|MILITARY SERIAL NO.||3008|
|ENLISTED||Sydney 18 September 1916|
|DISCHARGED||Sydney 4 September 1918|
Jack Nicoll took over the block owned previously by Francis Herbert Poulter who had been gassed in WW1 and was unable to continue farming. Poulter had been in partnership with a Reginald Osward Stiles. Nicoll took Poulter’s place in the partnership, but also took over his debts. i.e. outstanding money owing from the original advance. This transferral of land and debt was not uncommon in the Soldier Settlement Scheme. Jack Nichol applied for a loan himself on 21 January 1920. The property consisted of 532 acres, was Farm No. 2 (Portion No. 225) in the County of Narromine, Parish of Wentworth, Land District of Dubbo. The estimated market value was £4.7.6 per acre.
On 26 May 1921, Nicoll wrote to the director of SS. He outlined his current position, ‘The 124 sheep which were taken over by me on this holding which either have died or were drowned during the drought and floods’. When I take my crop off for the coming harvest I mean to square up my debt with the Repat.’ The sheep were to be replaced in January 1922. On 12 December 1921 he wrote ‘I am very keen to make good putting the block to the best possible uses. I was unfortunate enough to have a taste of the last big bush fire, the damage amounting to nearly two miles of fencing.
18 Jan 1922 – Nicoll asked for a postponement of the principal of his advance, owing to constant rain that fell during the time he was ploughing – then a plague of grasshoppers… which allowed him to strip only 400-500 bags of wheat. He said ‘I have had bad luck this year’. By 18 July 1922, Nichol was not living on his block, but was living at Brewarrina and was taking no part in the property.
Inspector McInerney reported 15 March 1922, the details of Nicoll’s purchases and the share farming agreement. ‘There are no private improvements effected and in my opinion the better policy would be to let this settler carry on for this season and should he receive a good harvest he should be able to at least pay off his Class C purchases’. Nicoll promised at this date that he would forward a cheque for his arrears, although could not pay the principle.
By 18 May 1922 however his debt had mounted. Nicoll made an application to transfer the holding to Stiles who was share-farming with him. By this time Stiles has placed 2/3 of it under crop and the result of this harvest was to go to him absolutely. The two, Stiles and Nicoll had an arrangement to work the property in conjunction but by this date, it had been cancelled. At this date Nicoll had still not replaced any of the sheep lost in the flood and drought.
On 26 May 1923 Nicoll wrote again to the RSS Branch outlining his difficulties. ‘The block had to be worked conjointly …. but I was unable to agree with my partner Stiles who had the adjoining block’. Our first year turned out alright but those following failed and it came to such that I was compelled to go out and work and now I am working for a small salary. I am not a loafer and sober and in short trying to do my best. 
On 21 July 1923 he wrote again, ‘I appreciate what you have said you’ll do for me in that you’ll consider any proposal I make to you for repayment of my debt to you and you have asked me what amount I am able to pay down. I am not able to put down anything at all, for I have nothing to pay with’.
By 2 May 1925, all stock on his property had been sold. In August 1925, he was still single and working as an overseer on Milroy Station Brewarrina earning £175 per annum. He stated he had no assets and no other income.
On 2 September 1925, he wrote again to Lands, ‘I had understood that this business had been fixed up satisfactorily by the transfer of the block to R.O. Stiles’. This letter outlines his position fully and he goes over everything again. –‘I am not a waster and doing the best for my living. R.O. Stiles agreed to take over the block and I think he should still stick to his agreement’.
It is possible that the transfer to Stiles may have not gone ahead.
The Under Secretary for lands was very persistent ….. writing again on 10 November 1926. ‘All communications have been ignored’!!! Nicoll was by 6 December 1926 working on Angledool Station, New Angledool but without any rise in his salary.
On 18 Sept 1927, Nicoll stated ‘I have never really had a penny to call my own since I left Narromine. The form you sent to me to fill in and forward back is exactly the same forwarded to you on a previous occasion’. 
On 22 December 1927 a debt of £619.8.7 was written off.
 SRNSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files; [12/6901 No. 3049], F.H. Poulter to J.C. Bryant Soldier Settlements 9 October 1919.
 Ibid, Application for Loan 21 January 1920.
 Ibid, Jack Nicholl to Director of SS 26 May 1921
 Ibid, 12 December 1921.
 Ibid 18 Janury 1922.
 Ibid, Inspector McInerney to the Director RSS 15 March 1922.
 Ibid, RSS Office Memorandum 2 April 1922.
 Ibid, Inspector’s Report 7 July 1922.
 Ibid, Nicoll to Director of RSS 26 May 1923.
 Ibid, 21 July 1923.
 Ibid 2 September 1925.
 Ibid, Under Secretary for Lands to Jack Nicoll 10 November 1926.
 Ibid, 6 December 1926.
 Ibid. 18 September 1927.
 Ibid, Under Secretary for Lands Report 14 December 1927.
Sources used to compile this entry:
State Records NSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files; [12/6901 No. 3049] Jack Nicoll.
National Archives of Australia: B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers (Jack Nicoll) online: