Francis Henry William Thomas Winifred Brownrigg Peter Welsh Thomson Margaret Jean Caldow /Hodsdon Frederick Edward Senior James Roger Francis Wyman Clark Richard Robertson Patricia Mae Mulligan Joachim Dido

Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


James Fowler THOMSON

Born 1884 in Kilrenny, Fife, Scotland [28]
Son of draper Peter THOMSON and Elizabeth GREIG [20] [28]
Resided with his parents and siblings at Comley Bank in the village of Cellardyke in Kilrenny, Fife, Scotland [20]
He was the youngest of eight children with elder siblings John, Annie, Robert, Peter, Jessie, Lizzie and Ella [20] [28]
Departed from London, England on the steamship Sumatra on 22 March 1913 bound for Singapore [203]
Married his first cousin once removed Nellie Simpson WELSH in Singapore [P1]
     By 1914 they had left Singapore and were living at 187 George Street in East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia [50]
     Engineer for the constructional engineering firm Clayton & Sons who were based in Leeds, Yorkshire, England [108: page 2]
     Worked for Clayton & Sons in Perth, Western Australia; Invercargill, New Zealand and then in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia [108]
     They were in Perth when their first son was born in 1915, and were back in Melbourne by 1918 when their second son arrived [108]
     He was unfit for service during the First World War due to a bad ankle and limp sustained from an industrial accident [108: page 2]
With his wife and two sons returned to Scotland to visit relatives who they'd struggled to communicate with during the war [108: page 2]
     They departed Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on the steamship Benalla and arrived in London, England on 27 February 1920 [204]
     During their visit they stayed with his mother-in-law Mrs Grace S. WELSH in Largo, Fife, Scotland [108: page 2]
     He departed from London, England on the steamship Marathon on 21 October 1920 bound for Melbourne, Victoria, Australia [203]
     His wife, sons and daughter departed London, England bound for Melbourne on the steamship Orvieto on 17 September 1921 [203]
Established his own constructional engineering firm J. F. Thomson Pty Ltd [108: page 5]
     Following their return they resided for a number of months at Old England Hotel in the Melbourne suburb of Heidelberg [108: page 2]
     After buying a house resided with his wife and children on Brown Street in the Melbourne suburb of Heidelberg [108: page 2]
     They lived in the most northerly housing development of Heidelberg which at the time bounded paddocks and old orchard [108: page 2]
After a few discussions with Robert S. KEAY, who was the nephew of Scottish friends, they decided to buy a farm together [108: page 5]
     Robert S. KEAY travelled to Western Australia to investigate potential areas and properties and chose one in Marchagee [108: page 5]
     Purchased 2,027 acres of farmland in Marchagee, Western Australia in partnership with "Bob" Robert S. KEAY in 1928 [3] [19]
     The farm had previously belonged to Bertie W. LOVELESS who had acquired it under the Soldier Settlement Scheme [108: page 5]
     The farm's 2,037 acres consisted of Victoria Locations 3231, 3232, 3233, 3234, 3235, 3240, 3250, 6383 and 7036 [3]
     By late 1928 Robert S. KEAY had settled on and began farming the property [19], while he remained in Melbourne [108: page 5]
     Absentee Farmer of Anster Farm in Marchagee in partnership with Robert S. KEAY 1928-1931 [108: page 5]
The financial crash of 1929 and the start of the Great Depression impacted severely on the farm and his Melbourne business [108: page 5]
     As work in his constructional engineering business had dwindled he decided to move to the farm to properly assess its potential [108]
     Leaving an employee in charge of his office and business in Melbourne he, his wife and their son Peter left for Marchagee [108]
     They travelled to Western Australia by steamship and then from Perth up to Marchagee by train [108: page 6]
     The train trip of 150 miles took eight and a half hours including two refreshment stops at Mogumber and Watheroo [108: page 7]
Along with his wife arrived in Marchagee on Wednesday 20 May 1931 [108: page 6]
     His son Peter had arrived a week earlier and their younger two children joined them at the end of the 1931 school year [108: pages 6, 19]
     Upon their arrival the development of the farm was in a very elementary stage and their initial accommodation was a tent [108: page 6]
     There was a gable-roof two room house with front and back verandahs, with half a verandah enclosed for a kitchen [108: page 5, 6]
     The house was occupied by the KEAY family and the only other permanent structure was a corrugated iron chaff room [108: pages 6]
Farmer of Anster Farm in Marchagee, Western Australia 1931-1938 [108: pages 5, 6, 20]
     Continued to farm in partnership with Robert S. KEAY until 1933 when KEAY left and the partnership ended [108: page 13] [19]
     By mid 1934 KEAY no longer had his stake and he had become the sole owner of the farm's 2,027 acres [3]
     The farm's 2,037 acres consisted of Victoria Locations 3231, 3232, 3233, 3234, 3235, 3240, 3250, 6383 and 7036 [3]
He was one of the first to commence harvesting in Marchagee in 1933 [5: 17-Nov-1933]
On 16 March 1935 lost a truck tyre and rim between the railway siding and the mailboxes on the East Marchagee Road [5: 29-Mar-1935]
Wrote to the Carnamah District Road Board in April 1935 requesting they enforce the compulsory eradication of turnip weed [5]
     He wrote the letter as the wild turnip weed was prevalent on properties adjoining his farm in Marchagee [5: 12-Apr-1935]
     A few weeks later he wrote to the Road Board again about why no action had been taken in eradicating turnip weed [5: 3-May-1935]
     The Road Board responded sympathising with the issue, but said the cost of endeavouring to control the weed was too high [5]
Received a refund from the Carnamah District Road Board in 1936 after being overcharged on motor vehicle registrations [5: 17-Apr-1936]
Sold 87 sheep suckers through Elder Smith & Co Ltd on 2 September 1936 (36 at 20/7, 15 at 19/4, 18 at 21/1, 18 at 17/4) [5: 4-Sep-1936]
Attended the Inaugural Sale of the North Midlands Stud Stockbreeders Association in Carnamah on Friday 18 September 1936 [5]
     At the sale he purchased four Border Leicester rams at 5½ guineas per head from LEISHMAN Bros of Winchester [5: 2-Oct-1936]
Sold 87 ewes through Elder Smith & Co at Midland Market in late 1936 (13 at 9/11, 21 at 8/10, 17 at 7/10, 36 at 4/7) [5: 13 & 20-Nov-1936]
Father of Peter, Sandy and Grace [108]
Died 7 August 1972; cremated at The Necropolis in Springvale, Victoria, Australia [131]

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'James Fowler Thomson' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 13 June 2024 from [reference list]

Use the below form or email

Comment, memory or story about this person
Suggested correction or additional information
Question or general feedback
Please enter this code into the box to confirm your request.