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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


"Digby" Albert Digby KLEE / NELSON

Born 17 May 1886 in Sunderland, Durham, England [20] [21] [412]
Son of merchant Theodore Justus KLEE and Jane Elizabeth NELSON [20] [21]
His father passed away at the age of 38 years in late 1890, when he was just a young child [21]
In 1891 he was living with his mother, elder brother Theodore, younger sister Elsa and uncle George B. KLEE [20]
     They were living at 30 Belle Vue Park in Bishop Wearmouth, Durham, England [20]
     His mother was "living on private means" while his uncle was a "Colour Paint Merchant" [20]
He and his brother were boarding with a clergyman schoolmaster at Fawnlees in Wolsingham, Durham, England in 1901 [20]
In 1911 he was living with his uncle, mother, brother and sister on Town Farm near Ryhope Village in Sutherland, Durham [20]
     Although his uncle and mother don't appear to have married, by 1911 they were presenting themselves as a married couple [20]
He was working as an Office Clerk in 1911 [20], but later gave his occupation as Farmer [34]
He was registered at birth as Albert Digby KLEE but by 1915 he was going by the name of Albert Digby NELSON [20] [34]
     It is possible he changed his surname officially or unofficially due to anti-German sentiment during the First World War [P1]
In 1915 he was living at Glendale House in Bellingham, Northumberland, England [34]
At his request the Midland Railway Company sent him literature about their farms for sale in Western Australia in August 1915 [34]
     Discussed the farms with John W. COLPITTS, who had settled on one of the farms but was in England with the Australia Army [34]
     He was favourably impressed with the report given by Mr COLPITTS and made arrangements to purchase one of the farms [34]
Married Bertha Ann SWAN in late 1915 in Durham, England [21]
He and his wife departed from London, England on the steamship Orontes on 27 January 1916 [34] [203]
     After a voyage of just over a month they arrived on the Orontes in Fremantle, Western Australia on 3 March 1916 [34]
Travelled from Perth to Carnamah by train on 6 March 1916 to inspect the farms the Midland Railway Company had on offer [34]
     He was shown the farms in Carnamah by Robert L. GILBERT before returning to Perth by train on 10 March 1916 [34]
     By the 13 March 1916 he'd decided to purchase the 438 acre farm M944 in Carnamah but ended up purchasing M941 [34] [27]
     He signed the contract to purchase the 433 acre farm in Carnamah for £2165, payable by instalments, on 29 June 1916 [27]
     His 433 acre farm was Lot M941 of Victoria Locations 1934 and 1936, which was one of the company's Ready-Made Farms [27]
     The Midland Railway Company employed the services of Mr STEAD who built a house on the farm at a cost of £320 [34]
Farmer in Carnamah 1916-1919 [6] [27]
     In 1916 the Midland Railway Company paid Carnamah farmer W. Henry WATSON to plant his first crop of 102 acres [34]
     He may have worked for John BOWMAN in Carnamah in 1916 to gain local farming experience [34]
     His uncle George B. KLEE, referred to as his stepfather, put forward £250 so that he could put in 200 acres of crop in 1917 [34]
     When he purchased his farm there was no stable, however there was one included in the price [34]
     In November 1917 the Midland Railway Company supplied the materials and paid him £20 to erect the stable himself [34]
     Under similar circumstances he cleared ten acres of his farm and was paid £15 by the Midland Railway Company [34]
In 1917 purchased some of his general supplies from PARKIN's The Supply Stores in Yarra Street, Carnamah [92]
Signed the petition and financial guarantee in 1917 for the Midland Railway Company to provide a resident doctor at Three Springs [34]
After a two-week holiday in Perth he, his wife and their son returned home to Carnamah in early March 1917 [9: 9-Mar-1917]
Attended the Saint Patrick's Day Sports at Parakalia in Three Springs on Saturday 16 March 1918 [10: 22-Mar-1918]
During the horse races at the Saint Patrick's Day Sports a horse swerved into the spectators and knocked him to the ground [10]
Oversaw the Children's Sports at the Picnic Races held in Carnamah on Easter Monday 1 April 1918 [10: 12-Apr-1918]
He surrendered the contract to purchase his farm on 15 August 1919 [34]
     Also on 15 August 1919 the Midland Railway Company rescinded the sale on the farm for non-payment of instalments [27]
     The Midland Railway Company subsequently re-sold the farm to the Repatriation Department on 15 April 1920 [27]
Shortly after surrendering his farm departed Fremantle, Western Australia on the steamship Miltiades with his wife and two sons [204]
     They arrived on the steamship Miltiades in London, England on 30 October 1919 intending to remain in England [204]
     Their address following their arrival was a farm in Ryhope, Sunderland, England [204]
In 1921 he was working for his brother Theodore NELSON on Town Farm in Ryhope, Sunderland, England [20]
He was a retired Dairy Farmer and was living with his wife and sons at 17 Rowlandson Terrace in Sunderland in 1939 [412]
Father of Robert, John and Albert [412]
Died 3 March 1941 in Sunderland, Durham; buried in Bishopwearmouth Cemetery in Bishopwearmouth, Durham, England [378] [425]

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Albert Digby Klee / Nelson' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 22 July 2024 from [reference list]

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