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


Surname

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 9 August 2020 from www.carnamah.com.au/bio/james-fowler-thomson [sources]




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