NAME John Stanley Fitzgerald
BORN c 1887
DIED 23 March 1938
UNIT 4th Division Train late A.A.S.C.
ENLISTED Sydney 18 October 1916
DISCHARGED Sydney 3 May 1919 – Medically Unfit – Shell-shock.  Also diagnosed with heart disease.

John Stanley Fitzgerald took up a soldier settlement block in the Gunnedah Land District, Parish of Dubbleda, Country of Pottinger.  The block was a Settlement Purchase No. 1920/10.  Fitzgerald’s loan was granted on 3September 1920.[1] Quite early in his settlement period, the matter of Fitzgerald’s compliance with the settlement conditions on his block were referred to the District Surveyor asking that some action be taken as there had been an unsatisfactory report from the Crown Land’s Bailiff at Gunnedah.[2] Fitzgerald was away in Townsville.  ‘In fact, he is seldom at home and is not the class of settler to do any good’. [3]

When a CP Inspector visited the block on 15 December 1921, Fitzgerald was living on the holding.[4] The Inspector reported however, that Fitzgerald was becoming very dissatisfied and did not believe he would make a success on his land.  Fitzgerald believed that there were too many inspections by the Department of Lands, which he found upsetting.  Despite this, it was reported that Fitzgerald was doing quite well at this date and he had taken stock on agistment. He had made good returns from wheat grown on his own block and on land nearby, that he was share farming.[5]  It was noted however, that Fitzgerald had not made any improvements since the last inspection but those seen then, were still being maintained at a satisfactory level.

 On 19 July 1921, Police in Tamworth delivered a report to the Under Secretary of Lands. 

 I beg to report that John Stanley Fitzgerald is not the class of man to become a successful settler. He is the registered holder of a motor car and spends most of his time driving around the country.  Sometimes he visits Queensland and remains away from home weeks at a time.  He is fond of fast company and spends a lot of money trying to keep pace with men of means.[6]

In December 1921, Fitzgerald asked to transfer his block to Charlie Roberts who was also a returned soldier.  Roberts was a  very good farmer and had a plant and equipment amounting to £1200 as well as £1,000 cash.[7] 


[1] SRNSW:  Lands Department;  NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files [[12/6957 No. 3748] Returned Soldiers Settlement Branch Memorandum, 26 August, 1921.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid, CP Inspector’s Report 15 December 1921.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid, Police Report to Under-Secretary of Lands, 27 July 1921.

[7] Ibid, N.T. Beer to Director of Soldier Settlements, 21 December 1921.

Sources used to compile this entry

State Records NSW:  Lands Department, NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files [12/6957 No. 3748] John Stanley Fitzgerald.       

National Archives of Australia: B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers (John Stanley Fitzgerald)