.
 Ibid, Hoddinott to the Under Secretary Department of Lands 21 July 1923.
 Ibid, 19 October 1923.
 Ibid, RSS Branch Office Memorandum 3 September 1923.
 Ibid, Auditor General to the Under Secretary for Lands 24 September 1923.
 Ibid, Application for an extension of time to pay amounts due on Advance 14 February 1924.
 Ibid, Under Secretary to Hoddinott 13 May 1924.
 Ibid, Application for postponement or extension of time to pay, 14 July 1925.
 Ibid, Hoddinott to Mr. J. Clarke MLA 19 July 1925.
 Ibid, Under Secretary for Lands to Hoddinott 6 August 1925.
 Ibid, W. Dawson, Department of Agriculture to Under Secretary for Lands 9 September 1925.
 Ibid, RSS Branch Report 10 September 1925.
 Ibid, Under Secretary to Hoddinott, 6 February 1926.
 Ibid, FW Hoddinott to Under Secretary for Lands 21 September 1926.
 Ibid, Under Secretary for Lands Report 8 July 1931.
 Ibid, NSW Government Gazette 13 September 1929, p?
 Ibid, Auditor General to the Under Secretary for Lands 2 November 1931.
Sources used to compile this entry:
State Records NSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers Settlement loan files; [12/6855 No. 1303] Frank William Hoddinott.
National Archives of Australia: B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers (Frank William Hoddinott) online: http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/imagine.asp?B=5265924&I=1&SE=1