NAME Leonard Harvey Smith aka Leonard Harry Smith
BORN Abt. 1890
DIED Poss. 1968
UNIT 7th Light Horse
ENLISTED 28 April 1915
DISCHARGED 8 April 1915 – Medically Unfit

Leonard Harvey Smith took up a block of land in the Dartbrook Settlement Purchase Area.  The block, a little over 99 acres was in the Parish of Strathearn, County of Brisbane.  It was a Settlement Purchase No. 1925/3. By August 1928 Smith was behind in his repayments: his arrears amounting to £218.8.0 for his land and £35.8.6 for his loan.[1]  Smith’s wife was also receiving medical treatment which led to him employ a young boy to assist with the work on his block.[2]  Even though Smith was judged to be a good worker, the District Surveyor was very determined that Smith keep up his payments at a rate equal to the ‘amount falling due each year’.[3]  Smith himself believed that he should only pay what he could, which was £9.2.0 per month.[4]  This however, was not acceptable to the Department. Smith believed he was being unfairly treated as the amount he was expected to pay, was half his cream cheque whereas other settlers were only paying one third of theirs.[5]  Smith requested his case ‘be placed before the Minister of Lands’[6] Representation was made by W. Cameron MLA on Smith’s behalf but the Department of Lands refused to accede to Cameron’s request.[7]

On 30 December 1930 Smith wrote a lengthy letter to the Under Secretary for Lands outlining his circumstances.  He wife was still in a semi-convalescent state, he was in constant debt and requested that any payments in respect of land be suspended or waived for twelve months.    He and he wife had no source of income other than a small pension.   Unable to journey to Sydney to state his case verbally, he signed off asking that ‘this petition would receive sympathetic and compassionate consideration’.[8]

 It appears Smith’s request was still refused.

 In 1931 Smith’s land was increased from 99 to 218 acres and approval was given to lease part of this larger acreage for five years to Arthur Edwin Eveleigh.[9] 

 Smith remained on his property and was still there in 1954.


[1] SRNSW:  Lands Department;  NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files, [12/7405, No. 10025], Leonard Harvey Smith, District Surveyor to the Under Secretary, Department of Lands, 7 August 1928.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid, CP Inspector to District Surveyor, 12 October 1928.

[5] Ibid, .H. Smith to Department of Lands, nd.

[6] Ibid, 15 February 1929.

[7] Ibid, Under Secretary to L.H. Smith 14 Janaury 1929

[8] Ibid, L.H. Smith to Under Secretary 3 December 1930.

[9] Lands Memorandum 2 September 1932.

Sources used to compile this entry:

State Records NSW:  Lands Department, NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files, [12/7405, No. 10025] Leonard Harvey Smith.

National Archives of Australia:  B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, (Leonard Harvey Smith):