NAME Lionel Alfred Sheldon
BORN 1882 – Kansas City, United States of America
DIED Sydney, 1968
UNIT 13th Field Artillery
ENLISTED 26 August 1915 – Warwick Farm
DISCHARGED Medically Unfit – 2 August 1918

Lionel Sheldon took up a soldier settlement block near Dural.  The block ‘Avonview’ was quite small consisting of only 40 acres.  Lionel applied for a loan sometime around 24 November 1919. ‘Hoping for assistance, I hereby apply for sufficient funds to build a home, or that you can have one built for me’.[1]  Lionel proposed that his brother-in-law, who was a builder, build the cottage as soon as timber was placed on the land’.[2]  He was at this time, living with his family on the block in a bark humpy.[3]

House plan proposed by Lionel Sheldon

Lionel’s Advance was approved by 22 April 1920.  Yet, by October 1922, Lionel was having a difficult time on his block.  The Inspector reported that ‘the place looked like a black waste, as far as the eye can see … about 2/3rds of the passion vines were destroyed and about half of the citrus trees’.[4]  Around this time he also suffered because of a bush fire which scorched his lemon and mandarin trees.[5]   By the end of 1923, Lionel was plagued by ill health as a result of his war injuries.  On 27 May 1924, he wrote to the Under-Secretary of the Returned Solder Settlement Branch declaring that he was not strong enough to work his place.[6] By the end of the year he had become very ill and was in Sydney Hospital under observation.[7]

His wife Jessie wrote to the Under-Secretary, ‘I with my little baby are keeping the home fires burning’.[8]  Due to his continual ailing health, his wife was doing most of the work. Sometime toward the end of 1928 or early 1929, the property was transferred to a civilian – Harold Verity – who also had problems making ends meet. 


 [1] SRNSW: Lands Department; NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files; [12/6889 No. 2866], Lionel Sheldon to Director, Returned Soldier Settlement Branch, 24 November 1919.

[2] Ibid, Office Memorandum, Albert Smith, Inspector,  19 March 1920.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid, Office Memorandum, J.N. Moore Inspector, 19 October 1922.

[5] Ibid, Lionel Sheldon to the Director of Soldier Settlements 18 October 1922.

[6] Ibid, Lionel Sheldon to the Under Secretary of Returned Soldier Settlements 27 May 1924.

[7] Ibid, He was in Randwick Hospital.

[8] Ibid, Jessie Sheldon to the Under Secretary 4 October 1924.

Sources used to compile this entry:

State Records NSW:  Lands Department, NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files, [12/6889 No. 2866], Lionel Alfred Sheldon.

National Archives of Australia: B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers (Lionel Alfred Sheldon) online: