Greenhills' Soldier Settlers

Parishes of Langulac & Minhamite - County of Villiers





5,330 acres

18 Settlers

Average acreage 296.1 acres

Amount paid for the estate ₤41,137

Amount paid per acre ₤7.72

Portland Guardian 29th October 1919

Soldier’s Settlement.

Applications for allotments on the Green Hills estate, which has recently been purchased by the Closer Settlement Board, may now be lodged at the local land office by soldiers who have qualification certificates. The estate is divided into 18 blocks ranging in areas of from 261 to 314 acres each, with capital values of from £2034 to £2117. The board to deal with applications Messrs G. O’Toole, land officer, J. Dick, of the Lands department, and the president of the Shire of Minhamite, will sit at the court house Penshurst, at 10 a.m., on Thursday, 13th November, and following days. The land is described as being of good grazing quality, well watered, and convenient to the railway being situated alongside the Minhamite railway station. It was formerly held by Mr. P, Lock. Plans will be available in a few days at the land office, Hamilton.

There were 41 applicants for the 18 blocks.



Blocks at Penshurst

PENSHURST, Saturday. - An enquiry board sat at Penshurst on Thursday to consider applications from discharged soldiers holding qualification certificates to take on land on the Green Hills Estate, which was recently purchased by the  ... Settlement Board for returned soliders.  It was announced that the following recommendations would be made: 
Allotment 1: 286 acres, R.T. Starling, Collingwood;
allotment 2: 290 acres, F.C. Kampmann, Penshurst;
allotment 3, 200 acres, G.H. Toogood, Hawkesdale;
allotment 4, 300 acres, S Walker, Penshurst;
allotment 5, 374 acres, J.R. Williams, Strathkellar;
allotment 6, 299 acres, W.R. Warburton, Hamilton;
allotment 7, 299 acres, H.J. Warburton, Hawkesday;
allotment 8, 302 acres, D.A. Ley, Casterton;
allotment 9, 307 acres, J.F. Dix, Strathkellar;
allotment 10, 280 acres, P.T. Dix, Strathkellar;
allotment 11, 280 acres, J.A. Clapman, Hamilton;
allotment 12, 261 acres, T. Adams, Hawkesdale;
allotment 13, 280 acres, E.J. Wensley, Strathkellar;
allotment 14, 297 acres, T.Y. Smith, Stawell;
allot 15, 288 acres, D.A. Wallace, Warrnambool;
allotment 16, 280 acres, Hugh McCabe, Ballarat;
allotment 17, 310 acres, Arthur Hocking, Heathcoate;
allotment 18, 288 acres, J.E. Arnold, South Yarra. 
It is expected that the successful applicants will enter into possession about December 1.


4726: ADAMS, Thomas.
Thomas was born at Hawkesdale 15th June 1893, the son of Thomas and Mary Ann (Toogood) Adams.

He enlisted on 3rd September 1915 and trained with the 21st Training Battalion at Warrnambool, then to the 15th reinforcements of the 14th Battalion. He transferred to the 46th Battalion in France 24th May 1916.

On July 31st 1917 Thomas was appointed L/Cpl 46th Battalion.

He was awarded the M.M. on May 26th 1918, the recommendation dated 9/4/1918 read:

‘For conspicuous bravery during an enemy attack on our lines near ALBERT on morning of 3.4.18. When the attack commenced this N.C.O. lay with his Lewis gun in full view of the enemy, and exposed to M.G. fire and snipers, and inflicted heavy casualties on the right. He then directed his gun towards the centre and kept it going until the attack was broken. He then took up a forward position and waited 14 hrs, in case the enemy again attacked. It was a fine example of devotion to duty.’

Thomas was promoted to Corporal on the 8th August 1918. He returned to Australia 12th May 1919 and was discharged from service 9th September 1919. Following discharge Thomas took up land on the ‘Greenhills’ Soldier Settlement at Minhamite.

He again enlisted for service during WW2, 9th Battalion V.D.C. number V383645. He died at the Koroit hospital 11th December 1965.

Thomas’ younger brother, 5970 Stanley Adams, also served during WW1 and was awarded the Military Medal and CROIX-DE-GEURRE (Belgian decoration).

2551: ARNOLD, James Edwin

James was born the 15th July 1890 at Port Fairy, the eldest of eleven children of Selina (Baulch) and John Edward Arnold. He had previously served 6 years with the Royal Australian Navy Reserve before enlisting for service on the 9th June 1915. This was also the year he married Mary Josephine McCluskey. His unit the 6th Battalion, 8th Reinforcement embarked from Melbourne, on board HMAT A68 Anchises on 26th August 1915. James progressed through the ranks with a number of promotions:

Promoted Lance Corporal, 9th November 1915.
Promoted Corporal, 23rd February 1916.
Appointed Lance Sergeant, 18th July 1916
Promoted Sergeant, 29th September 1916
Promoted 2nd Lt, 24th October 1917

James was seriously wounded in action in France on 16th April 1918 with multiple gun shot wounds to the abdomen wall, right leg and shoulder and admitted to 2nd Australian Field Ambulance; transferred to No 8 Red Cross Hospital, Le Touquet, 20th April 1918; to England, 15 May 1918, and admitted to 3rd London General Hospital same day. He returned to Australia on board HT Kanowna, arriving in Melbourne, 1st September 1918 and was discharged, 15th December 1919. Returning home, he applied and was granted a block on the Green Hills Soldier Settlement Estate at Minhamite. He remained on it for 40 years. With his severe injuries James provided for his wife and family by hand-milking cows with one hand. He was elected to the Minhamite Shire Council in 1926. He retired from the Council in 1930 to become part-time rate collector. During World War 2 he acted as Shire Secretary and in 1949 made a valuation of the Shire. He returned to the Shire Council from 1952 to 1959 and was president of it in 1956. He was a foundation member and first president of the Minhamite R.S.L. Sub-Branch in 1926 and belatedly the sub-branch made him its first life member in February 1981. James died 5th July 1981 and is buried at Hamilton Lawn Cemetery.

James’ 3 sons V383656 John Edwin, VX119240 Francis James and VX24227 Duncan Murray all served during WWII. Duncan was killed in action (presumed dead) on board the Monte Video.

James’ brother 2363 Ernest Arnold also served during WW1.

636: CLAPHAM, John Andrew

The son of Annie Jane (Kerr) and Samuel Goodman Clapham, John was born at Casterton on 12th March 1892. John’s military career got off to a bad start; enlisting on 3rd October 1914 he was discharged 10th November 1914 for threatening to strike a NCO. Not deterred he re-enlisted on the 23rd November 1914 and embarked for service overseas on board HMAT A43 Barunga on the 21st of December 1914. His unit was 4th Light Horse Regiment, 1st Reinforcement. On October 28th 1916 John married Rosena Elizabeth Rickman at the Parish Church in Fowey, Cornwall, England. On 18th April 1917 he transferred to the 4th Field Artillery Brigade. John returned to Australia 21st June 1919 having served in Egypt, Gallipoli and on the Western Front. He took up a soldier settlement block at Minhamite and named the property ‘Fowey’ after his wife’s birthplace. John died at Hamilton 22nd March 1960 and is buried at Hamilton General Cemetery.

During WWII, V4754 John Andrew Clapham served with the 17 Garrison Battalion from 30th July 1940 to 7 Aug 1943. His home at this time was in Condah, Victoria.

805: DIX, Joseph Francis

Joseph was born at Casterton on 25th March 1893 the second eldest of the twelve children of Margaret Theresa (Doyle) and James Dix. He enlisted for service on July 20th 1915 and embarked for overseas on board HMAT A11 Ascanius on 10th November 1915. Serving with the 9th Battalion Joseph was promoted to Corporal on 8th March 1917. In October 1917 he was admitted to Stratford on Avon War Hospital suffering from gas poisoning. On July 29th 1918 he received gun shot wounds to the left hand and thigh. Joseph returned to Australia on 20th November 1918. In 1922 he married Margaret Eileen Cooper who passed away at Heidelberg in 1937 at age 35. Joseph died at Koroit on October 2nd 1963 and is buried at Warrnambool.

V383647 Joseph Francis Dix served with the 9th Battalion VDC during WWII


4182: DIX, Peter Thomas.

Born at Casterton on 15th May 1895 to Margaret Theresa (Doyle) and James Dix, Peter enlisted on 6th May 1915. His unit embarked from Melbourne, on board HMAT A64 Demosthenes on 29th December 1915. Appointed L/Cpl 13th December 1917 he attended a course of Instruction at the Army Signal School, Dunstable and qualified as an Instructor and Assistant Instructor of Signalling. Peter returned to Australia 10th April 1919 and was discharged 23rd July 1919. On August 22nd 1940, now living at Minhamite, where following WW1 he had taken up a land on the ‘Greenhills’ Soldier Settlement, Peter enlisted for service in WW2. He was discharged 7th October 1945 with the rank of Staff Sergeant. His posting at discharge was 112 AAT Regiment. Peter was a Shire Councillor and President of the Minhamite Shire in 1933. He died on May 14th 1974.

Peter’s brother, 805 Cpl. Joseph Francis Dix also served.

2741: HOCKING, Arthur

Born at Castlemaine in 1877 Arthur was the son of Alice (Corless) and Christopher Hocking. A baker by trade Arthur was a married man with a family when he enlisted for service on 25th August 1914. With the rank of Driver with the Divisional Ammunition Column No 3 Section he embarked for overseas on board HMAT A9 Shropshire on 20th October 1914. In 1916 Arthur returned to Australia from Cairo for a period of 3 months suffering from synovitis of the knee. He returned to service with the 2nd Field Artillery Brigade. Arthur returned to Australia on April 5th 1919 having seen service on the Western Front. Arthur was married twice firstly to Georgina Bell in 1899. Georgina died in Geelong in July 1929. His second marriage was to Agnes Ann Parkin in 1933. Arthur died in Bendigo in 1952 and is buried with Agnes at Eaglehawk.


1632: KAMPMAN, Frederick Charles.

Frederick was born Carl Friedrich Kampmann at Jeparit in 1894 to Anna Dorothea (Roehr) and Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Kampmann. He enlisted on 8th May 1916 and joined the 3rd Australian Pioneer Battalion. On 24th November 1916 he transferred to the 4th Pioneer Battalion in the Field.

On the 5th April 1918 Frederick received a gunshot wound to the leg but was able to return to duty the same day. He received congratulations from the Australian Corps headquarters for courage and devotion to duty during an enemy attack.

He returned to Australia on board the China 8th June 1919 and was discharged 23th July 1919. Frederick married Elizabeth Angelina Phillips and in 1920 took up a Soldier Settlement block at Minhamite. He continued to actively farm there until retiring in 1959. He died at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital 1st August 1977.


4218: LEY, Donald Alexander

Born at Carapook 17th May 1887, Donald was the son of Annie (Cotter) and Charles Arthur Ley. He enlisted on the 5th March 1915 and served with the 5th D.A.C. His unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A18 Wiltshire on 7th March 1916. On 26th May 1916 he was appointed Driver. Donald was appointed Acting Bombardier on 26th November 1916. He returned to Australia on the “Orontes” on May 15th 1919 and was discharged 28th June 1919. In 1920 Donald married Virtue Sealy.

One of the original Soldier Settlers at Minhamite Donald was a keen judge of poultry which he exhibited with success at district shows. Over later years he became foreman with the Country Roads Board Shire of Mount Rouse until health prevented these duties. He died at Gatum 26th May 1954.

Donald’s son, Leading Aircraftman 58783 George Henry Ley, served with the RAAF during WW2

1391: McCABE, Hugh Joseph

Hugh was the son of Johanna (Joyce) and Hugh McCabe. He was born in Adelaide on 13th June 1882. Hugh married Matilda Manley in 1909 and at age 32, a married man with three children, he enlisted for service on 17th November 1914. Private McCabe embarked from Melbourne, on board HMAT A35 Berrima on 22nd December 1914 with the 16th Battalion, 1st Reinforcement. He was promoted to Corporal 19th July 1195, Company Quarter Master Sergeant 11th March 1916 and Company Sergeant Major 8th June 1917.

On June 4th 1918 Hugh was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. The valuable services rendered by this trustworthy warrant officer have been an example to all the battalion, distinguished, as they have been, by high courage in action. Self sacrificing devotion to duty, and unremitting care for the well being of the men of his company.'

On 12th November he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant. He returned to Australia on board the Nestor on February 2nd 1919. Hugh died 30th September 1957 and is buried at Warringal Cemetery, Heidelberg.

Hugh’s son VX148253 Rex Hugh Ernest McCabe served in New Guinea during WWII


3414: SMITH, Thomas Young.

Thomas was born at Ballarat 25th June 1894. His parents were Mary (Hansford) and William Cockburn Smith. He enlisted for service on August 3rd 1915. On July 25th 1916 he received a gunshot wound to the right shoulder, but rejoined his unit in Belgium on the 3rd of September. Thomas was appointed L/Cpl on 1st February 1917 and promoted to Corporal 10th September 1917. He attended a Lewis gun course from April 4th – 18th April 1918 at the Australian School of Musketry, Bhurtpore Barracks Tidworth and qualified 1st class. On April 25th he was attached with the Permanent Cadre of the 1st Training Battalion. He was discharged on July 6th 1919 and took up land on the ‘Greenhills’ Soldier Settlement at Minhamite. During WW2, V383650 L/Cpl Thomas Young Smith served with the Volunteer Defence Corps from 1-6-1942 to 20-9-1945.

Thomas’ brother 3331 William George Young was killed in action on 28th September 1916.

10933: STARLING, Richard Thomas.

Richard was born to Sydney Herbert and Alice (Hopkins) Starling at Woodside, Gippsland 19th May 1890. He enlisted for service 13th July 1915 at which time his next of kin was his mother. This changed later in the year when he married Lela Annie Treweek. He trained at Ascot Vale and Broadmeadows before proceeding overseas to France on 21st November 1916. Richard was discharged from service 4th September 1919. During WW2, Private V383341, Richard Thomas Starling served with 9 Battalion Volunteer Defence Corps from 21-6-1942 to 20-9-1945. At this time he was living at Minhamite on a ‘Greenhills’ Soldier Settlement block. He died 25th September 1966.

Richard’s son, James, RAAF 408886, Pilot Officer, 7 Squadron died on Active Service, New Guinea, 11-2-1945 (missing presumed dead).

480: TOOGOOD George Herbert

Born at Warrnambool in 1891 George was the son of Ellen (Stokes) and John Toogood of Hawkesdale. His mother passed away when George was just four years old. He enlisted for service on 21st January 1915 and joined the 13th Light Horse. The unit embarked from Melbourne, on board Transport A34 Persic on 28th May 1915. In 1916 he transferred to 5th Division headquarters and in 1917 to the 1st Anzac Light Horse regiment and proceeded overseas to France. George returned to Australia 21st March 1919. In 1921 he married Myrtle Davidson. George took up land on the ‘Green Hills’ Soldier Settlement but disposed of the farm shortly after his wife’s death in 1948. He died in Hamilton 8th April 1958 and is buried with his wife at Hawkesdale.

6364: WALKER, Samuel

The youngest of ten children of Thomas & Eliza (Porter) Samuel was born in Penshurst in 1889. He enlisted for service 26th June 1916 and joined the 6th Battalion, 20th Reinforcement. The unit embarked from Melbourne, on board HMAT A14 Euripides on 11th September 1916.

On March 2nd 1917 Samuel received serious gun shot wounds while on active service, in the field, in France. As a result of his injuries his right foot was amputated. On 30th December 1917 he returned to Australia on board the Berrima and was discharged medically unfit for service on February 1st 1918.

In 1923 Samuel married Ann Reed Hindaugh. Despite his injuries, as an original settler at Minhamite, he established a Corriedale sheep stud which he continued to own until his death in November 1962. Samuel and his wife are buried together at the Hamilton General Cemetery.

26: WALLACE, David Arthur

Born at Allansford in 1881 to Ann (Gaul) and Oliver Wallace, David was a married man and father of four children when he enlisted for service on 18th January 1915. His unit, the 13th Light Horse Regiment, B Squadron embarked on board Transport A34 Persic on 28th May 1915. With the rank of sergeant David served at Gallipoli where on the 25th September 1915 a shell exploded in close proximity rendering him unconscious. As a result he was deaf in both ears and returned to Australia. He was discharged from service on January 8th 1917. In June of 1926 David died in a coffee palace in Ballarat leaving his widow Margaret (Kerr), who he had married in 1907, and five children ranging in age from 18 to 10 years. He is buried at the Ballarat cemetery.

993: WARBURTON, Henry Jasper

Born at Hawkesdale in 1887 Henry was the fourth of the ten children of Annie (McLean) and Alfred Warburton. He enlisted for service on 16th March 1915. His unit, 21st Battalion, D Company embarked for overseas on board HMAT A38 Ulysses on 10th May 1915. Henry received a serious gun shot wound to his left leg in France on 25th July 1916. He rejoined his unit 12th June 1917 and was appointed Lance Corporal on the 1st October that year. On 31st October Henry was awarded the Military Medal 'For conspicuous gallantry as a Battalion Runner at BROODSEINDE on 4th October, 1917. His unostentatious devotion to duty and coolness was superb. He never for one second hesitated when a despatch was to be sent, but left Headquarters cheerfully with messages under terrific shell fire. No barrage was too great for him to face and not on one single occasion did he fail to accomplish his work. On all occasions when in the trenches the behaviour of this man has been unsurpassed.'

Henry returned to Australia on board the Kashmir on March 9th 1919 and was discharged from service on 29th June 1919.

In 1924 Henry married Hilda Maie Scott. He died at Minhamite 25th February 1964 and is buried at Hamilton General Cemetery

Henry’s brothers 30015 Charles William Warburton and 1370 Herbert Horlick Warburton also served during WW1.

6367: WARBURTON, William Robert

William was born at Hamilton in 1891 to William Robert and Susan (Dark) Warburton. A single man aged 25 he enlisted for service on April 17th 1916 and entered Ballarat camp. From there he transferred to Broadmeadows before joining the 6th Battalion 20th Reinforcement. The unit embarked from Melbourne, on board HMAT A14 Euripides on 11th September 1916. William served in France until he received a gunshot wound to the left leg on 24th August 1918. He was appointed Lance Corporal on August 31st 1918 but as a result of his injuries returned to Australia 21st December 1918 and was discharged from service on the 3rd January 1919. In 1922 William married Rosina Jane Taylor. He died at Hamilton in 1979 and is buried at Hamilton lawn cemetery.

William served with the Volunteer Defence Force from 1st July 1942 to 8th July 1945 during WWII

1193: WENSLEY, Eric James

Born in Balmoral in 1892 Eric was the son of Margaret (Brown) and Frederick Powick Wensley. He enlisted for service on 17th July 1915. His unit the 13th Light Horse Regiment, 6th Reinforcement, embarked from Melbourne on board HMAT SS Hawkes Bay on 26th October 1915. On June 21st 1916 he transferred to 2nd Division Ammunition Column and served as a Driver in France and Egypt. Eric returned to Australia on board the Rio Negro on the 29th May 1919 and was discharged from service on the 13th September that year.

On 16th February 1916 the Hamilton Spectator printed the following letter Eric wrote to his sister from Heliopolis on Boxing Day 1915: ‘We had Christmas here yesterday and of course we each received a “William” which was what made Christmas for us. If you could have seen the pleasure with which they were received by our lads. We were paraded about half past nine in the morning. A message from the King was read and then the boys gave three cheers for the ladies of Australia and never were more cheers heartily given. We then marched by and had our billies handed to us by two ladies and also a box containing two packets of cigarettes and a tin of tobacco. Of course the next thing was to see the inside of the billies, and this was soon accomplished. Mine was from Queensland and was signed “A Billy Girl”. Most of the billies had address cards in them and some had really good and funny letters in them. My billy contained a small pudding, tin of salmon, lollies, nuts, cigarettes, handkerchiefs, bloater paste, Vaseline, safety pins, tooth brush, powder and chocolates.’

In 1922 Eric married Mary Elizabeth Cooper. He died at Warrnambool on May 23rd 1962 and is buried with his wife in the Warrnambool General cemetery.

Eric’s brother 6667 Albert William Wensley also served.

19875: WILLIAMS, John Roy

John was born in Bendigo in 1896 to John and Hannah (Stahl) Williams. John enlisted for service on September 17th 1915 at age 18 years and 11 months. His rank on enlistment was Driver. His unit, the Field Artillery Brigade 8, Battery 30 embarked from Melbourne on board HMAT A7 Medic on 20th May 1916. John received a number of temporary promotions during his service and at discharge he had achieved the rank of sergeant. On 27th July 1917 he received a shell wound to his hand but returned to duty on the 19th of August. John returned to Australia on June 5th 1919. In 1923 he married Elena Ann Hustler. He died at Hamilton aged 33 on August 3rd 1930 leaving a widow and two young daughters. He is buried at the Hamilton General Cemetery.

The Argus, June 16th 1925

HAWKESDALE, Monday. - The Royal commission on soldier settlement took evidence today from settlers on Greenhills and Woodlands Estates. Many witnesses were examined. Mr. Daniel O Brien, president of the Minhamite Shire welcomed the commission. He said that the settlers were of an exceptionally good type, and it was unfortunate for them that stock was very high in price when they took up their blocks. Generally the blocks were too small. Between the time of purchase and the time of allotment, the estate was idle and had become overrun with rabbits.

Mr. Peter Thomas Dix said that he had 291 acres at Greenhills. This year he had 1,500 bags of oats and 40 tons of hay, but the profit was only ₤116. It was no use growing oats. The price of the land was all right, but it was only a grazing proposition, and larger areas were needed. There were thousands of acres around them, in large estates, some of which could be bought. There were many complaints about dwellings. In the building, gene- rally, there was no supervision. Men would work a couple of hours at one place and then walk two or three miles gathering mushrooms, and put in a few hours at another house. Many settlers complained to the Closer Settlement Board, and were practically told to mind their own business. Witness went to Melbourne and complained personally. He was told that a new foreman was being put on.

Mr. John Roy Williams, who has 374 acres on Greenhills, said that he was grazing sheep and a few cattle; but for the land he had outside, he could not have made payment through the board. He wanted his area increased. It would take 500 or 600 sheep to make a living.

Mr George Herbert Toogood with 303 acres on Greenhills said that no architect was ever on his property, but he was charged architect fees; no foreman ever came near, yet he was charged ₤16/10 for foreman's wages. He was running 30 cows, but the land was more suitable for grazing, and he wanted a large area, as he could not get more than ₤10 a cow after growing feed. 


From the Weekly Times July 4th 1962
Left to right: J.F.Dix, J.E.Arnold, T.Y.Smith, T.Adams, P.T.Dix, H.J. Warburton

“The Soldier Settlement group settlers in the years from 1926-1946 had to be battlers. They were living in the adverse times of the Great Depression and the years of World War 2. Prosperity didn't come to them. Adversity brings out the best in us. There is no companionship greater than of those in need.” Tom Johnson, 1981.

Sources of Information:

Cemetery Records.
National Archive of Australia:
AIF Database:
Australian War Memorial:
Public Records Office, Victoria:
Victorian Register of Births, Deaths & Marriages
Photos from various family members and the Mount Rouse Historical Society Archive.

By Val Heffernan for the Mount Rouse & District Historical Society

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