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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


"Will" William George MORCOMBE

Born 29 November 1885 in Adelaide, South Australia [16]
Son of Thomas Yelland MORCOMBE and Fanny RIDGWAY [55]
School Teacher, initially in South Australia and then in Western Australia 1904-1912 [P32]
Married Alice Elizabeth MOODY on 6 January 1909 in Murat Bay, South Australia[55]
In Western Australia he taught at schools in Thomas Street Perth, Mount Magnet and Jarrahdale [P32]
In 1912 he was to be transferred to the goldfields so instead returned to Ceduna, South Australia [P32]
Purchased farmland with his brother Phil 82 miles from Ceduna and farmed there 1912-1922 [P32]
     During their ten years on the farm in Ceduna they had a drought in 1914 and a mouse plague in 1915 [P32]
Along with his brother Phil travelled to Western Australia in 1921 to inspect prospective farmland at Waddy Forest [P86]
     Took out a contract to purchase 1,514 acres of land in Waddy Forest from the Midland Railway Company on 23 July 1921 [27]
     The 1,514 acres consisted of Lots M1289 and M1290 of Victoria Location 2023 and cost £1043/-/6, payable by instalments [27]
In 1922, along with his wife and seven children shifted to the land in Waddy Forest which was virgin scrub [P86]
     They departed Adelaide, South Australia on the Katoomba and arrived in Fremantle, Western Australia on 8 March 1922 [P32]
     Travelled on the ship with all of their assets including a team of eight horses and one riding horse [P32]
     On arrival in Fremantle they travelled up to Coorow and stayed for two weeks at Heinie and Mina BOTHE's boarding house [P32]
     Then resided in a small dwelling on the farm in Waddy Forest while a four bedroom house was built [P32]
Farmer of Wynmara Farm in Waddy Forest [P86]
     After clearing some the farm mainly concentrated on the growing of wheat, and also some oats to be made into hay [P32]
     Initially had horses, a plough and a drill and later combines; also using the horses to plough early, seed, fallow and work back [P32]
     Before getting a truck carted wheat in bags over the seven miles to Coorow by horse drawn wagon [P32]
     On 26 June 1923 he mortgaged his farm to the Bank of Western Australia [27]
     YR8 was his registered horse and cattle firebrand in 1924 [80: 28-Oct-1925]
Began with 120 sheep, which were shorn on John READ's farm before they purchased their own shearing plant [P32]
    His sons Keith and Brian did shearing while this son Tom did the classing and worked as rouse about [P32]
    They could shear 100 sheep a day in two shifts of four hours, except for show sheep which were shorn with manual clippers [P32]
    Increased their flock of sheep and later evolved from Merinos to Corriedales until their flock was entirely Corriedales [P32]
One of the horses he brought from South Australia was the well bred horse Brylass of which he was justly proud [P32]
     Frank THOMAS, the local bushranger, also took a liking to Brylass and as was his custom took off with the animal [P32]
     Mounted police and an Aboriginal tracker found Brylass abandoned and exhausted three days later on a neighbour's property [P32]
Attended the meeting of the Carnamah District Road Board in August 1924 to request new roads be established in Waddy Forest [9]
     The roads were to provide easier access to the school and store at Waddy for settlers to the south of Waddy Road [9: 28-Aug-1924]
In early 1925 donated 15 acres from the corner of his farm for a recreation ground and the site of the Waddy Hall [9: 13-Feb-1925] [P32]
     The 15 acres, which came out of Lot M1290, were vested to the Carnamah District Road Board during the first half of 1933 [34]
It was reported in October 1926 that he had "a splendid crop of fallow, which should yield remarkably well" [81: 24-Oct-1926]
From 1926-27 he owned a Rugby car registered with the Carnamah District Road Board with number-plate CA-76 [325]
     Five years later, in 1932, he still owned a Rugby car with plate CA-76 but also an International truck with plate CA-138 [4: 12-Nov-1932]
Purchased Stanley S. MCNEIL and Ralph W. HYDE's 1,845 acre farm in Waddy Forest on 1 July 1927 [27]
      The 1,845 acres consisted of Lots M1278 and M1279, and had been taken up by MCNEIL & HYDE in July 1925 [27]
      He named this property Tralee and it was initially worked by his son Tom [P32]
Member of the Waddy Forest Cricket Club in 1928-29 [4: 10-Nov-1928]
Represented Coorow and Waddy Forest at the Farmers Conference held in Perth towards the end of 1930 [4: 13-Dec-1930]
Member of the Coorow-Waddy Forest Progress Association - was President in 1931 and 1933 [4: 13-Dec-1930] [5: 16-Mar-1934] [120: 5-Oct-1933]
Foundation Committee Member of the Coorow-Waddy Forest Districts Agricultural Society 1932-1939 [4: 9-Apr-1932] [150]
     Steward of the Sheep Judging section of the Coorow-Waddy Forest Districts Agricultural Society's Annual Show in 1937 [150]
Attended a meeting in Carnamah of farmers from throughout the North Midlands on Bulk Handling on 14 July 1932 [5: 22-Jul-1932]
Employed contractors to clear patches of heavy land on his farm, which was paid for by the acre [P32]
     Made a horse pulled roller to clear lighter scrub, which after being rolled was burnt and ploughed [P32]
In 1932 had an account with Carnamah blacksmith, wheelwright and motor mechanics Henry Parkin & Son [53]
Exhibited produce in the Grain & Fodder section of the first annual Coorow-Waddy Agricultural Show on 8 September 1932 [5]
     Won 1st prizes for Oaten Chaff; "Wheaten Hay, cured, binder tied (1931 season)"; and Sheaves of Green Wheat for Hay [5]
     Also exhibited in the Vegetable section where he was awarded 1st prize for Carrots [5: 16-Sep-1932]
Member in 1932 and President in 1933 of the Coorow-Waddy Progress Association[4: 9-Jul-1932] [5: 30-Jun-1933]
Attended the Sheep Demonstration by the Government Inspector for Sheep & Wool in Coorow on 27 June 1933 [5: 30-Jun-1933]
Attended the Valedictory Dinner tendered to Alexander B. GLOSTER at the Coorow Hotel on Monday 3 July 1933 [5: 7-Jul-1933]
Exhibited in the Wool, Poultry, Vegetable and Grain & Fodder sections of the Coorow-Waddy Agricultural Show in 1933 [5: 15-Sep-1933]
     Won both 1st and 2nd prizes for a Corriedale Fleece in the Wool section; won 1st prize for Turnips in the Vegetable section [5]
     In Poultry he won 1st prize for a male Black Orpington and in Grain & Fodder he won 2nd prize for a Sheaf of Oaten Hay, [5]
     1st prize for Sheaf of Green Oats for Hay and both 1st and 2nd prizes for Bag of Oaten Chaff and Bag of Wheaten Chaff  [5]
Purchased two Corriedale rams which had won 2nd and 3rd prizes at the Royal Show in Perth in 1933 [5: 20-Oct-1933]
     The two rams were purchased at the stock sale following the Royal Show and arrived in Coorow by train on 18 October 1933 [5]
Advertised in December 1933 that he wanted approximately three miles of fencing done by contract [5: 8-Dec-1933]
Member of the Coorow Rifle Club - was a Committee Member in 1934-35 and 1937-38[5: 18-May-1934, 30-Jul-1937]
     In 1936 donated a trophy to the Coorow Rifle Club, which was won by Benjamin W. J. LAMPARD [5: 4-Dec-1936]
     In 1937 tied for the Club's highest score off the rifle and the handicap event, and ended up winning both in the shoot offs [5: 2-Jul-1937]
He and his brother-in-law Stanley L. FOLLAND used to go shooting rabbits locally and sometimes shot up to 100 in a day [P32]
In June 1934 purchased a new two ton Holt caterpillar tractor [5: 8-Jun-1934]
Exhibited and won three 2nd prizes in the Grain & Fodder section of the Coorow-Waddy Agricultural Show on 30 August 1934 [5]
     Received the three 2nd prizes for Australian Strong White Wheat, Green Wheat for Grain and Green Oats for Grain [5: 7-Sep-1934]
Attended the funeral of Mrs Christina B. D. FORRESTER of Carnamah at the Winchester Cemetery on 31 August 1934 [4: 8-Sep-1934]
A sample of his outstanding wheat was part of the Coastal District Display at the Perth Royal Show in 1934 [5: 19-Oct-1934]
Exhibited in the Sheep, Wool, Poultry and Vegetable sections of the Coorow-Waddy Agricultural Show in 1935 [5: 13-Sep-1935]
     Won 1st prizes for male and female Black Orpingtons, and 2nd prizes for Pen of Three Sheep, Comeback Fleece and Turnips [5]
He was among those from Waddy Forest who attended the Royal Show in Perth in October 1935 [5: 11-Oct-1935]
Exhibited in the Sheep section at the Royal Show in Perth in October 1935 [5: 18-Oct-1935]
     Won 1st prizes for Corriedale ram over 1½ and under 2½ years, and for the Best Team of Four in the Corriedale classes [5]
     Received 2nd prizes for two rams under 2½ years bred in Western Australia by exhibitor, and for Ewe 1½ and under 2½ years [5]
In October 1935 sold 8 bales of wool at 15d. per pound and 5 bales at 14d. per pound through Westralian Farmers Ltd [5: 11-Oct-1935]
Attended the Waddy Forest Toc H and Coorow Cricket Club's Coorow-Waddy Sports & Dance in Coorow on 9 November 1935 [5]
     Competed in the sports and was the winner of Throwing at the Wicket and equal winner of the Stepping 100 Yards [5: 15-Nov-1935]
Sold 16 shorn wethers at 13/7 and 54 shorn ewes at 7/4 per head through Westralian Farmers Ltd on 13 November 1935 [5: 26-Jul-1935]
Attended the entertainment for the Commonwealth Grants Commission at the Coorow Hotel on 21 November 1935 [5: 29-Nov-1935]
Attended the funeral of Miss "May" Mary L. LANG of Carnamah at the Winchester Cemetery on 26 November 1935 [5: 29-Nov-1935]
In January 1936 purchased a Stromberg Carlson wireless set (radio) through Coorow agent Fred BINGHAM [5: 24-Jan-1936]
After a beachside holiday himself, his wife and children returned to Waddy Forest on Monday 3 February 1936 [5: 7-Feb-1936]
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 heavily supported the proposal as he was thought it was terrible that organised sport was indulged in on Sundays [5]
Inaugural Vice President of the North Midlands Registered Stud Stockbreeders Association in 1936 [5: 22-May-1936]
     Had three Corriedale rams for sale at the Association's First Annual Stud Sale held in Carnamah on 18 September 1936 [5: 4-Sep-1936]
     The three rams sold at the sale - one for the top price of 11 guineas and two at 8½ guineas per head [5: 2-Oct-1936]
     Committee Member of the North Midlands Registered Stud Stockbreeders Association in 1937 [5: 28-May-1937]
Performed the feat in 1936 of ploughing 100 acres in one day with he and his sons Tom, Keith and Brian taking shifts [P86]
Sold 24 ewes at 23/4, 22 lambs at 16/1, and 24 lambs at 13/1 per head through Westralian Farmers Ltd on 1 July 1936 [5: 3-Jul-1936]
Won the A Grade medal at the Official Opening of the Three Springs Rifle Club's rifle range on Thursday 23 July 1936 [5: 31-Jul-1936]
     He donated a medal to the recently formed Three Springs Rifle Club which was won by F. Lance DURACK of Arrino [5: 16-Oct-1936]
He was among the 200 farmers who attended the meeting in Carnamah on 31 July 1936 about local Bulk Wheat Handling [5: 7-Aug-1936]
A sheep demonstration by two sheep experts was held at the sheep yards on his farm in Waddy Forest on 12 August 1936 [5: 14-Aug-1936]
Attended the Surprise 21st Birthday of his niece Nance FOLLAND at Enfield Park in Waddy Forest on 17 August 1936 [5: 21-Aug-1936]
On Thursday 20 August 1936 he took delivery of 20 stud sheep from Victoria for inclusion in his Corriedale flock [5: 28-Aug-1936]
He was the third most successful exhibitor in the agricultural sections of the Coorow-Waddy Agricultural Show in 1936 [5: 4 & 11-Sep-1936]
     Won 1st prize for Border Collie dog or bitch which the judge favourably commented upon as an "exceptionally good dog" [5]
     In the Sheep section he was awarded 1st prize for Southdown Ram, and both 1st and 2nd prizes for Three Sheep in the Wool [5]
     Received 1st and 2nd for Comeback Fleece in the Wool section, and 2nd for male Black Orpington in the Poultry section [5]
     In the Grain & Fodder section won 1st prize for Early Season Medium Strong White Wheat, and 2nd for Comeback Wheat [5]
Won 1st for Southdown Ram and 2nd for Australian Strong White Wheat at the Three Springs Agricultural Show in 1936 [5: 25-Sep-1936]
Received prize money through competing at the meeting of the National Rifle Association of WA in Swanbourne in 1936 [5: 2-Oct-1936]
Won the Guthrie Cup for the most points in the WA bred Corriedale classes of the Sheep section at the Perth Royal Show in 1936 [5]
     He also won the Elder Smith & Co Ltd Trophy and the Australian Corriedale Sheep Breeders Association's Special Trophy [5]
     The two trophies were for the Best Corriedale Ewe under 2½ years and the Best Team of Four Corriedale Sheep [5]
     In the Corriedale classes won 1st prizes for Ram under 1½ years, Ewe 2½ years or over, Ewe between 1½ and 2½ years, [5]
     WA bred Ewe under 2½ years; 1st and 2nd prizes for Pen of Two Ewes under 1½ years bred by exhibitor, [5]
     Best Team of Four Sheep, Ram closely shorn after 1 September 1936; 1st and 3rd for Ewe under 1½ years; [5]
     2nd for Shorn Fat Sheep; and 3rd for Pen of two Rams under 1½ years bred in WA by exhibitor [5]
     Among his exhibits were the Champion Ewe, the Reserve Champion Ewe and the Reserve Champion Ram [5]
     His great successes at the Royal Show "undoubtedly proved the high standard of his flock" [5: 16-Oct-1936]
Also successfully exhibited wheat at the Perth Royal Show in 1936 [5: 16-Oct-1936]
     For Zone 2 he received 2nd prize for Australian Premier Strong White Wheat and 3rd for Australian Standard White Wheat [5]
Sold 15 bales of wool through Westralian Farmers Ltd in 1936 - 5 bales at 16¾d., 5 at 16¼d. and 5 at 16d. per pound [5: 16-Oct-1936]
Purchased a new International truck in November 1936 [5: 20-Nov-1936]
Tied for 10th place in the Royal Agricultural Society's Perpetual Executors Export Lamb Competition in 1936 [5: 11-Dec-1936]
Travelled to Perth accompanied by his sons Brian and John on Thursday 28 January 1937 [5: 29-Jan-1937]
Sold his 22 horses and all of his surplus farming machinery at a Clearing Sale in Coorow on 1 April 1937 [5: 9-Apr-1937]
Purchased a new RD4 Caterpillar tractor in May 1937 which was worked 24 hours to complete his seeding operations [5: 28-May-1937]
Won four 1st and four 2nd prizes in the Sheep, Wool and Grain & Fodder sections of the 1937 Coorow-Waddy Agricultural Show [5]
     Won both 1st and 2nd prizes for Corriedale Ram, 1st and 2nd for Comeback Fleece, and 1st for Wheaten Hay [5]
     Awarded 1st prize for Three Sheep in the Wool, and 2nd prizes for Three Shorn Fat Sheep and Shorn Southdown Ram [5: 10-Sep-1937]
Financial Member of the Carnamah District Agricultural Society 1937-1940, and donated £1/1/- to the Society in 1939 [13]
Awarded both 1st and 2nd prizes for Corriedale ram in the Sheep section of the Carnamah Agricultural Show in 1937 [5: 17-Sep-1937]
His son Tom took over the management of Wynmara and Tralee Farms in 1941 [P86]
Was farewelled by the residents of Coorow and Waddy Forest at a function at the Coorow Town Hall on 17 March 1941 [4: 22-Mar-1941]
Left Waddy Forest with his wife and two younger children in 1941 and shifted to 70 acres in Armadale WA [P32]
Attended the funeral of his brother-in-law Stanley L. FOLLAND at the Moora Cemetery on Monday 25 August 1941 [4: 30-Aug-1941]
At Armadale on 22 March 1942 enlisted in the Australian Army's Volunteer Defence Corps [16]
Corporal W67685 in the Australian Army's Volunteer Defence Corps during the Second World War [16]
In 1943 his son Keith was Killed in Action and his name appears on the Carnamah War Memorial [35]
Along with his sons he was the registered sheep breeder of  "Wynmara Corriedales" [150]
They advertised their sheep stud in the Schedule of the 1947 Coorow-Waddy Forest Show [150]
     "Wynmara Corriedales, Reg. Flock No. 279. The Wynmara Corriedales are true dual purpose sheep with" [150]
      good carcases and heavy fleeces - Inspection or Inquiry Invited by W. G. Morcombe & Sons, Coorow" [150]
In 1965 shifted into Rowthorpe Hostel in Bentley WA with his wife Alice [P32]; of Bentley WA until his death in 1977 [2]
Father of Mary, Tom, Keith, Eileen, Brian, Barbara, John, Gordon and Miles [P32]
Died 29 June 1977; ashes interred at the Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth, Western Australia (Lawn 5, Niche Wall, W9, 121) [2]

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'William George Morcombe' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 17 August 2019 from  [ sources ]

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