Thomas David Gregory
Block 110D Woden District
Thomas David Gregory was born in 1893 in the Queanbeyan district on NSW. Some sources, including his enlistment papers, state his name as David Thomas Gregory although birth and baptismal records give his name as Thomas David Gregory. His grandfather and father were rural workers at properties around Duntroon and Tharwa and Gregory is associated with Royalla, NSW where he too was a farm labourer.
Gregory enlisted in April 1916 with the 56th Battalion and joined his unit near Flers in France in February 1917. The 56th Battalion fought at Louverval and Bullecourt during April and May 1917. Gregory was gassed at Polygon Wood in Belgium in September 1917. He rejoined the 56th Battalion in June 1918 and was wounded three months later at Péronne on the Somme River where he was shot in the ankle, leg and forearm.
After the war, Gregory worked for a few months at the Royal Military College, Duntroon before applying for a Soldier Settlement block. In his application, he indicated he wanted to graze sheep, that he was single with no dependents and that he had £250 in capital.
Gregory was granted the lease on Woden Block 110D of 208 acres (84 hectares), one of the smallest blocks in the District of Woden. Jerrabomberra Avenue (now the Monaro Highway) boarded the block on the west and Narrabundah Lane on the north. The lease began on the 3rd April 1920 for 25 years at an annual rental of £50/10.
Plan of Woden Block 110D.
The Commonwealth never intended for anyone to be able to make a living from Woden Block 110D; Gregory certainly didn't. He applied for an advance of £168/15 to buy 150 ewes as well as funds to build fences worth about £35. However, it seems that Gregory did not stock his block but sublet it, as he wrote in 1922, "for 2 years to Messrs Hardy and Reid."
Google Maps image of area c2013 with Woden Block 110D boundary in red.
By 1922, Gregory had moved to Parramatta, NSW where he married and also joined the New South Wales Police Force. William Harris, a neighbour at Jerrabomberra, looked after the block on Gregory's behalf. He held onto Woden Block 110D until May 1931 when he transferred it to another neighbour, Hector McIntosh, who in turn sold it to Hugh Read in 1934. Thomas Gregory retired from the NSW Police in 1953 as a Senior Constable and died on the 31st March 1962 in Parramatta.
- ArchivesACT: Rate Book : Territory for the Seat of Government - 1927 ( PDF 17.8Mb) - 1928 ( PDF 18.7Mb) - 1929 ( PDF 8.88Mb)
- ArchivesACT: TL117 - Block 26 City - Formerly 110 Woden - R.A. Stewart
- ArchivesACT: TL395 - Block 110D Woden
- NAA: (A1) 1931/2374 - DT Gregory transfer of lease Block 110D Woden
- NAA: (B2455) First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920: http://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/browse/person/192220
- Biographical Register of Canberra and Queanbeyan by Peter Procter, Canberra, Heraldry and Genealogy Society of Canberra, 2001 (p.126)
- Parramatta's First 'P.D.' Driver - The Cumberland Argus, 2 May 1962, p.2: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article131330825