|MILITARY SERIAL NO.||2985|
|ENLISTED||Bathurst 27 July 1916|
|DISCHARGED||Victoria Barracks 27 November 1917 – Medically Unfit|
surely the Soldiers’ Settlement Branch is not going to push a digger who is in trouble for a lousy few pounds
Lindley Thomson took up a block of only 92 acres from Bendick Murrell Soldiers’ Settlement. The block was in the County of Monteagle, Parish of Bendick Murrell.  He applied of his loan on 18 March 1920. It was approved on 3 June 1920. He applied for an amount of £840 which included £380 for a house.
On 20 June 1921, he requested permission to purchase another horse, ‘as it was impossible to do the work on his block with (only) two horses’. Previously, he had a loan of another one, but the owner had sold it. In November 1922, he was to ‘receive a stiff letter’ from the Returned Soldiers Settlement Branch as he had recently sold one of his horses without permission. Problems with his horses continued and he again requested permission a year later to purchase, ‘a good brood mare that (he) wanted to breed from’. He didn’t want the Department to have any claim on the progeny. There is no indication if this was resolved or approved.
In May 1924, Thompson’s allotment of Block 130 at Bendick Murrell cancelled. He was given fourteen days to hand over the stock and plant. It was also recommended that the advance be made repayable. The manager of Bendick Murrell was instructed to take over the remaining stock and plant. Thompson’s advance account was credited with £102.1.0. This was the sum representing the value of the assets taken into the Government stock. However, an amount of £12.15.0 owing by Thompson to the Bendick Murrell Store was referred to the Crown Solicitor. Thompson replied claimed he couldn’t meet the payment.
I am a most unlucky man, I will pay it if you give me time. I have had two horses die. My wife is under the doctor at the present time. If you summon me it only makes it worse for me.
Thompson offered to pay £2 per month. This was accepted. He had also been advised on 6 November 1922, that another piece of land he wanted could be obtained on a Permissive Occupancy. Thompson failed to act and consequently lost the opportunity. In September 1925, he wrote again stating that he couldn’t pay the money that was owed, ‘don’t think for one minute that I have it, and won’t give it to you. But surely the Soldiers’ Settlement Branch is not going to push a digger who is in trouble for a lousy few pounds. If I was a drunk, I would expect it, but I never touch drink.
The District Officer reported to the Under Secretary the trouble he was having getting Thompson to pay his debt to the Bendick Murrell store, ‘on various occasions when I have seen this settler in the township of Young, ….I have had no success. So what chance there is of collecting £260 appears to be hopeless’. The amount was actually £264.2.10. The debt included what was owed for advance, interest, insurance, marketing and sustenance and the store account money. It was reported that, ‘In consequence of the unsatisfactory manner in which the holding was being developed, the property was never viable’. Thompson failed to make his repayments. Eventually, the debt was written off. Thompson was indeed one of the state’s ‘unlucky’ settlers. The part his illness paid in mitigating against success has yet to be established.
 SRNSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files, [12/6985 No. 4097] Lindley Thompson, Application for Loan 18 March 1920.
 Ibid, Application for Advance 2 June 1920.
 Ibid, Lindley Thompson to the Director of SS 20 June 1921.
 Ibid, RSS Office Memorandum 28 November 1922.
 Ibid, Lindley Thompson to The Director of SS 21 November 1923.
 Ibid, Inspector’s Report 28 May 1924.
 Ibid, Memorandum to the Under Secretary for Lands from the District Officer at Young Returned Soldiers Settlement Office 24 June 1925.
 Ibid, RSS Branch Report 14 July 1925.
 Ibid, Department of Lands Memorandum 20 April 1925.
 Ibid, Lindley Thompson to the Under Secretary for Lands 30 March 1925.
 Ibid, Department of Lands Memorandum 22 April 1925.
 Ibid, Lindley Thompson to Under Secretary for Lands 2 September 1925.
 Ibid, District Officer to Under Secretary for Lands 21 November 1925.
 Ibid, Report 16 July 1926.
Sources used to compile this entry:
State Records NSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers Settlement loan files; [12/6985 No. 4097] Lindley Thompson.
National Archives of Australia: B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers (Lindley Thompson) online: http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/imagine.asp?B=1834736&I=1&SE=1