|NAME||William Henry NOLLAND|
|BORN||20 November 1885|
|MILITARY SERIAL NO.||11378|
|UNIT||Acting Bombardier 39th Battalion Former: 1st Field Art. 14th Reinforcements|
|ENLISTED||Tamworth 14 August 1915|
|DISCHARGED||Sydney 28 March 1918 – Medically Unfit – he fractured his arm when he was run over by a wagon. When he applied for land he was still weak in the left arm – the muscles somewhat wasted. This continued during his time on the land.|
William Henry Nolland applied for a block of land on Bective Soldier Settlement on 11 April 1918. He was allocated Block 49 consisting of a little over 518 acres – SGP 1922.41. The block was in the County of Parry, Parish of Winton, Land District of Tamworth. He was to be one of 43 soldiers settlers on Bective Estate.
When Nolland applied for land he complained of numbness and weakness in his left arm with the muscles aching and wasted. Because of this it was believed that it would be twelve months before he could carry out any labouring work. He took up the block on 1 February 1919. Nolland applied for his Advance on 14 February 1919 stating he wanted the money for a bore, a windmill, tank, fencing, plough harrows and seven draught horses. In January Nolland wrote thanking the Peel Shire Repatriation Committee for his block – ‘I have not been out to inspect it yet but I know the block well having previously ploughed part of it and placed it under crop’ Pryor to this, he had been working in a brewery.
There were problems with obtaining water on Nolland’s block, the first well sunk was useless as they hit rock 63 feet down. In a report written later in 1930 it was stated that there was never any permanent water, although a bore sunk about 100 feet deep eventually gave a good supply.
By 7 July 1920 the whole of Nolland’s Advance had been allocated and approved. At this date he wrote that he was ‘living in a poor specimen of a shed with his wife and family living in town. I have been unable to build before on account of not having any supply of water and I am desirous of building a concrete house’ By December 1921 he was having difficulties on his block as hail had destroyed most of his crop – he had lost between 1200 and 1500 bags of wheat. He therefore requested an extension of time to pay the principal and interest due .  He was at this time still building the house – the carpentry work coming out of his own money and payment for the material coming out of his loan account. By 6 November 1922, Nolland was in debt for £90.14.10. By 5 December 1922, the house was still not completed. It had no windows, doors or veranda nor was it painted. Despite this slow process the Inspector stated,
That Nolland spent far too much time building the house, leaving the farm in a very rough state. He was getting very poor returns from his wheat crop and if he did not cultivate his land in a more systematic manner then he would have trouble meeting his liabilities.
Drought persisted for two seasons causing crop failure. The District Surveyor recommended that Nolland make a payment of £16.12.1 and that he give an undertaking to paint the house within three months. An Inspection dated 4 September 1924 gave Nolland a satisfactory report although his repayments were still of concern. He was judged to be,
A good hard worker, never away from home except his occasional trip to Tamworth for rations. He (however) does not appear to have any method in his work and always appears to have work half finished. About half is very fair, balance rather backward.
Bad luck continued for Nolland when the cottage he had built was destroyed by fire 17 January 1925. The building was insured and an amount of £390 was paid to him for the rebuilding. He continued to be behind in his repayments and again applied for a revision of his indebtedness toward the end of 1926. By March 1928, he was indebted to the Department of Lands to the amount of £435. 
Nolland’s difficult circumstances were further aggravated by the fact that he had eight children – three girls, aged 19, 16 and 14 and five boys aged 11, 9, 7, 5 and 3. His wife and the eldest daughter were epileptics. On 4 March 1929, he wrote four letters all very similar to Members of Parliament and the Under-Secretary for Lands mentioning his family and the problems he was having. He asked that he be allowed to remain on the block because his war disabilities prevented him doing heavy work but also that it would be difficult for him to find other work. He declared himself penniless. His desperate situation was very clear at this date and forcible forfeiture was not an option as far as he was concerned. Even though around April 1929 official approval was given for this to occur, Nolland was expected to arrange transfer of his holding himself by 31 December 1929. He wrote other letters on 28 March 1929 – all very similar in content to those written on 4 March. He wrote about the chronic epilepsy of his daughter and his desire to receive a pension for her keep.
A rather derogatory Report by the District Surveyor dated 20 November 1929 stated,
He is an indifferent type of settler with a considerable family, but who in my opinion does not realise his responsibilities in regard to them. Otherwise, in the ten years he has been in occupation he would have done more to establish himself and provide for his dependents. He has never worked the place properly and I am sure he never will.
On 20 February 1930, Nolland asked that the application for transfer of the property to a J.J. Seery be approved as Seery was going to allow Nolland to share farm with him. This appears to have been a suitable arrangement for Nolland who stated that, ‘it would save the departmental officers the necessity of forcibly evicting my wife and family on to the road as I have no where to go’.
The selling price was to be £7 per acre on a freehold basis, but this was not sufficient to cover the full amount outstanding on the holding which would have been covered by £7.10.0 an acre. Because of this and the decision not to write off Nolland’s indebtedness the transfer could not be accepted. After a request by a J.W. Lane to take over his property after it was forfeited on 27 June 1930, Lane was notified that as many Bective Settlers were placing requests for more land, Nolland’s block was to be kept aside for that. Several men including Bert Evans of Attunga and George Bell of West Tamworth applied for Nolland’s block. They were told that the block, like so many other blocks on Bective, was too small to be a home maintenance area.
There was a call by the Hon. Secretary of Bective Soldiers’ Settlement that Nolland’s forfeiture of his Soldier Group Purchase be reversed to give him another chance. On 22 October 1930, Nolland was informed that ‘his request to remain in occupation could not be acceded to. It will therefore be necessary for you to vacate the holding forthwith. As of December 1930, he was still on the property refusing to leave it. 
Because of what was seen as Nolland’s hopeless position, the reversal of the forfeiture was not approved by this date. Despite various attempts to make him leave the property Nolland continued to defy Departmental directions to do so – several times threatening to shoot visitors to the holding. Nolland had requested a hearing with before the Local Land Board, although this may not have occurred.
It is unclear from the file if Nolland actually vacated the holding as on September 1936, he had a Permissive Occupancy on a small block of 3 roods on which there was a dwelling. His rent at this date was 7 months in arrears, he was unemployed and in receipt of endowment and military pension. Approval was given at this date for Nolland’s outstanding RSS Advance amounts to be waived.
 SRNSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files; [12/6853 No. 1183] William Henry Nolland, Application for a Soldiers’ Group Purchase Bective Estate 11 April 1918.
 Ibid, RSS Branch Memorandum July 1921.
 Ibid, Acting Deputy Comptroller, Department of Repatriation to the Director Soldier Settlement Branch 23 April 1918.
 Ibid, RSS Branch Memorandum, Op.cit., July 1921.
 Ibid, Application for Advance 14 February 1919.
 Ibid, H. Nolland to Peel Shire Repatriation Committee 18 January 1919.
 Ibid, Report of Inspection by District Surveyor 8 April 1930.
 Ibid, Nolland to Director of Soldier Settlements 7 July 1920.
 Ibid, W.H. Nolland to the Director of Soldier Settlements 14 December 1921.
 Ibid, RSS Branch Circular 6 November 1922.
 Ibid, Conditional Purchase Inspector to the District Surveyor Armidale 5 December 1922.
 Ibid, RSS Branch Memorandum January 1923.
 Ibid, Inspection of Returned Soldiers’ Holding 4 September 1924.
 Ibid, Memorandum Fire Loss 13 February 1925.
 Ibid, District Surveyor to the Under Secretary for Lands 6 February 1925.
 Ibid, RSS Branch Memorandum 22 March 1928.
 Ibid, Nolland to Hon. J. Tully, Minister for Lands 31 March 1931.
 Ibid, Nolland to the Minister for Lands 4 March 1929.
 Ibid, Under Secretary to Hon. F.A. Chaffey 19 April 1929.
 Ibid, Noland to Thompson 28 March 1929.
 Ibid, District Surveyor to the Under Secretary for Lands 22 November 1929.
 Ibid, Nolland to the Under Secretary for Lands 20 February 1930
 Ibid, RSS Branch 16 May 1930.
 Ibid, Closer Settlement Branch Report 24 March 1930.
 Obid, Under Secretary to W.J. Scully Parliament House, Sydney 10 March 1931.
 Ibid, A.E. Moeller to Hon Frank Chaffey 15 August 1930.
 Ibid, Under-Secretary to William Nolland 22 October 1930.
 Ibid, District Surveyor Tamworth 17 December 1930.
 Ibid, Report from the Acting Chief Clerk 24 November 1930.
 Ibid, Report from the District Surveyor 16 April 1931.
 Ibid, RSS Branch report 11 November 1930.
 Ibid, Loans and Arrears Section CS & RSS Branch 21 September 1936.
Sources used to compile this entry:
State Records NSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files; [12/6853 No. 1183] William Henry Nolland.
National Archives of Australia: B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers (William Henry Nolland) online: http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/scripts/Imagine.asp?B=8002564