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Historians look back at Coominya soldiers' settlement

Coominya and District Historical Society are seeking information about the history of the soldiers' settlement in the town after the First World War.
Coominya and District Historical Society are seeking information about the history of the soldiers' settlement in the town after the First World War. Derek Barry

AFTER defending the country on foreign soil throughout the First World War, many Australian and British soldiers returned to lead a more simple rural life in the region.

A special program to help returning soldiers ease back into normal life and expand rural populations across the state was the Soldier Settlement Scheme, where rural land was provided to returning soldiers.

Among the 2000 settlement farms across Queensland were 100 30-acre properties surrounding the Coominya township, in the Brisbane Valley.

The servicemen were paid to clear the land and were provided with a house, ploughing equipment, fruit trees and grape vines to help start a clean slate in life.

However, the settlement properties were on poor land and the servicemen got no support from the government so the scheme ended in failure.

When it closed in 1929, only two farms were still operating in Coominya, with most of the ex-soldiers deserting to the towns or finding other land.

In the lead up to the Anzac centenary in 2015, the Coominya and District Historical Society are undertaking research to learn more about the ex-servicemen that worked these properties, their war records, where they went and whether or not descendants remain in the region.

The Coominya and District Historical Society have successfully applied to the Queensland Government for an Anzac Centenary Grant to help commemorate the Soldier Settler Scheme in Coominya next year.

Coominya and District Historical Society member Dr John Dingle said the group invited anyone who knew about the settlement, or had information and memorabilia regarding the soldiers to get into touch with the group.

Dr Dingle said the group was planning to document all information about the soldier settlers and to erect a memorial in honour of their contributions to Coominya and the district in time for the Anzac centenary in 2015.

"It did have a big impact on Coominya with increased population, expansion of the school, churches and shops," he said.

If you have information regarding the Coominya Soldier Settler Scheme email Dr John Dingle on j.dingle12345@gmail.com or phone 0439 662 250.

Or head to the Coominya and District Historical Society Facebook page.


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