Alexander Powell

Alexander (Alick) George Allmann Powell

Block 10A Lanyon District

Alexander (Alick) George Allmann Powell was born in 1877 in Queensland. He was a grazier in the Bungendore district of NSW when he enlisted in January 1916. A veteran of the Boer War, he served with the 2nd Kitchener Fighting Scouts and the 6th New South Wales Imperial Bushmen in South Africa. In World War 1, he served with the Imperial Camel Corps in Egypt, the Sinai and Palestine. He suffered from conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers during his service in the desert which caused the loss of sight in his left eye. On his application for a Soldier Settlement block he stated that he had £300 in capital, was single, had no dependents and no interest in any land.

Powell’s 25 year lease on the 939 acre (380 hectare) Lanyon Block 10A began on the 5th April 1920 with an annual rental of £219/9. In October 1921, he had a stock mortgage agreement to advance £222/15 on 297 merinos. He also had a grazing lease over 12 acres (5 hectares) fronting the Murrumbidgee River, though the public still had access to fish in the river.

Plan of Lanyon Block 10A

Plan of Lanyon Block 10A 1928 - Click on plan for larger view.

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In early 1921, Commonwealth Lands Inspector, James Brackenreg, noted that Powell had failed to clear saffron thistles from the hill (Mount Stranger or Barney's Hill in the middle of modern day Bonython). Brackenreg wrote "The stones do make cutting very difficult and expensive no doubt this has something to do with lessee shying off." Thistles continued to be a problem for Powell and ultimately defeated him and he surrendered his lease. In November 1927, local grazier, John Edlington, was assigned the lease and it formed the basis for his Aroma property. The thistle infested areas were excluded.

During World War 2, the Royal Netherlands East Indies Air Force leased part of the block (Mount Stranger/Barney's Hill) to use as a bombing range.

Google Maps image of area c2013 with Lanyon Block 10A boundary in red and WW2 practice bombing range area in orange

Google Maps image of area c2013 with Lanyon Block 10A boundary in red and WW2 practice bombing range area in orange.

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Lanyon Block 10A c1970

Lanyon Block 10A c1972 viewed from the old Pine Island Road. This area is now the suburbs of Isabella Plains & Bonython.
Mount Stranger/Barney's Hill can be seen centre of the photo and Tuggeranong Hill centre left.

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Alexander Powell died in Quenabeyan on the 7th June 1948. He left behind his wife, Florence and two children, Bruce and Susan.


  • ArchivesACT: Government Property & Tenancy Registers - Lanyon Block 10A (PDF IconPDF 355Kb)
  • ArchivesACT: TL1002 (Part 1) - Block 10A Lanyon
  • ArchivesACT: TL1002 (Part 2) - Block 10A Lanyon - J. Edlington
  • NAA: (B2455) First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920:
  • Boer War Men of the Queanbeyan-Braidwood Region by John Cope, Ginninderra Press, 2005
  • Tracks Through Time - Merv Edlington’s Tuggeranong - Canberra Stories Group
  • Family Notices. The Canberra Times, 9 June 1948, p.4:

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