Walter Herbert Eddison
Blocks 132 & 28A Woden District – 'Yamba'
Walter Herbert Eddison was born in Norfolk, England in 1877. He came to Australia in 1914 looking to take up farming. When World War 1 broke out, he enlisted in Sydney on the 9th October 1914.
Initially Eddison served with the 6th Light Horse Regiment at Gallipoli. In 1915, he transferred to the 56th Battalion and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on the 1st March 1916. In November 1917, Eddison was stationed in France and promoted to the rank of of Captain. He was wounded in France, spending a month in hospital after being gassed in June 1918. Eddison returned to Australia in December 1919 on the 'Orvieto' and was officially discharged on the 3rd January 1920.
Woden Block 132
In 1920, Eddison applied for a Soldier Settlement lease in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and was allocated Woden Block 132. The block was 764 acres (309 hectares) in area covering much of modern day Phillip and Swinger Hill as well as part of Lyons, Chifley, Hughes and Mawson.
Google Maps image of area c2014 with Woden Block 132 boundary in red.
Woden Block 28A
In 1925, Eddison applied for additional land stating that "I have a large family to maintain (3 sons) who are probably going on the land later." He was successful in his application and was allocated Woden Block 28 in addition to Woden Block 132. The combined blocks, now reassigned as Woden Block 28A, had an area of 1365 acres (552 hectares) and straddled the Long Gully Road.
Plan of Woden Block 28A in 1926. Click on plan for larger view.
Google Maps image of area c2013 with Woden Block 28A boundary in red.
In 1925, Eddison was living at The Oaks in Oaks Estate. One of the conditions for his lease of Woden Block 28A was:"That the lessee shall and will reside continuously and bona fide on the said land as his usual home." However, it would be another four years before Eddison built Yamba by recycling "cottages that were used as a camp by the late Mr McCarthy, in connection with building cottages in Blandfordia." With his wife Marion Louisa (1885-1971), he farmed this land as the grazing property Yamba until 1954.
House plan for Yamba - Block 28A Woden. Click on plan for larger view.
In May 1929, 43 acres (17 hectares) were withdrawn from Woden Block 28A for the construction of Woden Cemetery (Woden Block 30). The Federal Capital Commission sent Eddison the following notification:
"The area of your lease as a result of such withdrawal has been reduced to 1322 acres [535 hectares] and rental as from the abovementioned date will be £380/1/6 per annum."
Plan of Woden Block 28A in 1929 after 43 acres was withdrawn of Woden Cemetery. Click on plan for larger view.
On the 19th July 1955, Woden Block 28A was transferred to Richard Hyles who then took out a new 50 year lease beginning the 1st January 1956. However Hyles only retained the block until the 23rd of May 1956 when it was transferred to T.D. Leafe. In 1962, an area of 85 acres (34 hectares) was withdrawn for the construction of the suburb of Hughes. As development of Woden Valley continued, further small areas were progressively withdrawn from the block. The final area of 552 acres (223 hectares) south of Long Gully Road was withdrawn in May 1965 for the construction of the suburbs of Mawson and Pearce.
Woden Valley c1962 looking east from Red Hill. Woden Cemetery is in the centre of the photo with Yamba right of centre.
Click on photo for larger view.
Walter and Marion Eddison had three sons and three daughters. All three sons were killed in World War II:
- Sqn Ldr Leslie Herbert (Tom) Eddison DFC, 214 Sqn, RAF was killed in action over Holland on 9/5/1941
- Pte Jack Osbaldeston Eddison, 2/20 Bn, 2nd AIF died in a POW Camp in Japan on 7/6/1943
- Flt Lt Edward Dalkeith (Keith) Eddison, 30 Sqn, RAAF was killed in action over New Guinea on 27/5/1943.
Eddison Memorial plaque outside the Yamba Club in Phillip.
Walter Eddison was living in Forrest when he died on the 15th April 1966. In memory of the Eddison family's connection with this land and, in particular, with the family's sacrifice during World War II, an area of Yamba was formally gazetted as Eddison Park on 29th June 1988.
Eddison Park named in memory of the Eddison family whose
property Yamba included the land now occupied by the park.
- ArchivesACT: Government Property & Tenancy Registers - Woden Block 28A (PDF 806Kb & PDF 289Kb)
- ArchivesACT: Rate Book : Territory for the Seat of Government - 1927 (PDF 17.8Mb) - 1928 (PDF 18.7Mb) - 1929 (PDF 8.88Mb)
- ArchivesACT: TL919 (Part 1) - Block 28A District of Woden - W.H. Eddison
- ArchivesACT: 349/0/28A#01 Lands Branch - Woden Block 28A (formerly part of TL919 Part 2)
- ArchivesACT: 349/0/28A#02 Lands Branch - Woden Block 28A (formerly part of TL919 Part 2)
- NAA: (B2455) First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920: http://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/browse/person/158044
- Family Notices. The Canberra Times, 16 April 1966, p.16: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128653754
- Obituary: Death stops old fighter - The Canberra Times, 16th April 1966, p.3: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128653663
- The last of Yamba. The Canberra Times, 6 June 1968, p.5: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article107055939
- The Terrible Legacy of War Through the Eyes of Local Family. The Canberra Times, 6 June 1993, p.23: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article127230955
- ACT Planning & Land Authority: Eddison Park
- ACT Planning & Land Authority: Eddison Place
- Territory & Municipal Services: Eddison Park
- Eddison Park Information Signage
- ACT Heritage Library - Eddison Family Papers: http://www.library.act.gov.au/find/history/search/Manuscript_Collections/Eddison_Family