|MILITARY SERIAL NO.||86481 & 11|
|ENLISTED||Sydney 18 August 1914|
|DISCHARGED||Sydney 12 December 1918|
James Longmore’s block of 1026 acres was in the County of Parry, Parish of Bullimball, Tamworth Land District – a Settlement Purchase No. 1921/25. By 1932, his acreage had been increased to 1558 acres. The property was situated about seven miles from Limbri Railway Station in mountainous country with a frontage to Swamp Oak Creek.
Sometime during 1924, Longmore left his holding to return to his occupation as a blacksmith so that he could earn enough to live on. Inspector Garland reported that he was failing to make fair payments after his wool was sold. Garland believed there was no benefit, ‘either to the settler or the Crown, in letting him carry on any longer’. On 3 October 1925, the Under Secretary reminded Longmore that he needed to meet the overdue 1924 payments on his block that amounted to £211.10.4. If he didn’t do this he was told, forfeiture could occur. Forfeiture did not occur at this date although it seems the worry of forcible forfeiture remained.
By October 1926, Longmore had lost a large number of sheep because of drought. Despite this, his situation began to improve as his flock numbered a little over 400 ewes around this date. Yet by early 1930 he was again finding it difficult to go on. The Department had taken 1/3 of his wool as a lien leaving him only £75. He hadn’t he said, ‘a penny to himself and was rabbiting to make ends meet’. On 9 November 1932, Longmore was advised that the Department believed he was seriously neglecting his block, was not making enough improvements and some of the sheep purchased with advance money were missing. Longmore was share-farming the extra land he had acquired, although it does appear that the terms of the share farming arrangement were unknown to the District Surveyor.
By September 1932, when Longmore was married with three children it was recommended again that his holding be forfeited. His arrears at this time amounted to £994.4.1. His wife was in hospital, his eldest boy had broken his leg, he was paying agistment fees and he still had to pay the lien on his wool.
In October, it was suggested by the Returned Soldier Settlers Branch that all the proceeds from Longmore’s wool be sent by the brokers directly to the Department. His wife Rosa protested to the Minister for Lands when James was away from the property, stating ‘that the net total of the wool proceeds would not come within much more than 1/3 of the basic wage’. After having spent two months in hospital, she was very worried and asked that the lien be lifted for that year. James wrote again in November, that Rosa was helping him in any way she could – outdoors and teaching the children, but was by no means healthy.
In a letter to the Hon. B.S. Stevens the Premier of NSW, E.A. Buttenshaw wrote that he thought Longmore’s case hopeless and even though the property was a valuable one, he agreed that it was not one of the best. In February 1933, Rosa again wrote to the Minister stating that her husband was being unfairly treated. Previously, Longmore had an argument with a neighbour, a returned soldier named Harry Malcolm over fencing that had not been completed. After Malcolm had contacted the Department over the issue, Longmore was given six months by the Department to complete job which also upset him greatly as he did not have the funds to complete the fencing job.
In March 1933, Longmore wrote to the RSL in Tamworth asking for their help. His case eventually going to the State Secretary in Sydney to be dealt with. Even though the Tamworth branch believed that ‘official files may reveal another side to the story’, they also believed intervention at a State level would allow Longmore to pull up’.
Rose wrote again in March 1933 to the Under Secretary protesting about the enforcement of forfeiture believing he (the Under-Secretary) needed to hear about their case ‘from a woman’s unbiased stand-point’. She stated that she had been a social worker in the city prior to her marriage and that the report that their property had been neglected was not true. Her husband had done what he could she said, but had to leave the block to go rabbiting to support his family. Longmore was given until 30 April 1933 to transfer the holding. Rose asked that only 500 acres be forfeited with the family being allowed to stay on the remaining 1034 acres. This was refused. Longmore was advised that his case would be reviewed again at the end of 1933.
The family left the property at Limbri in 1934. Read more about their story in an account provided by Laurie Longmore.
 SRNSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files; [12/7310 No. 8504] James Longmore, Application for Loan 27 January 1922.
 Ibid, Inspector Garland to District Surveyor -? 1924.
 Ibid, Department of Lands Report 12 October 1926.
 Ibid, J. Longmore to Under Secretary for Lands 8 March 1930.
 Ibid, District Surveyor to the Under Secretary 27 October 1931.
 Ibid, RSS Branch 1 September 1932.
 Ibid, J. Longmore to Under Secretary 5 September 1932.
 Ibid, RSS Branch 5 October 1932.
 Ibid, Rosa Longmore to Minister for Lands 17 October 1932.
 Ibid, J.Longmore to Minister for lands 29 October 1932.
 Ibid, E.A. Buttenshaw to the Premier 17 March 1933.
 Ibid, Rosa Longmore to the Minister for Lands 23 February 1933.
 Iibid, Rosa Longmore to Minister for Lands 23 February 1933.
 Ibid, James Longmore to RSL Tamworth 9 March 1933.
 Ibid, General Secretary Tamworth Sub-Branch RSL to State Secretary RSSILA Sydney 10 March 1933.
 Ibid, Rosa Longmore to Under Secretary for Lands 31 March 1933.
 Ibid, RSS Branch Report April 1933.
 Ibid, 26 May 1933.
Sources used to compile this entry:
State Records NSW: Lands Department ; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files; [12/7310 No. 8504], James Longmore.
National Archives of Australia: B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers (James Longmore) online: http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/scripts/Imagine.asp