NAME Claude Elijah Wright
BORN c1896 Lawrence NSW
DIED 1966
UNIT 15th Battalion
ENLISTED 19 September 1914
DISCHARGED Medically unfit 21 May 1918

Claude Elijah Wright married Grace Mary Macgregor in 1923. By 1930 they had four children between the age of twelve months and six years. Wright took up his soldier settlement block of 64 acres on 28 June 1920.  It was a Settlement Purchase No. 1920/18 located at Deep Creek in the Parish of Ulmarra, County of Clarence.  Prior to the war he had undertaken dairy farming on the family farm.

By 1927 Wright was living on the block and as well as maintaining improvements around the property.  Inspector Cobcroft reported that Wright was milking 25 head and all stock was branded.[1] Cobcroft went on: ‘Wright is a good hardworking practical man and he would have good prospects if he could make up his arrears’[2].

While Wright appears to have made a fairly good beginning on his block, in the spring of 1928, his herd was decimated by contagious abortion. Even though he appears to have recovered from this, by 1929 due to severe floods in the region, he was living on credit and was having difficulty paying the balance owing on his land and Advance.[3] Around this time his wife was ill and he also owed money to an auctioneer and a local storekeeper. 

Unfortunately, on Monday 24 November 1930 at around 4am a fire started in the kitchen which destroyed the five bedroom house, most of the family’s furniture as well as their household effects. [4] The family was left with practically nothing, except for a pine wardrobe, a suit of clothes and a few articles of children’s clothing. The house was insured so it does appear that Wright rebuilt and continued to live on the property at Ulmarra. Wright had repaid his advance by 11 August 1931.[5]


 [1] SRNSW: Lands Department;  NRS 8058, Returned Soldiers loan files [12/7003 No. 4283] Claude Elijah Wright, E.H. Cobcroft Report 2 March 1927.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid. Returned Soldiers Settlement Branch Report 31 October 1928.

[4] Ibid.  NSW Police Fire Report, Ulmarra Station, 27 November 1930.

[5] Ibid. Department of Lands Memorandum 19 October 1931.

Sources used to compile this entry:

State Records NSW:  Lands Department;  NRS 80s58, Returned Soldiers loan files [12/7003 No. 4283] Claude Elijah Wright.

National Archives of Australia: B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers (Claude Elijah Wright)