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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


"Tom" Philip Leonard MORCOMBE

Born 8 January 1911 in Jarrahdale, Western Australia [16]
Son of William George MORCOMBE and Alice Elizabeth MOODY [P86]
Returned with his parents to South Australia in 1912 and resided with them on a farm in Ceduna 1912-1922 [P32]
Student at a school in Goode Hall, South Australia [P86]
After his father purchased prospective farmland in Waddy Forest shifted to Western Australia with his parents in March 1922 [P32]
Resided with his parents on Wynmara Farm in Waddy Forest 1922- [P32]
Student at the Waddy Forest State School for one year and then attended the Northam High School [P32]
Founding Member of the Waddy branch of Toc H - was its Job-master in 1934 [P86] [5: 12-Jan-1934]
Member of the Waddy Forest Cricket Club in 1928-29, 1929-30 and 1930-31 [4: 10-Nov-1928, 22-Mar-1930, 15-Nov-1930]
Member of the Coorow Tennis Club in 1930 [86: 21-Jun-1930]
Attended the meeting of wheatgrowers on the Wheat Hold-up issue at the Carnamah Hall on Sunday 4 December 1932 [5: 9-Dec-1932]
Won the Sheep Judging Competition at the Coorow-Waddy Forest Districts Agricultural Society's 1933 Show [5: 15-Sep-1933, 12-Jan-1934]
Member of the Waddy Forest Tennis Club - was Captain in 1933-34 [5: 12-Jan-1934]
Left Waddy Forest on 16 January 1934 en route for the Eastern States to study sheep and work on a stud sheep farm [5: 12-Jan-1934]
     Prior to leaving he was farewelled by about 60 people at the Waddy Forest Hall on Saturday 13 January 1934 [5: 19-Jan-1934]
     At his farewell, which was organised by Waddy Forest's Tennis Club and Toc H, he was presented with a Kodak camera [5]
In March 1934 the local newspaper reported he was "having a royal time amongst Toc H men in the Eastern States" [5: 9-Mar-1934]
     After spending a fortnight in and near Adelaide in South Australia he proceeded to Victoria to study Corriedale stud sheep [5]
     Accompanied the Official Inspector for the Corriedale Sheep Breeder's Association throughout Victoria [5: 4-May-1934]
     Reported the first case to authorities of Wild Turnip growing in the Rainbow district in Victoria, Australia [5: 4-May-1934]
     Later spent time working as a jackeroo in Victoria, on the farm of Senator GUTHIE, who pioneered the Corriedale breed [5]
Arrived back in Waddy Forest on Saturday 29 December 1934 after almost a year in the Eastern States of Australia [5: 11-Jan-1935]
     He arrived home with one ram and 20 Corriedale ewes which he used to establish the prize winning Wynmara Stud [P32]
On his return from Victoria he was said to have had a complete change in lifestyle [P32]
     He began teaching Sunday School, attended mid-week Bible Study and ceased playing sport and dancing on Sundays [P32]
Competitor in the Parkinson Tennis Club's Open Championship Tournament in Carnamah on Tuesday 1 January 1935 [5: 21-Dec-1934]
Departed Waddy Forest on Friday 30 June 1935 to inspect the various Corriedale stud flocks of sheep in the State [5: 5-Jul-1935]
Exhibited Corriedale sheep at the Royal Show in Perth, and was among those from Waddy who attended the Royal Show [5: 11-Oct-1935]
     The sheep may have been those exhibited in his father's name, and which were awarded two 1st and two 2nd prizes [5: 18-Oct-1935]
From Perth he and Gilbert J. UNDERWOOD returned to Waddy Forest on Saturday 12 October 1935 [5: 18-Oct-1935]
Contributed a Gospel Message for The North Midland Times newspaper, which was published on Friday 14 February 1936 [5]
     In his message he thanked the editor for the opportunity and wrote about not being ashamed of Jesus [5: 14-Feb-1936]
     The following week he contributed another Gospel Message to the newspaper defining the Gospel of Christ [5: 21-Feb-1936]
     Contributed further Gospel Messages through the Correspondence column on 28 February, 6 March and 10 April 1936 [5]
Best man at the wedding of his brother Keith and Alma D. BROUN on 20 February 1936 at Saint Luke's in Pingelly [5: 28-Feb-1936]
He may be the one who was responsible for the Senior Bible Study and Children's Sunday School in Waddy Forest [5: 20-Mar-1936]
     The Bible Study and Sunday School met for the first time at 3 p.m. on Sunday 22 March 1936 at the Waddy Forest Hall [5]
Attended the public meeting on the question of Saturday Afternoon Closing in Carnamah on Thursday 19 March 1936 [5: 27-Mar-1936]
     The proposition was to replace the half-day holiday on Thursday afternoons with a half-day holiday on Saturday afternoons [5]
     The driving force was some of the local sporting bodies, who wished to play their organised sport on Saturday instead of Sunday [5]
     He said he was happy to play sport on either Saturdays or Sundays, but also spoke on behalf of the Waddy Forest Tennis Club [5]
     On behalf of the Tennis Club expressed that they didn't wish to take anything away from anyone when they proposed the idea [5]
Attended the meeting in Carnamah on 6 May 1936 at which the North Midlands Stud Breeders Association was formed [5: 8-May-1936]
Departed Waddy Forest on Thursday 2 July 1936 for his annual tour of inspection of the State's Corriedale Stud Flocks [5: 3-Jul-1936]
Member of the Coorow Rifle Club in 1936 [5: 31-Jul-1936]
Travelled to Perth on Monday 27 July 1936 and then left for the Eastern States to attend the Victorian Stud Sheep Sales [5: 31-Jul-1936]
     Following the Victorian Stud Sheep Sales he arrived back in Waddy Forest on Wednesday 19 August 1936 [5: 21-Aug-1936]
Attended the Social Evening in aid of the Victoria Park Methodist Children's Home at the Waddy Forest Hall on 15 December 1936 [5]
     During the evening he was called upon to give an outline of the good work done by the Methodist Children's Home [5: 18-Dec-1936]
Competitor in the Parkinson Tennis Club's Tennis Tournament held in Carnamah on New Year's Day 1 January 1937 [5: 8-Jan-1937]
Departed Waddy Forest on 15 January 1937 for the Toc H Boys Camp at Rockingham, picking up 10 boys on the way [5: 22-Jan-1937]
Joint Secretary with Alan S. HEALES of the Coorow-Waddy Forest Districts Agricultural Society for six months of 1937 [5: 7-May-1937]
Competed in the Carnamah Tennis Club's Easter Tennis Tournament at Centenary Park in Carnamah in March 1937 [5: 2-Apr-1937]
Preacher for the Presbyterian Sunday School in the morning and service in the evening in Carnamah on 16 May 1937 [5: 14-May-1937]
     Conducted both in the absence of Rev. Kenneth P. LUCAS of Carnamah who was in Perth attending a conference [5: 21-May-1937]
Played the part of Mr Puddicombe in the play "The Wrong Flat" at the Toc H's Social at the Coorow Hall on 24 June 1937 [5: 2-Jul-1937]
Departed Waddy Forest on Thursday 1 July 1937 on his annual inspection of the Corriedale stud sheep flocks in WA [5: 2-Jul-1937]
Motored to Perth with his father on 2 August 1936 en route for stud sheep inspections in Hamel and Highland Valley [5: 6-Aug-1937]
Preacher of the Methodist service at 8 p.m. in Carnamah on Sunday evening 12 August 1937 [5: 10-Sep-1937]
Served on the Board of the North Midlands District Hospital in Three Springs 1937-1951 [109]
Committee Member of the Coorow-Waddy Forest Districts Agricultural Society in 1939 and 1948 [150]
By about 1940 managed his father's farms Wynmara and Tralee in Waddy Forest [P86]
Married Betty GILKES, who he'd met when he had been in Victoria, in Melbourne on 22 February 1941 [P86] [P32]
Initially resided with his wife on Wynmara Farm in Waddy Forest [P86]
Later shifted to Minaru Farm in Waddy Forest (which became his share of the family partnership) [P86]
Attended the funeral of his uncle Stanley Lorraine FOLLAND at the Moora Cemetery on Monday 25 August 1941 [4: 30-Aug-1941]
Private in the local Volunteer Defence Corps during World War Two [16]
President of the Coorow-Waddy Forest Agricultural Society and Patriotic Funds Committee in 1945 [0: images 04318, 04320]
Pallbearer at the funeral of Mrs Mary Louisa GRONOW at the Winchester Cemetery on 11 August 1945 [0]
Conducted Methodist Church services in Waddy Forest, Carnamah and Three Springs[4: 5-Jun-1954]
Also officiated at some of the burials at the Winchester Cemetery in Carnamah[1]
President of the Coorow-Waddy Forest Districts Agricultural Society in 1946 and 1947 [150]
Financial Member of the Carnamah District Agricultural Society in 1948 [13]
Patron of the Coorow Junior Farmers' Club in 1952 [0: image 04635]
Member in 1950 and President 1952-1954 of the Coorow-Waddy Forest branch of the Farmers' Union of WA [4: 18-Mar-1950] [P86]
Conducted the Anzac Day commemoration service held in Coorow on 25 April 1952[0: image 04648]
President of the Coorow Parents & Citizens Association in 1954 [P86]
Member of the North Midlands Farmers Co-operative Company [P86]
Resident of Coorow until his death in 1954 [1]
Died at the age of 43 years [14] at the North Midlands District Hospital in Three Springs [1]
Father of Hilda, Keith, Ross, Jeff, John and Peter [14]
Died 31 May 1954; buried at the Winchester Cemetery in Carnamah, Western Australia (Row F, Plot 10) [1]

From The Irwin Index newspaper, Saturday 5 June 1954:
Obituary - Death of Tom Morcombe
"Following a somewhat protracted illness, during the course of which he underwent a serious operation in a metropolitan hospital, the death occurred in the North Midlands District Hospital at Three Springs on Sunday last of a well-known and highly respected resident of the North Midlands in the person of Mr. Tom Morcombe, who had since the retirement of his father (Mr. W. G. Morcombe) a few years ago conducted the "Wynmara" Stud at Waddy Forest. A comparatively young man, the late Mr. Morcombe was actively associated with many organisation around Coorow, being a past president of the Coorow-Waddy Forest District Agricultural Society, and as an exhibitor at annual shows of that organisation he was always prominent in entries of Corriedale sheep. The deceased gentleman was also very prominently associated with the Moora Methodist Circuit and three Springs Mission Station and until a few months ago frequently conducted church services at Waddy Forest, Carnamah and Three Springs. The late Mr. Morcombe, who was a devoted family man, is survived by a widow and six young children comprising one daughter an five sons. In the presence of quite a large gathering of district residents, the funeral took place in the Winchester Cemetery on Tuesday last."

Obituary for Tom Morcombe, name and date of newspaper unknown:
Passing of Mr Tom Morcombe
     "The Methodist Church suffered a severe loss in the death of Tom Morcombe of Waddy Forest. The late Mr Morcombe has for the past twenty years faithfully served the church as circuit Steward and local preacher. Of strong Christian belief, Mr Morcombe ever sought to proclaim in living as well as teaching, the claims of the gospel of God's redeeming love in Jesus Christ. His services as a local preacher were often in demand and many will remember his deep and sincere studies of Scripture. His services were not confined to the Methodist Church but, rising above denominational barriers, he readily gave his help, whether from the pulpit or a Bible Class leader or speaking at Sunday School Anniversaries or at Fellowship meetings. Perhaps chief among Mr Morcombe's interests nearest and dearest to his heart lay the needs on the Christian Mission fields, both here among our native people and on many others throughout the earth, giving readily wherever there was a need. For him it was "Insomuch as ye have done it unto the least of one of these, My brethren, ye have done it unto Me". We mourn his passing, but we are inspired by his strength of character, his courage and manliness, his sincere faith and Christian testimony; our hearts go out in loving sympathy to his widow and children.
     The untimely passing on May 31 last of P. L. (Tom) Morcombe in the prime of his life will leave a long-felt gap in the community life of Coorow-Waddy Forest. Those in touch with him towards the close of his life could not but admire the courageous way in which Tom Morcombe adapted himself mentally to the verdict of the Doctors and cheerfully put up with considerable pain. Coming as a lad to Waddy Forest when his father purchased one of the newly thrown open Midland Co. blocks, Tom went through the pioneering stage connected with the purchase of virgin land at that time. After gaining wool experience at Geelong, Tom Morcombe took particular interest in the Corriedale stud which his father (W.G. Morcombe), established at "Wynmara" so successfully. And later, he took the stud over entirely when starting farming on his own, on his uncle's property of "Minaru" conducting it most successfully, and winning many prizes at the Royal Perth Show over a period of years - including the coveted Guthrie Cup. He also for a period gave considerable assistance to the Corriedale Breed Society by annually travelling considerable distances to conduct the yearly inspection of those studs which were registered with the Society. Tom Morcombe took a very active part in public affairs of the district as well as the considerable amount of time he devoted to Church work. Early in the War years he was one of the 3 elected by a local meeting of farmers to the District Committee set up in connection with the Wheat Acreage Restriction Scheme set up by the Commonwealth Government. Toward the close of the War he filled the position of President of the Coorow Waddy Forest Agricultural Society for approximately 3 years, after having served on the Show Committee since the inception of the Society. At the time of his death, Tom was President of the local P. & C. Association, having filled this position for some time in a very active manner. Also he was a member of the North Midlands Co-op Co., where his balanced reasoning made him most useful. At an earlier stage he represented Coorow on the Hospital Board at Three Springs at great inconvenience to himself, when no one else was willing to undertake the position. Another public activity was in connection with the Farmers Union. Apart from being a stalwart attender at the meetings of the Coorow Waddy Forest Branch, he was on several occasions a delegate to the Annual Conference, and shortly before his death had completed a two year term as President of the Branch. Also Tom Morcombe was a keen sport and good sportsmanship was one of the outstanding qualities of his character. At Northam High School he was active in athletics, football and cricket, and later in his own district played football with the Coorow Club, cricket with the Waddy Forest Club and was in addition Captain and first player for the Waddy Forest Tennis Club for a number of years. With his passing, many will feel the loss of a very good friend and his family will have the sincere sympathy of the whole district."

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Philip Leonard Morcombe' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 22 July 2024 from [reference list]

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