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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


"Jim" James Bapty GREIG

Born 18 January 1896 in Bombay, Maharashtra, India [214] [223]
Son of Rev. Thomas Hutchison GREIG and Alice Renton BAPTY [264]
His father worked as a Chaplain in India and later as a Minister of the Established Church in Scotland [20]
In 1901 resided his parents and siblings Annie, Alice, Agnes & Hew at 54 Grange Loan in Newington, Edinburgh, Scotland [20]
Secured employment in Scotland with H. Randolph CHRISTIE who had purchased farmland in Carnamah, Western Australia [195]
     Travelled with H. Randolph CHRISTIE and Randolph's wife Rosa, brother Duncan and sister Lena to Carnamah in 1914 [195]
     They travelled from Edinburgh, Scotland to Liverpool, England by train, and were unable to get any sleep during the journey [195]
     They stayed briefly at the Exchange Hotel in Liverpool, during which time he wrote to his mother back in Scotland [195]
     During their stay he visited Queen Victoria's Statue and found Liverpool to be a nasty and dirty place [195]
     At Liverpool Lena CHRISTIE wrote to his mother to say how splendid he was and that he was getting along well with them [195]
They departed Liverpool, England on the steamship Medic on 27 June 1914 en route for Albany, Western Australia [34] [195]
     During the voyage he saw hundreds of flying fish, about half a dozen porpoises and hoped to see a shark [195]
     He took with him on the ship a pedigree dog and her pups that had been bred by his mother, who bred and sold dogs [195]
     Each night he slept until 1:45 a.m. when he got up, had a salt-water bath, and then unlocked the kennels and let the dogs out [195]
     He let the dogs run around on the ship until locking them up at 8:00 a.m. in time for him to get ready for breakfast at 8:30 [195]
     Each day had lunch at 1:00 p.m., afternoon tea at 3:30, dinner at 6:30 and supper at 9:00 p.m., and fed the dogs at 9:30 a.m. [195]
     They arrived on the steamship Medic in Albany, Western Australia in early August 1914 [195]
     After their arrival they travelled by train from Albany to Perth on 4 August 1914, and then onto Carnamah [195]
Farmhand on H. Randolph CHRISTIE's Felton Mains and Kilmaurs Farms in Carnamah in 1914 and 1915 [195]
     From Carnamah he periodically wrote to his mother back in Scotland, and usually just in time to catch the mail train [195]
     In a letter to his mother he said about Randolph's farms: "The farms seem very nice but there is a scarcity of water" [195]
The pedigree dogs and pups he'd brought with him from Scotland were quarantined on arrival in Western Australia [195]
     He got the dogs back, however they were treated poorly at quarantine and came out with a skin disease [195]
     His mother had an agreement with Randolph in the event that he wished to purchase one of the dogs/pups named Gamble [195]
     By November 1914 his dogs bar one were slowly getting over their poor treatment while quarantined [195]
     His one dog not improving was ill and expected not to live, in which case the Government was going to compensate its value [195]
     The pedigree dogs were a failure as when he went to sell them he was asked "what are they for, and what can they do" [195]
He was greatly looking forward to seeing and shooting kangaroos however there were very few in Carnamah [195]
     There were however lots of wild turkeys, cockatoos and parrots - and he shot both wild turkeys and green parrots [195]
     In a letter stated that flies were "the worry of our lives out here" and that the only time there weren't many was at night [195]
     In October 1914 clearers working on the farm gave Randolph an injured parrot that fell with a tree being cleared [195]
     He was the only one who could catch the parrot, which had a broken wing, and had to remove part of the damaged wing [195]
     Killed his first snake in Carnamah on 18 November 1914, which was three foot long and one inch thick [195]
     During his time in Carnamah he grew taller, stronger and broader [195]
In November 1914 his employer Randolph purchased another farm named Lucernein Serpentine, Western Australia [195]
     Left Carnamah by train on 25 November 1914 and shifted with Randolph and Randolph's wife and sister to Lucerne [195]
     Farmhand on H. Randolph CHRISTIE's Lucerne Farm in Serpentine for part of November and December 1914 [195]
By late December 1914 he was back in Carnamah working on Randolph's Felton Mains and Kilmaurs Farms [195]
     Although he returned to Carnamah he left his pedigree dogs with Randolph at Lucerne Farm in Serpentine [195]
     In late January 1915 he helped finish a well on the farm in Carnamah, which was the first hope of a good water supply [195]
     Two bores had been sunk on the farm, which he described as having a "jolly good flow" of "salt water saltier than the sea" [195]
     In early February 1915 he was keenly awaiting the full moon so he could go shooting kangaroos at watering holes [195]
     His intention was to tan the skin of the first kangaroo he shot and send it to his parents in Scotland to use as a mat [195]
     He worked on Felton Mains and Kilmaurs Farms in Carnamah with the farms' general manager Sydney EDWARDS [195]
     In a letter to his mother in Scotland on 10 February 1915 he requested she post him a Stewart's self filling pen [195]
     He wanted the pen to give to Sydney EDWARDS, who he remarked is "a great friend of mine" [195]
     Left Carnamah on Sunday 21 February 1915 and shifted back toLucerne Farm in Serpentine [195]
Farmhand on H. Randolph CHRISTIE's Lucerne Farm in Serpentine from February to May 1915 [195]
     Greatly disliked the fleas at Lucerne, which were everywhere including out in the paddocks [195]
     In mid May 1915 he didn't like the "unsettled state of things at Lucerne" and intended to leave within a few days [195]
     He hoped to get a job as an engine cleaner with the Government Railways, who paid 6/6 per day [195]
     His plan with the Government Railways was to live on 26/- per week and save 10/- per week and in time get promoted [195]
     Randolph suggested he go droving, which paid £2 per week and keep, but he would be on his own for six to twelve months [195]
At an unknown date he was in the Australian State of Victoria where he was working as a farmhand for £1 per week and keep [195]
     At the time he wanted to return to his homeland however didn't want to work there a farmhand as it was too much work [195]
     Through letters himself and his brother Hew were contemplating going coffee farming in Africa [195]
He later resided in England, Canada, the United States of America, in England, and again in the United States of America [204] [214] [216]
     Departed Southampton, England on the Pittsburgh on 10 August 1923 destined for Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada [203]
     Farmhand in Bergen, Alberta, Canada in 1923 [216]
     Arrived on the steamship White Star Dominion in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on 24 January 1924 [214]
     On arrival in Vancouver he was 5 feet 2 inches tall, of medium complexion with brown hair and brown eyes [214]
     Resided in Los Angeles, California, United States of America; and in Chicago, Illinois, United States of America [214] [222]
     Left New York, United States of America on the steamship Homeric and arrived in Southampton, England on 9 July 1926 [204]
     He may have worked the voyage to England as he was listed as a Greaser under "Deports & Distressed British Seamen" [204]
     Resided with his mother at Rozel in Roydon, Essex, England in 1926 and 1927 [204] [222]
     Departed Southampton, England on the steamship Ascaniaon 25 November 1927 for New York, United States of America [204]
     Following his arrival he proceeded to stay with his friend Harry STIVIRS at 222 McDaniels Avenue in Highland, Illinois [222]
     Employed as a Wireman in 1927, and by 1930 was working as an Electrician [207] [222]
     In 1930 was living with his wife Edna and infant daughter Barbara at Evanston City in Illinois, United States of America [207]
Died 7 April 1991 in Charlotte, Florida, United States of America [223]
His mother kept his letters and letters from his siblings and they ended up years later in a house in Roydon, Essex, England [P299]
     In about 1990 the house was being cleared out and papers and rubbish burnt in the garden, from which the letters were saved [P299]
     The letters were saved by a 15 year old student named Andrew working on the weekend for the man clearing out the house [P299]
     The student sold for £20 the letters and some other papers to his teacher David PUGH, who held onto them for over 15 years [P299]
     In February 2007 the Carnamah Historical Society received copies of his letters written in Carnamah from David PUGH [P299]
     David PUGH gifted the letters and other papers to the Edinburgh City Archives in Edinburgh, Scotland on 14 June 2007 [P299]

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'James Bapty Greig' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 26 June 2022 from [reference list]

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