|NAME||John Thomas NUGENT|
|DIED||Before 25 July 1945|
|MILITARY SERIAL NO.||569|
|UNIT||12th Aus. Light Horse|
|ENLISTED||Sydney 15 January 1915|
|DISCHARGED||Sydney 18 October 1917 – medically unfit|
John Nugent’s block on the Copmonhurst to Grafton Road was in the County of Clarence, Parish of Clifden, Land District of Grafton. It was a Homestead Farm, HF 1918.17 consisting of 273 acres. The property had been obtained from his father-in-law, George Cook. John Nugent applied for an advance of £500 for stock and implements and also to purchase 4 acres of freehold land surrounding his holding.
Nugent had been a member of the Mounted Police Force from 28 March 1898 and had been given leave from the Force to join the AIF. After Discharge from the Army he rejoined the Police Force although left to take up land on 31 December 1918. He had a wife and four children to support – ranging in ages from 4 – 10 years. Disappointingly for Nugent, after nearly 20 years service in the Police Force ‘he had no money or property’.
On 5 April 1919, he wrote to W. Zuill MLA asking about the late receipt of his loan money, ‘I am absolutely hard put to carry on now and have no means. I don’t care how much or how little, if it will help me live and keep my little ones’.  He appears to have received the money by May. Unfortunately, by April 1923, he was in arrears for a total of £403.3.6 due to problems farming poor land – much of it covered with Lantana. The district surveyor acknowledged this believing that the original price paid by Nugent may have been too high. The Soldier Settlement Board believed that even though Nugent was a good farmer he was somewhat handicapped by lack of method and practical experience as well as the poor quality of his farm.
In an Inspector’s report written on 2 November 1925, it was reported that ‘Nugent had lost 64 head of cattle through alleged poisoning with only 17 still living. It was subsequently reported in the Sydney Morning Herald possibly on 6 February 1925, that the cattle had died from arsenic poisoning.  By 22 May 1926, Nugent’s position was considered by the District Surveyor to be bad, his prospects doubtful. By September Nugent had applied for a Revision of his Indebtedness. At this date his four children were helping on the farm. In 1934, all his outstanding debts were waived and he was judged to be a ‘better farmer’.
He passed away before July 1945.
 SRNSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files; [12/6850 No. 1122] John Thomas Nugent, Application for Loan 15 February 1919.
Ibid, Soldiers’ Settlement Branch Memorandum 2 April 1919.
 Ibid, John Nugent to W.A. Zuill MLA 23 January 1919.
 Ibid, Ibid.
 Ibid, John Nugent to W.A Zuill MLA 5 April 1919.
 Ibid, Inspector’s Report 2 November 1925.
 Ibid, District Surveyor’s Report, 22 May 1926.
Sources used to compile this entry:
State Records NSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files; [12/6850 No. 1122] John Thomas Nugent.
National Archives of Australia: B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers (John Thomas Nugent) online: http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/scripts/Imagine.asp?B=8003055