|NAME||Haldane Stewart MCCOLL|
|BORN||Carlton Victoria 14 January 1884|
|DIED||Possibly Seaford Victoria 29 January 1971|
|MILITARY SERIAL NO.||277|
|UNIT or Battalion||58th Battalion|
|ENLISTED||Melbourne 3 April 1916|
|DISCHARGED||Sydney 9 October 1919|
Haldane Stewart McColl’s block was a Settlement Purchase No. 1920/12 consisting of 856 acres in the County of Pottinger, Parish of Mucca Mucca, Land District of Gunnedah. The property was situated 17 miles from Ulamambri Railway Station and 27 miles from Coonabarabran. There is no clear indication when McColl applied for his loan, when it was approved or when it took up residence. He stated in 1931 when he was running around 1500 sheep and growing wheat and that he had made honest endeavour for twelve years. He was judged to be a hard working man although his heavy load of debt was making it difficult to succeed. Wool and sheep liens were asked to be executed and returned to the Under-Secretary in May 1931.
McColl replied angrily on 25 May 1931.
I am both surprised and disgusted at a letter received from your department. I am asked for liens on both wheat and wool. With regard to wheat, I will have only about 65 acres, which will be insufficient to repay the Rural Industries Board unless conditions vastly improve. With regard to wool - this and the sheep are already mortgaged and second mortgaged. He went on, ‘I would like to point out that even before the slump in prices, the overall expenses of these soldier blocks made it impossible for any man to pay his way. Under present conditions it is a tragedy for most and something must be done to lighten our burden’.
By1933 he had debts amounting to £1031.6.10. He outlined his grievances angrily when he wrote about conditions of payment required by the Department of Lands, in a long letter dated 5 January 1933.
There were 29 original soldier settlers in this immediate area. Of these only nine remain. Of the remaining, 6 either have pensions, private means or have received legacies and even so the depression threatens to overwhelm them. 20 failed. They did not make their fortunes and most of them were broken men when they left. You can doubtless prove forbearance and benevolence of your Department on paper. The failure of so many men is your indictment. Surely soldier settlement was not intended for super men, but for men of average mental and physical ability. The effect of your repeated threats of eviction has been to undermine my interest in the property and stock thereon. Can I be expected to take any pleasure in improving that which I expect to lose at any time? My health, both physical and mental has suffered’.
As of 24 May 1933 McColl’s debts amounted to £1188.18.7.
Possibly around August 1934 the property may have been transferred to a Bruce LLanover Davies subject to much of the overdue debt being reduced.
Haldane Stewart McColl remained single all his life. During World War Two, between July 1940 and December 1943, he served with the Citizen Military Forces as District Captain at Frankston Victoria. He was also at one time honorary life governor of the Alfred Hospital and a Justice of the Peace.
At his funeral – part of the following eulogy was read out to the gathered congregation: ‘Others in the community, too, will share this feeling of loss. And so we come to today’s service of remembrance. Whether we think of him as Captain, Friend, Mac, or Uncle, we honour and will cherish the memory of one of god’s gentlemen, in Haldane Stewart McColl.’
 SRNSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files; [12/6903 No.3074] Haldane Stewart McColl, Closer Settlement Report 25 February 1931.
 Ibid, J. Herlihy Under-secretary to H.S. McColl 21 May 1931.
 Ibid, McColl to Minister for Lands 25 May 1931.
 Ibid, Report 9 December 1932.
 Ibid, McColl to the Under-Secretary 5 January 1933.
 Ibid, Report 19 May 1933.
 Ibid, Proposed Transfer 2 August 1934.
Sources used to compile this entry:
State Records of NSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files; [12/6903 No.3074], Haldane Stewart McColl.
National Archives of Australia: B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers (Haldane Stewart McColl) online: http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/scripts/Imagine.asp?B=1940085
Haldane Family History: Haldane Stewart McColl, http://www.jezzmo.com/DataPublic/junefamily2012/6/664.htm