|NAME||Alfred Leslie Milner|
|BORN||25 September 1894|
|MILITARY SERIAL NO.||2432|
|ENLISTED||Narrabri 3 August 1915|
|DISCHARGED||21 September 1916 – Medically Unfit – became dangerously ill with cerebro spinal meningitis|
|The information about the loans for Alfred and Robert Milner (No. 7373 & 7360) was in one combined file but as well, Robert had a loan file of his own.|
Alfred Leslie Milner took up a holding with his brother Robert Peter Milner. Alfred’s block consisted of 460 acres and his brother’s 880 acres – the total of the two blocks were judged to be a home maintenance area. Alfred Milner’s Block was Settlement Purchase 1921/7. The two brothers obtained their blocks under the Closer Settlement Promotion Act. Alfred Milner’s block was allotted him on 3 March 1921. Farm A.
Alfred Milner applied for his advance on 30 July 1921 and this was approved on 2 August 1921.
Initially, difficulties arose for the brothers who had inspected sheep in early October 1921, with a view to purchasing them. Delivery of the sheep did not occur until 12 December 1921. As well, R. Curtis Bell from the Wee Waa Repatriation Committee wrote a letter of complaint to the RSS Branch Sydney stating that Mr Schwager from whom the sheep were purchased had not received payment for them.
This sort of thing does not inspire confidence in the workings of your department and will make it hard for settlers to get stock. One can quite understand Mr Schwager’s feelings when he says that unless the money is in his hands by next Friday 10, he will instruct his solicitor to issue a writ for the recovering of the money.
By 13 April 1922, only half of the amount owing £199.10.0 to Schwager had been received by the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Co.Ltd., the people authorised to collect it on Schwager’s behalf. The matter was rectified by May 1922.
As a result of there being ‘unsatisfactory rumours’ about Alfred Leslie Milner, (there is no indication what these were) the Under Secretary wrote to the District Surveyor at Moree requesting information about him. He was by this time in arrears on payments on his land for £327.8.0 and approval was given to defer payment of these arrears until 28 February 1925. An Inspection carried out on 18 June 1924 ‘that all looked well…. And his prospects looked alright’. On 19 July, the CP Inspector reported the progress of both brothers favourably,
The sheep are in good condition. These are two very satisfactory cases as a lot of sheep died in the drought of last year. There are not more experienced soldier settlers on the land. They had over 400 acres of wheat in 1922 and it was a failure. They are working as partners.
Another extension was granted to Alfred Milner until 31 January 1926 to pay arrears on advance and land.
‘This concession is given without prejudice to the Minister’s rights as Mortgagee or otherwise and is subject to your executing a crop lien in the Minister’s favour for £1038.0.6’ The amount owing by the two brothers amounted to £1412.18.8
By the beginning of July 1927, Milner had skinned 101 of 300 sheep that had died and had placed an enquiry asking if he could sell the skins ‘as the rats were bad in the shed where they were stored’.
Additionally, on 16 July 1927, the brothers’ unhappiness about being forced to execute the lien became clear in an interview with the CP Inspector who reported the following to the District Surveyor,
‘The settler requests that in view of the fact that he and his brother have paid a good sum off the RSS sheep a/c and that this year another lien has been signed for half proceeds of the wool, that they be allowed to retain the above sum for private use’. As well, ‘He (Milner) stated that if forced to pay the above sum to the Department he would refuse to skin any further sheep that died as owing to the nature of death (lamb turning) the skinning was a most unpleasant job’. The settler was forceful in his remarks, and practically refused to forward the money to the Department as instructed.
Milner received £22.2.6. for the sale of the skins. He refused to forward the money to the Department and because of this, his case was submitted to head office. The Under Secretary informed the brothers that permission to dispose of the skins be granted on the understanding that the proceeds together with the account be forwarded to the Moree office or to Narrabri.
The file ends in 1927 with no indication if the brothers remained on the land.
 SRNSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files; [12/7241 No. 7363] J.T. Keating Under Secretary Memorandum 9 March 1921.
 Ibid, Application for an Advance 30 July 1921.
 Ibid, R. Curtis, Hon Sec. Wee Repatriation Committee to RSS Branch, Sydney 4 February 1922.
 Ibid, Manager New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Co.Ltd. to Director of SS 13 April 1922.
 Ibid, A.A. Watson Director of SS to the Manager New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Co.Ltd. May 1922.
 Ibid, Under Secretary for Lands to District Surveyor Moree 26 May 1924.
 Ibid, Closer Settlement Branch Report 10 July 1924.
 Ibid, Inspection of RSS Holding 18 June 1924.
 Ibid, W.R. McCarthy CP Inspector to the District Surveyor Moree 19 July 1924.
 Ibid, RSS Branch Memorandum 28 February 1925.
 Ibid, 6 July 1927.
 Ibid, Wm F. Lee to District Surveyor Moree 16 July 1927.
 Ibid, P.R. Drummond, District Surveyor to the Under Secretary for Lands 21 July 1927.
 Ibid, Under Secretary to R.P. & A.L. Milner 10 October 1927.
 Ibid, Under Secretary to Milner Bros 4 August 1927.
Sources used to compile this entry
State Records NSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files, [12/7241 No. 7363] Alfred Leslie Milner.
National Archives of Australia: B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, Alfred Leslie Milner online: http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/scripts/Imagine.asp?B=7980196