Cyril Clarke

Cyril St Clair Clarke

Block 112A Woden District - Property Name 'Stonyhurst'

Cyril St Clair Clarke was born in Crookwell, NSW in 1894 and was living in Nimmitabel, NSW when he enlisted in August 1915. He served as an artilleryman on the Western Front from March 1916 until the end of the War, including Pozières during the Battle of the Somme. He returned to Australia in June 1919 and was discharged two months later. He came to live in the Canberra region, as his father, Lewis Clarke, was the sergeant in charge at Queanbeyan Police Station.

In February 1920, Clarke applied for a Soldier Settlement block in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). His application specified that he had £500 in cash and his father would assist with the block. He also stated previous experience in running sheep and cattle with his brother, Dudley, on the Monaro.

Clarke was granted the 968 acre (392 hectare) Woden Block 112A. This block was part of the Jerrabomberra-Tuggeranong Soldier Settlement Subdivision and was situated on the western side of the Monaro Highway, adjacent to the modern-day suburb of Hume. Most of the Mugga landfill site was once part of this block. Clarke signed a five-year lease in March 1922 at an annual rental of £145/4. The lease actually commenced from the 3rd April 1920.

Plan of Woden Block 112A

Plan of Woden Block 112A (later part of Jerrabomberra District).

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As this lease neared its end, Clarke applied for an extension under the existing terms. He wrote that:

"After a hard struggle owing to having had to pay high prices five years ago for old breeding ewes to make a start, and drought the following year, and having a big fight to keep down rabbits which were then plentiful on the property, and having to fence the altered boundaries, and erect a house, and drafting yards etc, I am only just beginning to get on my feet. I have 800, four tooth ewes with 50% lambs at foot now on the property."

Google Maps image of area c2013 with Woden Block 112A boundary in red

Google Maps image of area c2013 with Woden Block 112A boundary in red.

In late 1925, Clarke's father complained that the block was not a "living area". The Federal Capital Commission (FCC) Lands Officer, James Brackenreg, noted that Clarke worked as a carpenter and "has never identified with the block as it is run by his father and brother." It turned out that his younger brother, Dudley Clarke, worked the block while Cyril Clarke, now married, lived in Queanbeyan. In June 1926, the Commonwealth approved the transfer of the lease to Dudley Clarke for £50.

Cyril Clarke died in Sydney in 1937.

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  • ArchivesACT: Government Property & Tenancy Registers - Woden Block 112A (PDF Icon PDF 397Kb)
  • ArchivesACT: Rate Book : Territory for the Seat of Government - 1927 (PDF Icon PDF 17.8Mb) - 1928 (PDF Icon PDF 18.7Mb) - 1929 (PDF Icon PDF 8.88Mb)
  • ArchivesACT: TL1026 (Part 1) - Block 112A Woden District - W.D. Clarke
  • ArchivesACT: TL1026 (Part 2) - Block 112A Woden
  • ArchivesACT: TL1026 (Part 3) - Block 112A Woden
  • NAA: (A192) FCL1922/461 Block No. 112A Jerrabomberra Soldier Subdivision lessee CSC Clarke
  • NAA: (B2455) First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920:
  • New South Wales. The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 October 1917, p.8:

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