Thomas Harman

Thomas William Harman

Block 102D Gungahlin District - Property Name: 'Harmanville'

Thomas William Harman was born in 1886 at Majura, then part of NSW. On the 2nd November 1916, he enlisted in Goulburn, NSW after his two younger brothers, Albert and James, who had enlisted two months earlier. 

Private Harman embarked from Sydney on the 'Beltana' with the 55th Battalion on the 25th November 1916, disembarking in Devonport, England on the 29th January 1917. He first saw active service with the 13th Battalion in France in May 1917. Harman was wounded in Belgium in August 1917. In September 1917, he was again wounded just nine days after rejoining his Unit. He rejoined his Unit, now in France, in December 1917. Harman, promoted Lance Corporal, returned to Australia on the 9th August 1919 and discharged the same day.

In 1920, Harman secured the Soldier Settlement Gungahlin Block 102D (653 acres - 264 hectares), located east of the current Canberra Airport. The annual rent of Gungahlin 102D, which he named 'Harmanville', was £114/5/6.

Plan of Gungahlin Block 102D

Plan of Gungahlin Block 102D.

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In 1927, Harman along with his Brother Albert who had leased the adjoining Gungahlin Block 102B, secured a joint lease on the 888 acre (359 hectare) Gungahlin Block 60. This property ran along the Yass Road (now Pialligo Avenue) from the eastern boundary of Harman's Gungahlin Block 102D to Sutton Road. 

Aside from repeated Federal Capital Commission (FCC) requests for Harman to destroy weeds and rabbits on Gungahlin Block 102D, his tenure was uneventful. In July 1929, the FCC sent Harman a notification that R. Creasy had been granted permission to enter the block "for the purpose of obtaining and removing firewood." Harman replied:

"I desire to inform you that I strongly object to any wood carting from this block at present as I have ewes lambing & are in a weak condition & on no account do I want them disturbed."

Letter from Thomas Harman to FCC dated the 4th August 1929

Letter from Thomas Harman to FCC dated the 4th August 1929.

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The FCC transferred Creasy's wood collection permit to Gungahlin Block 55.

Harman remained on Gungahlin Block 102D for ten-years. On the 6th June 1930, he requested the transfer of his lease, along with the lease of Gungahlin Block 60, to Duncan Cameron. This transfer took place on the 1st July 1930. It was also on this day that the FCC notified Duncan that around 100 acres in the south/west corner would be resumed for an aerodrome. This resumption took place in 1939.

Google Maps image of area c2014 with Gungahlin Block 102D boundary in red.

Google Maps image of area c2014 with Gungahlin Block 102D boundary in red.

Thomas Harman never married and died in Queanbeyan on the 19th January 1956 aged 70 years old.


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