NAME Robert Peter Milner
BORN 1 April 1889
MILITARY SERIAL NO. 1450  Later :  N102332
UNIT 45th Battalion
ENLISTED Sydney 27 October 1914
DISCHARGED Sydney 3 February 1919 – Possibly Medically Unfit
  The information about the two loans for the brothers No. 7373 & 7360 was in one combined file but as well, Robert Peter Milner had a loan file of his own.

 Robert Peter Milner took up a holding near his brother Alfred Leslie Milner.  His block consisted of 880 acres and his brother’s was 460 acres, the two blocks together were judged to be a home maintenance area.  Robert Milner’s Block was a Settlement Purchase , SP1921.8. The two brothers obtained their blocks under the Closer Settlement Promotion Act.  Robert Milner’s block was allotted to him on 3 March 1921 – Farm B.[1] 

Robert Milner applied for his advance on 31 March 1921 and it was approved on 2 August 1921.[2]

Initially, difficulties arose for the brothers who had inspected sheep in early October 1921, with a view to purchasing them.   Delivery of the sheep occurred on 12 December 1921. R. Curtis Bell from the Wee Waa Repatriation Committee wrote a letter of complaint to the Returned Soldiers’ Settlement Branch Sydney stating that Mr Schwager from whom the sheep were purchased, had not received payment for them. 

This sort of thing does not inspire confidence in the workings of your Department and will make it hard for settlers to get stock.  One can quite understand Mr Schwager’s feelings when he says that unless the money is in his hands by next Friday 10, he will instruct his solicitor to issue a writ for the recovering of the money.[3]

By 13 April 1922, only half of the amount owing £199.10.0 to Schwager had been received by the New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Co. Ltd., the people authorised to collect it on Schwager’s behalf.[4]   The matter was rectified by May 1922.[5]

On 14 February 1924, Milner informed the Under Secretary that he had no crop and was asking for an extension of time to pay his arrears which amounted to over £217.[6]

By 1925, Robert and his brother were reported to be in a better position than formerly with ‘neither of them evading their obligations to (the) Department’.[7]  Although on 20 November 1926, Robert again applied for a revision of his indebtedness.[8]  As noted in his brother’s loan file, they were very unhappy about having to execute a crop lien. 

Robert wrote angrily on 15 October 1928,

You can be assured that you will get your one third and no less. We always do our best to act fair to you and will always try to do so, but by the tone of your last letter of the 5th inst, one would think we were anything but fair toward you.  From now on, any money you have that belongs to us, we would kindly expect you to send along to us as you expect us to send along any money we owe you.[10]

The crop liens were subsequently executed in favour of the Minister for Lands.[11]

During the next decade Robert Milner continued to suffer from drought, frosts and rust.  He was also required to continually execute crop liens the last one noted was  c1940-41.[12] Some time around 1941 Milner enlisted again in the Military Forces returning to his block on 30 March 1943.[13]


[1]  SRNSW:  Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files; [12/7241 No 7360] J.T. Keating Under Secretary Memorandum 9 March 1921

[2] Ibid, RSS Branch Application for an Advance 20 July 1921.

[3] Ibid, R. Curtis, Hon Sec. Wee Repatriation Committee to RSS Branch, Sydney 4 February 1922.

[4] Ibid, Manager New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Co.Ltd. to Director of SS 13 April 1922.

[5] Ibid, A.A. Watson Director of SS to the Manager New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Agency Co. Ltd. May 1922.

[6] Ibid, Under Secretary to District Surveyor 14 February 1924.

[7] Ibid, Under Secretary to Deputy Commissioner Repatriation Commission 26 June 1925.

[8] Ibid, Application for Revision of Indebtedness 20 November 1926.

[9] Ibid, District Surveyor to Under Secretary for Lands 7 September 1927.

[10] Ibid, R.P. Milner to Under Secretary for Lands 15 October 1928.

[11] Ibid, Execution of crop Lien 9 August 1929.

[12] Ibid, Under Secretary Allman to R.P. Milner 27 June 1940.

[13] Ibid, B.R. Hindmarsh Staff Surveyor to District Surveyor 2 April 1943.

Sources used to compile this entry:

State Records of NSW:  Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files; [12/7241 No 7360],  Robert Peter Milner.

National Archives of Australia: B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers (Robert Peter Milner) online: and