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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


Surname

"Augie" Augustus Frederick Leopold CROFT

Born 9 November 1892 in Tyabb, Victoria, Australia [P328]
Son of Frederick CROFT and Anne Linday KING [P328]
His father was from East Prussia and his mother from England, and they had married in 1889 when his mother was just 16 [P328]
Believed to have shifted to Western Australia with his father and possibly also his mother in about 1893 or 1894 [6]
His father had two small farms at West End and Dalaroo in Moora, and worked in and around Moora doing building work [P328]
Following his mother's departure he was raised and cared for by a foster family associated with the Salvation Army [P328]
After he left school he worked with his father in Moora, during which time he learnt almost all of his building skills [P328]
Labourer of Osnabruck Farm in Moora in 1916 [50]
Enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in Perth on 14 April 1916 [30: item 3466100]
     Upon enlistment he was 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighed 157 pounds, and had brown eyes, dark brown hair and a dark complexion [30]
     After brief training he was appointed on 4 May 1916 to the 16th Reinforcements of the 28th Battalion [30]
     Discharged from the Australian Imperial Force "in consequence of nationality" on 23 May 1916 [30]
Met his partner Alma Caroline THOMAS (nee HOLDEN) in the Perth suburb of Subiaco in 1916 [P328]
Labourer of Osnabruck Farm in Moora 1919-1922 [50]
Resided with Alma and later their children on Wattle Dell Farm in Moora while doing building work throughout the Midlands [P328]
Worked as a Building Contractor, including large amounts of work for the Midland Railway Company [P328]
In 1930 they left Moora and shifted to Coorow, where he continued to work as a Builder [P328]
They initially resided in a makeshift house called The Haven on land in Coorow belonging to the Midland Railway Company [P328]
On 20 September 1935 Alma purchased the vacant quarter acre Lot 12 Poynton Parade in the Coorow townsite [27]
The Carnamah District Road Board approved plans for the construction of a residence on the block in December 1936 [5: 24-Dec-1936]
He built a house of cement rendered mud brick with a corrugated iron roof at Lot 12, which they named Mornington [P328]
Resided at Mornington, Lot 12 Poynton Parade in the Coorow townsite 1936-1941 [P328]
Attended the Valedictory Dinner tendered to Alexander B. GLOSTER at the Coorow Hotel on Monday 3 July 1933 [5: 7-Jul-1933]
Paid £1/15/- in Vermin Bonuses by the Carnamah District Road Board during the 1933-34 financial year for killing four foxes [300]
The Carnamah District Road Board paid him £2/10/- on 28 February 1934 for making repairs to a trough in Coorow [300: page 50]
Member of the Coorow Football Club - was their First Aid Man in 1935 and Chairman in 1936 [5: 3-May-1935, 10-Apr-1936]
Attended the Bucks Party for George A. RAFFAN and Eric J. BRADLEY of Winchester in Coorow on 7 October 1936 [5: 16-Oct-1936]
Member of the Coorow Cricket Club in 1936-37 and 1937-38 [5: 16-Oct-1936, 29-Jan-1937, 24-Dec-1937]
Played for the defeated Married Men in a cricket match against Single Men in Coorow on Sunday 11 April 1937 [5: 16-Apr-1937]
Donated a trophy to the Coorow Football Club in 1937 [5: 16-Apr-1937]
One of the buildings he built was change rooms at a large dam on Malcolm L. PATTON's Longforest Farm in Waddy Forest [P328]
     The dam was used solely for swimming, and the change rooms he built were on the edge of the dam with a landing to the water [5]
     It isn't known when he built the change room and landing however it was during or prior to 1936 [5: 13-Nov-1936]
Employed George LATHAM to help him make concrete tanks in Coorow during the 1930s [265]
He is known to have done some building work for large scale farmer F. W. Gustav LIEBE in Waddy Forest [P328]
Played for the Married Men who almost defeated the Single Men in a cricket match in Coorow on 6 December 1936 [5: 11-Dec-1936]
Steward of the Vegetable section at the Coorow-Waddy Forest Districts Agricultural Society's Annual Show in 1937 [5: 18-Jun-1937]
His father Frederick CROFT died in Moora on 31 July 1939, aged 75 years, and was buried at the Moora Public Cemetery [116]
Farmer at Lake Eganu in Coorow 1941-1945 [3] [P328]
     In 1941 he and his son Leo took up 4,920 acres of Conditional Purchase land at Lake Eganu, west of Coorow [3] [P328]
     The 4,920 acres consisted of Victoria Locations 9516, 9693 and 9694 [3]
     Along with his wife and children left their home in Coorow and shifted to the farm at Lake Eganu [P328]
     On the farm they resided in a humpy made out of bush timber and bark from melaleuca trees that abounded Lake Eganu [P328]
     Forfeited their 4,020 acre Victoria Location 9517 in November 1941, and later also gave up the 400 acre Victoria Location 9693 [3]
     During his time on the farm he also worked maintaining good sheds and other buildings for the Midland Railway Company [P328]
The farm proved unsuccessful and they returned to their home Mornington in the Coorow townsite [P328]
They left Coorow and shifted to Mingenew in February 1944 but had returned to Coorow by August 1945 [215]
Among the houses he built locally was one for Kenneth J. LYNCH in the Coorow townsite [P328]
Moved a 14 x 24 foot wood, iron and asbestos building in Coorow for £48 for Pat and Eva CASEY in 1946 [5: 6-Sep-1946]
Traded in partnership with his son Leo as "Augustus Croft & Son" until they dissolved their partnership on 2 July 1951 [39: 4-Jul-1951]
In the mid 1950s left Coorow and shifted to Latham, where he continued working as a Builder [P328]
Towards the later 1950s they left Latham and shifted to Mingenew, where he did small amounts of work before retiring [P328]
Resided in the Mingenew townsite for at least the years 1958-1970 [P328]
He and his partner Alma later resided with their daughter Dolly at 77 Carson Terrace in Geraldton [P328]
Father of Frederick, Leo, Lloyd, Dolly, Joyce, Olga, Rodney, Max, Benjamin and April [P328]
Died 22 June 1974; buried at the Utakarra Cemetery in Geraldton, Western Australia [26]


Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Augustus Frederick Leopold Croft' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 22 July 2019 from www.carnamah.com.au  [ sources ]




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