NAME William Heatley MCDOUGALL
BORN Edinburgh Scotland, Abt 1895
UNIT 4th Battalion
ENLISTED Liverpool 22 January 1915
DISCHARGED Sydney ?  1 June 1916 – wounded in action

William Heatley McDougall’s block of 484 acres was within Bective Soldier Settlement – a Soldier’s Group Purchase No. 1923/2. It was located in the County of Parry, Parish of Somerton, Tamworth Land District.[1]

As late as 30 June 1921 McDougall had still not taken up residence on the property as it was being leased to a Mr Mauder. It is not known when McDougall actually started living on the farm. [2]  Even by June 1924 it is unclear from surviving documentation if or when he took up residence.  At this date his ability as a farmer was also being brought into question by the Department who believed that his prospects as a selector were doubtful. [3] The property was inspected in October 1925 and at this date again, he was not in occupation as the block was occupied by a sharefarmer, a Mr Bell with his wife and their four children, and McDougall was residing at the Club House Hotel, Tamworth. The inspector recommended that McDougall be given one month to sell the farm and that the loan be called up.[4]

On 6 January 1926, McDougall wrote a letter of complaint  to WJ Scully MLA that  ‘they the (RSS Board?) were forcing him to forfeit his block which was very unfair because forfeiture would give him no chance to pay the debts he had incurred, putting up his crops in the previous year.’ He went on, ‘I have not been living on my farm this last season, having share farmed it, the cause of my not living on it being sickness in my family, my wife at present being in Sydney’.[5]

In 1926 he was working as a taxi-driver and at a later date was employed by the Post Master General’s Department in Sydney.  Around this time he was receiving a war pension of 10/6 but still had an outstanding debt to the Department of Lands of £310.16.11.[6]

McDougall forfeited the farm some time before April 1927. A figure of £781.10.11 was written off toward the end of May 1927.[7]


[1] SRNSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files; [12/6850 No. 1111] NSW Government Gazette, 18 May 1922. p.?

[2] Ibid, Inspection Report

[3] Ibid, Under-Secretary to District Surveyor Tamworth, 30 June 1924.

[4] Ibid, Acting District Surveyour to the Under-Secretary for Lands 22 October 1925.

[5] Ibid, W.H. McDougall to W.J. Scully, MLA, Sydney, 6 January 1926.

[6] Ibid, Officer in Charge Rural Industries Board to Under Secretary for Lands, 14 April 1927.

[7] Ibid, Under-Secretary for Lands to the Auditor General? 1 June 1927.

Sources used to compile this entry:

State Records NSW:  Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files; [12/6850 No. 1111] William Heatley McDougall.

National Archives of Australia:  B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers (William Heatley McDougall) online: