|NAME||William John Ward|
|BORN||Abt. 1890 Cobham England|
|MILITARY SERIAL NO.||147|
|UNIT||1st Aus. Vet. Co|
|ENLISTED||Liverpool 26 October 1914|
|DISCHARGED||Sydney 3 February 1919 – poor health due to shell shock|
The file begins in 1928. Ward’s block of 633 acres was a Settlement Purchase No.1922/35 part of Bective Estate. Ward went into occupation on 1 February 1919 and confirmation was effected on 17 November 1922, ‘thus he had 3 ½ years free occupancy’. On 12 May 1928 he applied for a revision of his indebtedness. He stated that he was single and was engaged in mixed farming. He was also running 320 sheep and as well had 7 horses, 2 cows and 90 poultry. Even though ‘he was judged as being steady and industrious, it was believed his methods and management were at fault. It was reported that,
Ward affects a defiant and threatening attitude as revealed in correspondence to the Department concerning myself and other officers and some of his statements are rather rash. I don’t think that his remarks are taken seriously by other settlers at Bective although a lot of his statements would be better unsaid. I do not take him seriously in his threats regarding myself, and when I interview him personally he is quite courteous. One would expect more moderation and consistency from a man who is a JP’.
Inspector Garland reported on 17 December 1928, that he had made two visits to the farm but Ward was away on each occasion. He believed that it was a waste of time getting Ward to sign any agreement or lien. At this date it was reported that Ward’s wheat crop was a fair average one and in all probability he had sold it privately.
By February 1929, Ward had obtained a revision of his indebtedness and had obtained substantial concessions. Efforts to obtain wool and crop liens to secure payment of amounts owing on the land and the advance failed. At this date nothing had been paid and Ward made representations through Mr. Chaffey Minister for Mines and Forests that £100 be accepted towards arrears. Ward stated that his total income from the property was £590.19.14 and his expenditure was £534.18.8. It was recommended that £100 be accepted from the current season’s proceeds and on payment that the balance of his loan and land arrears be allowed to stand over until after next harvest, subject to Ward giving the Department a lien over the coming crops and wool clip.  On 18 March 1929, Ward wrote stating again his objection to the executing of the liens.
Gee wiz, do they think that I don’t want to pay. I have put everything that I have and all I have earned in this place to try and make a home. What do they want to do, drive me off? I told you why I did not like giving liens, not that I am dishonest but because I don’t like advertising my financial position to the world.
Due to the influence of Mr. Chaffey it was decided not to call on the liens . A report of 4 July 1930, recommended that Ward be given relief in relation to his crown commitments and arrears. He was to be informed that during a period of three years, any payment in excess of advance instalments and interest on the land would be credited to a reduction of the purchase money.
When on 13 October 1931, Inspector Garland visited Ward’s holding, he was away shearing. Garland reported that he believed Ward was in a very low state of health due to shell shock during the war. Dr. Douglas of Tamworth ordered Ward to the Randwick Hospital for soldiers to attend at the earliest possible date. While he was in hospital, it was reported Ward’s ‘crop was taken off by other returned soldier comrades and neighbours’. Although there is some doubt about this, as this was discounted later in the file. Toward the end of 1931 and into 1932, Thibaults Ltd, General Merchants had communication with the Department of Lands about an outstanding debt of Ward’s for between £400 & £500. Even though Ward refused to take out a Lien with Lands, he did execute one with Thibaults.
During the 12 months from April 1931-1932, Ward spent four months in hospital. It was believed that his war injuries contributed to his lack of success. In view of this the District Surveyor was not inclined to recommend forfeiture of his holding. ‘Another inspection of the property was carried out on 30 September 1932. Again the problem of a lien to the Department was raised, Ward stating that because of the lien with Thibaults, he would not execute one with the Deptartment of Lands. If he did so, he believed Thibaults would sell his stock and plant. Ward believed that the current year’s crop would meet his commitments at Thibaults and leave him something left over to forward to the Department. Originally, Thibaults had brought the bailiff in, taking possession of all of Ward’s private assets. They would not withdraw the bailiff until Ward signed the liens in favour of their firm.
‘In the past Ward has been a very difficult settler to deal with (although) has been in bad health. Mr. Inspector Garland reported on 3 January 1933 that he was satisfied that Ward, since his last two series operations was a different man, and in future will act in a more favourable manner to the Department’. 
On 1 August 1933 Ward signed ‘under protest’ liens for one-third of his wheat crop and one-third of his wool clip, but refused to sign a lien over the sale of any lambs. At this date Ward claimed he had not received any concessions, but the records of the Lands Board Office in a letter dated 24 September 1928, stated that he had been granted considerable concessions subject to him signing liens. 
Ward asked for an extension of time for 12 months to pay his arrears . An inspection toward the end of 1933, stated that in contrast to earlier assessments, he was ‘satisfactory’. By January 1934, he appears to have been making good some of his debts.
 SRNSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files; [12/6851 No. 1142] William John Ward, Inspection 17 December 1928.
 Ibid, Returned Soldiers Settlement Branch to Under secretary 17 September 1928.
 Ibid, Revision of Indebtedness 12 May 1928.
 Ibid, Memorandum from District Surveyor to the Under Secretary for Lands 30 August 1928
 Ibid, Inspector Garland to District Surveyor Tamworth 17 December 1928.
 Ibid, Mr. F. Fuller to Chaffey 4 February 1929
 Ibid, RSS Branch Report 21 February 1929.
 Ibid, William Ward to Hon. Chaffey 18 March 1929.
 Ibid, R.T.Ball to Ward 18 July 1929.
 Ibid, Under-Secretary for Lands Report 4 July 1930.
 Ibid, District Surveyor to the Under-Secretary for Lands 13 October 1931.
 Ibid, A.J. Thibault to Under Secretary for Lands 17 December 1931.
 Ibid, District Surveyor to Inspector Garland 1 April 1932.
 Ibid, District Surveyor to Under-Secretary for Lands, 20 April 1932.
 Ibid, District Surveyor to the Under-Secretary for Lands, 7 October 1932.
 Ibid, RSS Branch Memorandum, 3 March 1933.
 Ibid, Acting District Surveyor to Under-Secretary for Lands 1 August, 1933.
 Ibid, Inspection 16 October 1933.
Sources used to compile this entry:
State Records NSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files, [12/6851 No. 1142] William John Ward.
National Archives of Australia: B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers (William John Ward) online: http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/Imagine.asp?B=8347223