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    South Australia - World War I

    Religion

    "War and Prayer" is in the Register,
    2 January 1915, page 8b,
    "War and Church" in the Advertiser,
    6 March 1915, page 14d.

    "Christianity and the War" is in the Register,
    16 September 1915, page 6a,
    16 November 1915, page 6d,
    6 September 1916, page 6b,
    "Churches and the War" on
    3 January 1917, page 6d:

    Alternatively, the Churches are charged with being out of touch with everyday life and with interfering in matters which have no relation to religion.

    "War and Religion" is in The Mail,
    27 January 1917, page 2b.

    "The Saddest Duty on Earth - People Dread the Sight of Ministers" is in The Mail,
    25 August 1917, page 4d.

    "The Nation at Prayer - A Day of Humiliation" is in the Register,
    7 January 1918, page 7b,
    "Roman Catholics and the War" on
    11, 16, 30 and 31 July 1918, pages 5e, 7e, 7f and 9e.

    World War I - Choose again

    Repatriation

    "Helping Returned Soldiers - Putting Them on the Land" is in the Register,
    10 January 1916, page 9a.
    "Soldier Settlers" is in the Register,
    22 February 1916, page 4c,
    "Australian Soldiers' Repatriation Fund" on
    20 April 1916, pages 4c-5b,
    "Training Returned Soldiers" in the Advertiser,
    21 March 1916, page 6d.

    "After the War Problems" is in the Register,
    12 June 1916, page 4b; also see
    4, 19 and 25 August 1916, pages 7b, 10e and 6c,
    4 November 1916, page 10g,
    "Settlement of Returned Soldiers" on
    9 November 1916, page 7c.

    "Helping Returned Soldiers" is in the Register,
    8 July 1916, page 8d.

    A training farm at Mount Remarkable is discussed in the Register,
    15 September 1916, page 4e,
    "Making Farmers of Soldiers" on
    2 December 1916, page 11c; also see
    25 and 29 January 1917, pages 5c and 9d,
    9 February 1917, page 4f.

    "Coping With the Repatriation Problem" is in the Register,
    27 January 1917, page 9e.

    "Land for Soldiers" is in the Register,
    12 February 1917, page 4i,
    27 June 1917, page 6h,
    15 August 1917, page 6h. Also see
    19 January 1918, page 10a,
    8, 15 and 22 July 1920, pages 4g, 5e and 5e,
    18 August 1920, page 5d,
    14 October 1920, page 7c,
    19 January 1923, page 7h.

    "Caring for Consumptive Soldiers" is in the Register,
    13 December 1916, page 7d;
    information on the Tubercular Soldiers' Aid Society is in the Advertiser,
    24 March 1926, page 12e,
    1 and 6 May 1926, pages 15a and 17f,
    "TB Soldiers" on
    25 March 1927, page 12f.

    "Soldiers' Homes in the Building" is in the Register,
    11 July 1917, page 6d;
    also see 25 October 1917, page 5c.

    "South Australia's Duty to Her Maimed" is in The Mail,
    2 February 1918, page 2d.

    "Repatriation - What South Australia is Doing" is in the Register,
    20 January 1917, page 11a.

    A report on "Repatriation Day" is in the Register,
    15 December 1916, pages 6b-7b.
    Also see The Critic,
    6 and 20 December 1916, pages 16 and 3-13-16,
    8 January 1917, page 25.

    "Work After the War" is in the Register,
    5 March 1917, page 6b; also see
    12 May 1917, page 11c,
    18 June 1917, page 4b,
    "Helping Disabled Soldiers" on
    12 February 1918, page 4d.

    Also see Register,
    26 and 28 June 1918, pages 6b and 7b,
    3 February 1919, page 6b,
    27 March 1919, page 8c,
    16, 17 and 19 June 1919, pages 5a, 4d and 6c,
    7 December 1920, page 4c,
    10 July 1921, page 7e,
    26 June 1922, page 9d.

    A Government Fiasco

    The Great War erupted in 1914 and saw the enlistment of 35,000 men in South Australia, 28.000 of whom saw active service; 6.000 gave their lives for "King and Country". These statistics were taken up by historians and others, but little was told of the wounded, whether physically or mentally, who returned and experienced the traumas of re-entry to "normal" civiian life. For example, in Great Britain there was much talk of "Homes Fit for Heroes"but little eventuated; much the same occurred in South Australia with the much-vaunted, but ultimately disappointing, "Soldiers Settlement Scheme".

    The scheme began with the passing of the Returned Soldiers Settlement Act of 1915 that was replaced by the Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act some two years later. The latter enabled the government to reserve Crown land for discharged servicemen and to lend money to them. For those without experience, training farms were set up at Pompoota and Melrose and the trainees paid a living allowance. After an energetic beginning the scheme became troubled with falling prices, poor seasons and the world depression of the 1930s.

    In July 1917 much of "The Pinery" lying between Grange and Alberton was purchased by the Vaughan governmemt for the purpose of soldier settlement at a price of 19 per acre, vis a vis a contemporary land tax valuation of 5.5s. per acre. Before the ink was dry on the contract floods inundated the area:

    At the same time, within "The Pinery" itself:

    In mid-July 1917 The Mail proclaimed in a banner headline - :That Soldier Settlement - Colossal Official Bungling". The editor then proceeded to berate the government. At the outset he cited a Mr Messenger, a self-avowed expert on soils, who ventured the opinion that the area "would not keep one horse for twelve months on its own natural grasses." He concluded by suggesting that the "Government should give one of the prominent business men involved in the slick deal ten acres of the best land and see if he could make it pay, as the Government expected the poor returned servicemen to do."

    Mr Messenger. together with a reporter, toured the area in a trap and, while moving through the vast expanses of water, he asked several of the surveyors whether they had applied for a lease of a soldier settlement block. The reply was: "We've put in for one mate", said a bronze-tanned son of Australia, "but we don't want it right here. Why, it will take a power of money to do anything with this..."

    They noted a bore from which water was being pumped and Messenger observed: "Talk about magnesia. Look at the rust on the side of the tank. Why, it would eat through a bullock in time!" Finally, Mr Messenger concluded: "I do not wish to be harsh on the Government which has been misled. All I wish to do is to prevent a repetition of such colossal bungling."

    In other quarters the government was accused of deliberately encouraging high land valuations in order to foser a "boom" or allowing "boodling" (profiteering)... All that existed there at the time was a property utilised in the exercising of horses under the watchful eyes of a Mr Matson, a horse trainer, who ran a few chickens and tended a struggling barley crop.

    On the same day as the virulent attack in The Mail, "A Farmer's Wife" wote of the proposal:

    To A.T. Saunders must be ascribed a good deal of the responsibility for unearthing what became known as "The Land Scandals". By articles and advertisements he so influenced public opinion that an enquiry was undertaken. He told The Mail:

    Earlier in 1917 Saunders gave a description of some of the land and it is worthy of reproduction here for it contains some interesting district history and, further, gave a fair account of the land's perceived worth for closer settlement:

    This sad and sorry saga was taken up again in June 1924 when, in an artcle entitled "The Grange and the Pinery - Government's Curious Deal", C.E. Owen-Smyth recalled earlier times when he was involved in levelling some sandhills north of the cable station, which was the northern-most building on the seafront at that time. His words are nonetheless germane today:

    At this time the newly-formed Returned Servicemen's League was scathing in its attacks upon government, both state and federal, for it was firmly of the belief that those who had served were being shabbily treated. Owen-Smyth was clearly at one with the League:

    Although this particular government scheme was a complete disaster, not only were two magnificent golf courses developed on this land, once deemed all but useless, but some market gardens were successful and, from the 1970s onward, the remainder of "The Pinery" was swallowed up by suburbia in the form of the up-market suburb of West Lakes.

    An essay on "The Pinery" is under Place Names - Grange Also see Place Names - Kings Town. "Soldier Farmers" is in the Register,
    9 November 1917, page 7e.

    "The Toy Industry - Opening for Returned Soldiers" is in the Register,
    8 January 1918, page 4h.

    The opening of a Soldiers' Hostel is reported in the Register,
    19 and 20 July 1918, pages 6d and 8e.

    The opening of a "Curative Workshop and Artificial Limb Factory" is reported in the Advertiser,
    24 September 1918, page 8a.

    "Soldiers' Homes" is in the Register,
    17 and 19 December 1918, pages 4c and 7c,
    Advertiser,
    18 April 1919, page 8e.
    "Homes for Soldiers - The First Buildings" is in the Express,
    24 October 1919, page 2e.

    "Noisy Meeting of Returned Soldiers" is in the Register,
    17 January 1919, page 7c,
    "Soldiers and Grape Growing - Temperance Critics" on
    25 September 1919, page 7c.

    "Settling the Soldier" is in the Register,
    6 March 1919, page 4d.

    "Housing the Soldiers" is in the Register,
    13 March 1919, page 4e.

    "Soldier Settlers and Wine - A Methodist Protest" is in the Register,
    15 March 1919, page 6i.

    "Farms for Soldiers" is in the Register,
    17 April 1919, page 4e.

    "Soldiers on the Murray" is in the Observer,
    28 June 1919, page 40e,
    "The Call of the River - Soldier Settlements" in the Register,
    8, 15 and 22 July 1920, pages 4g, 5e and 5e,
    18 and 24 August 1920, pages 5d and 5e,
    "Soldiers and the Vine" on 17 September 1921, page 5b;
    also see 30 May 1922, page 4d;
    also see 26 June 1922, page 7b, 3,
    6 and 7 July 1922, pages 3e, 6c and 7b,
    1 June 1923, page 9d.

    "Help for Blinded Soldiers" is in the Register,
    30 July 1919, page 7c.

    "Soldiers and Grape Growing" is in the Register,
    25 September 1919, page 7c;
    also see 19 October 1920, page 6a.

    "Soldiers and Land Settlement" is in the Register,
    24 October 1919, page 4c,
    8 and 15 July 1920, pages 4g and 5e,
    6 July 1922, page 6c,
    "The Government and Returned Warriors" on
    20 February 1920, page 6b,
    information on a Soldiers' Fund appears on
    9 February 1922, page 8a,
    16 June 1922, page 6e,
    12 April 1923, page 9f.

    "The Soldier on the Land" is in the Observer,
    13 March 1920, page 4b.

    Photographs of returned soldiers undergoing vocational training are in the Observer,
    29 November 1919, pages 24-25.

    "Pitiless Pension Laws" is in the Register,
    25 March 1921, page 6f.

    "Soldiers' Homes" is in the Register,
    8 February 1922, page 8c,
    1 and 4 April 1922, pages 9d and 7d,
    4 August 1922, page 6c,
    Observer,
    1 April 1922, page 19e,
    "War Service Homes" on 15 July 1922, page 12d.
    "Builders' Grievances - State Bank Soldiers' Homes" is in the Observer,
    2 June 1923, page 24e.

    "Soldier Settlements - Progress on the Murray" is in the Observer,
    3 June 1922, page 5a,
    "Soldier Settlement" in the Advertiser,
    19 December 1922, page 8e.

    "Settling Soldiers" is in the Register,
    13 December 1922, page 11d.

    "Troubles of Soldier Settlers" is in the Register,
    15 September 1923, page 13h.

    "Among the Soldier Settlers" is in the Advertiser,
    2 September 1924, page 16d,
    "Soldiers and Irrigation Settlement" on 21 April 1926, page 16c.
    "Relief for Soldier Settlers" is in the Register,
    4 December 1925, page 11c,
    "Soldier Settlers' Grievances" on 8 November 1927, page 10a.
    Also see The Mail,
    13 February 1937, page 10c.

    "Soldiers in Civil Life - Human Interest Story" is in the Observer,
    28 February 1925, page 48b.

    "Many Soldiers Leaving Blocks" is in The News,
    7 April 1925, page 1a;
    also see Register,
    22 September 1927, page 11d.

    Photographs of vocational training are in the Observer,
    29 November 1919, pages 24-25.

    Information on the Returned Soldiers' Club is in the Register,
    4 October 1923, page 6c.
    "The Returned Soldiers' Club - What South Australia Has Achieved" is in the Advertiser,
    12 April 1924, page 17e.

    "Among the Soldier Settlers" is in the Advertiser,
    2 September 1924, page 16d,
    "Soldiers and Irrigation Settlement" on
    21 April 1926, page 16c.

    "Many Soldiers Leaving Blocks" is in The News,
    7 April 1925, page 1a.

    Repatriation problems are discussed in the Advertiser,
    19 May 1926, page 20b.

    A reunion of Limbless Soldiers is reported in the Register,
    28 July 1926, page 15h.

    "Diggers' Club Opened" is in the Register,
    28 April 1924, page 10f,
    "Limbless Soldiers" on
    16 April 1925, page 8d,
    2 May 1925, page 9f,
    "Soldiers' Pensions" on
    5 and 6 May 1926, pages 11e and 15g,
    "Our Disabled Diggers" on
    20 May 1926, pages 8f-10d.

    "TB Soldiers - Relief Proposals Supported" is in the Register,
    25, 26 and 27 March 1926, pages 11f, 8d-i and 11e,
    6 May 1926, page 15g.

    Repatriation problems are discussed in the Advertiser,
    19 May 1926, page 20b.

    "Our Disabled Diggers" is in the Register,
    20 May 1926, pages 8f-10d.
    A reunion of Limbless Soldiers is reported in the Register,
    28 July 1926, page 15h.

    "Soldier Settlers' Liabilities" is in the Observer,
    8 December 1928, page 21d.

    "Aid for TB Soldiers" is in the Register
    on 26 and 27 March 1926, pages 8d and 11e.
    Information on the Tubercular Soldiers' Aid Society is inThe News,
    2 August 1927, page 8f,
    Register, 4 October 1927, page 4e.
    "A Plea for Tubercular Soldiers" is in the Advertiser, 1
    3 March 1929, page 8g;
    also see 28 March 1930, page 18f,
    5 February 1931, page 6d,
    20 April 1933, page 8g.

    "The Truth About Murray Soldier Settlements" is in the Register,
    18, 19 and 20 August 1930, pages 8d, 8d and 8d.

    "Digger Humor on the Murray" is in The News,
    23 April 1932, page 4e.

    "Eviction of Ex-Servicemen" is in the Advertiser,
    17 September 1937, page 23d.

    World War I - Choose again