William Crawford Snr.
William Crawford Snr. appears here because of a newspaper article published in the Werribee Shire Banner newspaper in 1919. It could give the impression that this man had served in the Australian Imperial Forces (A.I.F.) during WW1, but this wasn’t the case.
There were 24 men with the name "W. Crawford" who served in the Great War, but none have a direct link to the Werribee district.
The subject article was published in the Werribee Shire Banner on18 December 1919, and concerns a meeting of the local Land Board, which met at Werribee on 11 December 1919, to deal with applications for the allotments of land, presented to the Repatriation Department by Mr G. T. Chirnside. The article further stated that the same meeting dealt “with unirrigated areas being made available for dairy farmers on the irrigation district. One of those lots was lot 4D, and it was allotted to “W. Crawford”. The Local Land Board were actually dealing with two different types of applicants: the first were former soldiers applying to take up small holding farms, and the second group of applicants, which were civilians, wanting to take up land in adjacent blocks to the Soldier Settlers.
Werribee Shire Banner, 18 December 1919, p.3.
[These allotments of land that were being made available were part of the Soldier Settlement Scheme, which was implemented immediately after the end of World War 1. Under the scheme, the Repatriation Department acquired random blocks of existing farmland in the Werribee South area, and sold them to former A.I.F. soldiers, who wanted to take up farming. These blocks were in five zones of Werribee South, and each lot number bore a prefix of the relevant zone; viz; either "D", "E", "F", "G" or "K"].
There are several records of farmland in Werribee South, belonging to Mr Crawford:
- The book "Werribee : the first 100 years, by James & Pritchard” contains the following statement – “In 1931 Tullio Zausa paid £400 deposit on his farm to Mr Crawford, a Soldier Settler, the balance to be paid to the Government in 35 years.” I have not been able to establish the lot number of this particular block, or find an A.I.F. Service Record for a W. Crawford from Werribee.
- Another of the farms owned by Mr W. Crawford was lot D26. It was over 88 acres in size, and was at the end of Crawford's Road in Werribee South (Just north of the present Marina Development). * After the Death of William Crawford in 1927, his son W. J. Crawford took over the farm.
- Mr William Crawford lived on his farm named "Calder Haugh", which was at the southern end of Duncan's Road, in Werribee South. Werribee Shire Banner, 31 August 1916, p.2.
- A Mr M Crawford owned lot 54, which was 54 acres in size, and was located at the southern end of Duncan’s Road. Its eastern boundary was on Crawford’s Road.**
William Crawford (Snr) married Mary Orr at Kilburnie in 1894,*** and they had at least three children.
Their daughter Mary Crawford was born in Footscray in 1895 ****; their son William John Crawford was born at Woodend in 1897 *****; and their second son Hamilton Crawford was born at Northcote in 1900.******
The first record of Mr William Crawford, in the Werribee district was in 1911, when he entered two horses in the Werribee Show.
Werribee Shire Banner, 26 October 1911, p.3.
In 1915, William Crawford was a farmer, living at "Calder Haugh", on Duncan’s Road in Werribee South. He was acknowledged for donating a bag of wheat to the Belgian Relief Fund.
Werribee Shire Banner, 15 April 1915, p.2.
The Crawford's farm was located at the southern end of Duncan’s Road, close to Crawford's Beach.
Werribee Shire Banner, 9 March 1916, p.3.
Because of its distance from the town, Mr H. Shields, in 1919, began operating a daily carrier service from the Werribee Railway Station to Mr W Crawford's Residence, at the end of Duncan's Road. He advertised his service, for the Irrigation Settlers and the residents of Werribee, in the local newspaper.
Werribee Shire Banner, 29 May 1919, p.2.
Between 1917 and 1919, The Victorian Electoral Rolls show that William and his wife Mary were residing on Duncan’s Road, where he was a dairyman.
He was also breeding horses at "Calder Hough", and the sale of two important animals was reported in 1917.
Werribee Shire Banner, 4 October 1917, p.2.
Between 1918 and 1919, William Crawford was on the board of the Werribee Settlers' Dairying Co-Operative Company. He resigned in 1919 over a dispute with the price of milk, being paid by the Co-operative.
Werribee Shire Banner, 25 November 1920, p.3.
In 1919, he applied for and was granted an unirrigated block of land (lot 4D) in Werribee South. This was among other blocks allocated at the same time by the Lands Board, as Soldier Settlement blocks.
Werribee Shire Banner, 18 December 1919, p.3.
In 1922, he applied to the council for permission to add a piggery to his farm.
Werribee Shire Banner, 1 June 1922, p.2.
He had previously bred pigs for sale, as early as 1916.
Werribee Shire Banner, 31 August 1916, p.2.
When Mr G. T. Chirnside left the Werribee district in 1922, Mr W Crawford was one of those who spoke at a farewell function. He spoke as a former tenant farmer on the "Werribee Park" Estate, and mentioned in eulogistic terms, the qualities of his former landlord, Mr Chirnside.
Werribee Shire Banner, 12 January 1922, p.3.
William Crawford remained on his property at Duncan's Road until about 1925, when he moved to Surry Hills. He died there on 7 December 1927 and was buried in the Werribee Cemetery.
He was remembered as a member of the Werribee Agricultural and Pastoral Society, and as well as being highly regarded as a judge of Clydesdale Horses, both in Australia, and in Scotland.
Werribee Shire Banner, 8 December 1927, p.2.
Werribee Shire Banner, 2 February 1928, p.2.
His son, William John Crawford, was also a farmer at Werribee South from 1922.
Medals and Entitlements:
Name on the Werribee Shire Oak Board: nil
Name on the Little River Honour Board: nil
* Dept of Lands Survey Map of Deutgam, dated August 1951.
** Dept of Lands and Survey Map of Deutgam, dated 18/2/1924.
***Marriage Certificate 1894/3009
**** Birth Certificate 1895/12224
***** Birth Certificate 1897/23821
****** Birth Certificate 1900/13366
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