Dudley Clarke

Wallace 'Dudley' Clarke

Block 112A Woden District - Property Name 'Stonyhurst'

Wallace 'Dudley' Clarke was born on the 27th March 1900 in Bungendore, NSW where his father Lewis Clarke, a policeman, was stationed at the time. He enlisted on the 31st August 1918 in Wagga Wagga, NSW but was demobilised when the armistice was signed in November 1918. He came to the Canberra region after the war as his father was now the Sergeant in Charge at Queanbeyan Police Station.

Woden Block 112A was initially leased in 1920 under the Soldier Settlement Scheme by Clarke's older brother, Cyril Clarke. In June 1926, approval was given by the Commonwealth for the transfer of the lease to Dudley Clarke for £50. In March 1927, he signed a new lease for Woden Block 112A which ran from the 3rd July 1926 to the 31st December 1935. By July 1928, Clarke was referring to the block as Stonyhurst.

Plan of Woden Block 112A

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

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Like other land holders, Clarke suffered during the Depression and by July 1930 he was in arrears with rent by £121/9. He complained about the cost of rabbit eradication and noted a few months later that his block of 968 acres (392 hectares) was below a living area. It produced a gross income for the previous year of £441 out of which he paid £242 in rent.

The listed improvements on Stonyhurst included a cement block house of six rooms with verandah all round plus garage and sheds all valued at £1400. Other improvements on the property brought the total value to £1819.

Federal Capital Commission (FCC) Lands Officer, James Brackenreg, had no sympathy:

"Is it not ridiculous to think that we find the lessee (who is a young healthy man) with two men employed dealing with rabbits on a small block. If this lessee possessed any energy at all rabbit destruction would not be exercise for him. This is one of the lessees who comes forward and says he cannot pay rent and asks for concessions. Any concession granted to such a lessee would not benefit him in any way but would only allow him a bigger margin to pay wages in respect of work that he should do himself."

Nonetheless, Clarke's annual rent was reduced to £161/6/8 from 30th January 1930. It was further reduced in October 1934 to £104/17/4 when he signed a 25 year lease commencing from the 1st July 1933 to the 30 June 1958.

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.

Clarke did not hold onto the lease for long selling Stonyhurst to Joseph Roche of Dalton, NSW on the 1st June 1936 for £7500. Roche sold it to the Lindbeck brothers of Queanbeyan, NSW in 1946 for £4625.

Dudley Clarke later lived in Wollongong, NSW and died in Sydney in 1960.

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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: http://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/browse/person/50315

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