|NAME||A H Johnson|
|MILITARY SERIAL NO.||It is not possible to identify this information at this stage|
|DISCHARGED||Possibly Medically Unfit|
A.H. Johnson took up a block on Kentucky Soldier Settlement. He applied for his loan on 31 January 1919 and it was approved on the same day. He stated that he wanted to use the loan for a house and sheds, implements, harness and stock totalling £402. Additionally, he requested permission to purchase a cow and a calf for £10.10.0.
The following correspondence located in Johnson’s loan file about a horse and the building of extra rooms went on for most of 1919 and indicates the Returned Soldiers Settlement Branch’s almost pedantic compulsion to sort out a matter that was relatively simple.
Sometime before 4 May 1919 Johnson wrote to the Director of Returned Soldiers Settlements about a horse that he had acquired in a ballot that was too difficult for him to handle. It was reported by the Director, ‘The horse required a good man and in good hands would be sound, but for Johnson it was no use to him’ Nothing was to be sorted out easily with Director Bryant asking the Foreman of Kentucky Solder Settlement in July, ‘if the horse could be given to another settler or used in some other way on Kentucky’? Toward the end of that month however, it was reported ‘that the horse issued to Settler Johnson (was) dead’. ‘When this horse arrived on the settlement it never picked up much. Settler Johnson is not a good horse man, but in my opinion it was never worth £16 the price on it. Other settlers would not ballot for it’. On 5 November, 1919 questions were still being asked about whether Johnson actually used the horse named Dolly at all, when he had it.
By 30 September approval had still not been obtained for the building of two extra rooms on Johnson’s cottage and details were still being asked about the horse – the date of its transfer and date of its death. It seems by the end of October 1919 Johnson had obtained another horse for £15.
There were also problems about the construction of a well for Johnson by a Thomas Pope. Johnson agreed to pay Pope £10 but when he went back to complete the work Johnson had taken on another person to do it. Pope stated ‘the well was in rotten ground which was very dangerous and at a great risk to my life’. He went on,
I can produce good references from leading townspeople that I am a sober hard working man and I ask you as man to man, is that a right way to treat me?
On 12 May 1920, it was stated by the Acting Director of Soldier Settlement when writing to Thomas Pope that he had been absent from the job for some time, so Johnson ‘who had been afraid that the well would collapse, proceeded with the work (himself) and finished it’.
On 26 April 1922, A.A. Watson Director of SS wrote to Johnson asking his intentions about liquidating his advance. He stated that there had been no reply to a previous letter written on 23 rd January. Johnson replied angrily,
I can’t see why I am to be harnessed with this debt seeing that I had to leave the Settlement on account of my health. Also when I was there I handed over to the manager all properties in good order and condition. I left there with nothing, all my money was eaten up whilst there. I left my crops for the department. I am in receipt of ½ a pension at present but can hardly live on that seeing I am still a sick man.
The Deptartment of Lands continued to have difficulty obtaining the money from Johnson and in October 1923 the Accountant wrote stating that ‘this settler has taken no notice of letters (registered) sent him’. Johnson vacated his block at Kentucky on 23 July 1921.
Sometime after this date although possibly in the last week of July, Johnson took up a small farm at Lake Eraring at Dora Creek. Unfortunately for Johnson, who had obtained a loan from the Rural Bank to pay this place off, his crops in 1923 were a failure, he was making nothing off the place and he had contracted a lot of debt. He had no assets and in the opinion of 1st Class Constable William Thomson would never make a living off the place. Because of this be took up a position with Robins and Co. electrical Engineers, Newcastle. At this date he was struggling to provide for his wife and five young children, the eldest being only twelve years of age.
The Director of Soldier Settlement wrote to the Minister for Lands. ‘It would appear that no good purpose would be served by suing the settler for debt.’ On or around 25 November, Johnson’s wife, wrote to the Under-secretary complaining about what she saw as harassment by the Department toward her husband.
Why should my husband be harassed like this, we left everything in perfect order at Kentucky, left a shed full of potatoes all bagged and ready for market also a shed of turnips and what was left in the fields. All tools were left in perfect order, why should the manager sell them at such a loss and my husband bear the brunt of it. It is very unfair. We had to leave the settlement on account of my husband’s health. He was in an out of hospital for nearly 12 months. 8 months at a stretch one time and the Doctor ordered him off the settlement. 
By the middle of 1923, when the Johnson family was living at Dora Creek, it was stated that ‘two of his five children had died’
On 20 March 1924, an evaluation of Johnson’s financial position was finally undertaken. His debt of £307.10.7 was written off. 
 SRNSW: Lands Department; NRS 8050, Returned Soldiers loan files; [12/6851 No 1125] A.H. Johnsonm Application for payment of Advance, 31 January 1919.
 Ibid, Director’s report, 4 May 1919.
 Ibid, J.G.R. Bryant to Johnson 18 July 1919.
 Ibid, Memorandum from F. Adamson Kentucky RSS to the Director RSS Sydney, 22 July 1919.
 Ibid, J.G.R. Bryant to the Manager, Kentucky SS 5 November 1919.
 Ibid, J.G.R. Bryant to the Manager Soldiers’ Settlement 30 September 1919.
 Ibid, Thomas Pope to the Acting Director of SS 6 April 1920.
 Ibid, TW Irish to Thomas Pope 12 May 1920.
 Ibid, A.A. Watson to Johnston 26 April 1922.
 Ibid, Johnson to Director of SS 2 May 1922.
 Ibid, Annotation: letter sent by the Under-Secretary of Lands possibly to the Accountant before October 1923.
 Ibid, William M Thomson Police Constable to Inspector Hood Newcastle, 25 October 1923.
 Ibid, G. Virtue Director to The Minister for Lands 29 June 1922.
 Ibid, J. Johnston to the Under-Secretary for Lands Abt 25 November 1923.
 Ibid, Department of Lands Minute Paper, 3 September 1924.
 Ibid, Controller of Soldier Settlement, Department of Lands to The Director of Finance 25 September 1924.
Sources used to compile this entry:
State Records of NSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files; [12/6851 No 1125] A.H. Johnson