NAME Jack Cedric Price
BORN Abt. 1893 – Homebush NSW
DIED Murwillumbah, NSW 3 May 1948
MILITARY SERIAL NO. Lieut. Engineers – Awarded Military Cross for gallantry and devotion to duty. He carried out his duties under fire with the result that telephone communication was maintained between Brigade Headquarters and the front line – 3 October 1918.
UNIT 2nd signal corps.
ENLISTED Liverpool, NSW 9 February 1915
DISCHARGED Sydney 19 September 1919

Jack Cedric Price took up a Soldiers’ Settlement block of 62 ½  on Mullumbimby Creek. The previous owner had used the block for dairying and Jack agreed to continue with this despite having no experience at all with dairy cattle.  An adjoining area of 20 acres was approved by the Department and was to be in his brother’s name – he was also a returned soldier.     Neither brother had any experience growing bananas either. Despite this obvious lack of experience, the Department approved the purchase of stock and equipment.  Jack stated later in a letter to the Department, ‘we worked with a will, milking morning and night seven days a week and working bananas between milkings’.[1]  In 1921, with the dairy industry on the north coast in a period of decline, the brothers also had to deal with an outbreak of bunchy top which caused a further decline in their circumstances. 

To make ends meet Jack took a part-time job as Secretary of the Brunswick Fruit Growers Association and later a position as the district representative with the newspaper the Tweed Daily.  Jack’s brother tried to make a go on the block until 1923, but he too was unable to continue.  The formal transfer of the block to Jack’s brother was not completed and in 1924, the Advance was called up and the holding forfeited.[2]    After all the assets were disposed of, there was still an outstanding sum of £393.5.3 that the Department said Jack still owed them.[3]

Jack protested strongly about this.  He believed ‘he was forced off the land through no fault of his own’. He went on, ‘We went into the venture with a few hundred pounds each, we left with all our money gone and (were) faced with the necessity of starting life again’.[4]  I have lost every penny I possessed and some years of my life.[5]

             This is not repatriation.

‘Why should I be hounded for this money by the Department when the average returned soldier in my place would never be in a position to get off the bread line, and so could never pay’? [6] Because he was employed on the newspaper the Tweed Daily -the returned Solders’ Settlement Branch believed he was in a position to pay the outstanding amount. 

Jack contacted his local member of parliament Mr. A.E.  Budd MLA asking for assistance to sort out the matter.  After some discussion, it was suggested that Jack repay £100 of the amount owing.  Jack wrote again to Mr. Budd stating this was not acceptable to him. The Returned Sailors and Soldiers’ Imperial League of Australia also made representations on Jack’s behalf.

Notably, the Crown Solicitor stated that he was doubtful Jack Price’s debt could be written off without amending the Returned Soldiers Settlement Act. It wasn’t until 5 April, 1935, after more correspondence between the Department of Lands, the local member Budd and the Crown Solicitor, that it was agreed that the amount be waived.[7]    Legislation was eventually amended in Parliament so this could occur.

Jack Cedric Price became very successful in newspapers becoming managing editor and director of the Tweed Daily.  He was also chairman of the New South Wales Country Press Ltd. and president and vice-president of the Country Press Association. Up until the time of his death in 1948, he had been ill for several months.[8]


[1] SRNSW:  Lands Department NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files, [12/6891 No. 2884] Jack Cedric Price: J.C. Price to the Department of Lands, nd.

[2] Ibid, Returned Soldiers’ Settlement Branch, 11 February 1930.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid, J.C. Price undated letter.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid, Returned Soldiers’ Settlement Branch, 28 February 1930.

[7] Ibid, Report, Returned Soldiers Settlement Branch, 5 April, 1935.

[8] Mr. J.C. Price Dead, The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday 4 May 1948, p. 5.

 Sources used to compile this entry

State Records NSW:  Lands Department, NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files; [12/6891 No. 2884] Jack Cedric Price.

National Archives of Australia:  B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers (Jack Cedric Price) online:

The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday 4 May 1948.