Overview

We hold records relating to applications for land, assistance and relief for soldier settlers from 1915.

We also hold other records about land management including maps.

Some records were lost in a fire in the offices of the Superintendent of Soldier Settler’s Office in 1924. 

Access conditions

Many records relating to land administration are open for public access.

Some records containing sensitive financial information about individual cases might be restricted for up to 60 years.

This means that post-World War One era records are more easily accessible than those from the post-World War Two era.

As land could be allocated to spouses and children, some land transactions are still being managed under the Scheme. Therefore some records are still active and in the custody of the Lands Titles Office and the Department for Environment and Water.

Indexes and special lists

Record of land held by soldier settlers - Soldier Settlement Branch, 1917-1931 (GRG 35/320)

This special list was transcribed from the two volumes of the Record of land held by soldier settlers covering the post-World War One era.

This list is arranged by the surname of the settler. Land held by multiple individuals has been cross-referenced.

Use this Transcription of GRG35/320 - Record of land held by soldier settlers, 1917-1931 - A-Z to find the Volume and Page number holding a specific settler's name.

Then view the digitised copy of the relevant volume and page to locate the entry for the settler. The volumes record other dockets and schedules about the management of the settler's property.

Digitised records

Record of land held by soldier settlers - Soldier Settlement Branch, 1917-1931 (GRG 35/320)

Use the special list to find the Volume and Page number holding a specific settler's name.

Then view the relevant volume and page to locate the entry for the settler.

Images can also be viewed on the computers in our Research Centre.

Make note of any 'SSS', 'L&S', 'DL', or 'AS' references in the columns, including the remarks column. These refer to other dockets and schedules about the management of the settler's property.

Docket numbers recorded in the volumes refer to:

  • GRG35/104 (‘L&S’ or ‘DL’ files) – Correspondence files - Lands and Survey Department
  • GRG35/176 ('SSS' files) Correspondence files, annual single number series - Superintendent of Soldier Settlement
  • GRS/3507 (‘A.S.’ number) Registers of agreements relating to acquired land under Discharged Soldiers' Settlement Act

Visit the Research Centre for help with ordering individual files, or contact us for a copy of the page once you have a file reference.

Volume 1 - A to L (pages 1 to 235)

A pages 001 to 015

B pages 017 to 025

B pages 026 to 032

B pages 033 to 043

C pages 045 to 053

C pages 055 to 067

D pages 069 to 075

D pages 077 to 087

E pages 089 to 103

F pages 105 to 121

G pages 123 to 129

G pages 131 to 141

H pages 143 to 150

H pages 151 to 157

H pages 158 to 162

I pages 167 to 177

J pages 183 to 199

K pages 201 to 208

K pages 209 to 217

L pages 219 to 223

L pages 225 to 235

Volume 2 - M to Z (pages 1 to 271)

M pages 001 to 010

M pages 011 to 017

M pages 019 to 027

M pages 031 to 041

N pages 043 to 057

O pages 059 to 069

P pages 075 to 083

P pages 085 to 095

Q pages 097 to 103

R pages 113 to 122

R pages 123 to 131

S pages 133 to 140

S pages 141 to 145

S pages 147 to 159

T pages 161 to 165

T pages 167 to 177

U pages 179 to 189

V pages 195 to 209

W pages 211 to 217

W pages 219 to 233

Y pages 243 to 251

Z pages 259 to 271

Types of records

A wide range of records were created to manage the Scheme.

Indexes and registers

Arranged by the land occupied or by the settler and include:

  • the names of settlers
  • property location (section and hundred) and
  • land area.

For post-World War One era settlement, start with records of land held by soldier settlers 1917-1931 

Records of settlers

Include applications made by individuals to the Scheme. Information recorded can include:

  • name and address
  • regimental number
  • age
  • marital status
  • details of children
  • details of military service
  • occupation
  • amount of pension and capital
  • the type of farming proposed to be undertaken.

The success or otherwise of the application is also recorded. 

We also hold a series of correspondence files from the Superintendent of Soldier Settlement (GRG 35/176) documenting a broad range of scheme activities administered after World War I and II.

Maps

Maps such as Hundred Maps contain lease information marked by hand in red or pink ink.

If the section bearing the lease is a Soldier Settlement block, it often contains agreement number ('A.S.' number), and sometimes the settler's name. 

We also hold:

  • maps from the Superintendent of Soldier Settlers showing those areas advertised as available for selection by Soldier Settlers.
  • Committee records such as Land Settlement Qualifications Committee records document the business of assessing applications made under the Scheme. 
  • minutes of the Soldier Settlement and Irrigation Enquiry Committee.

Record of land held by soldier settlers - Soldier Settlement Branch, 1917-1931 (GRG 35/320)

This is a special list transcribed from the two volumes of the Record of land held by soldier settlers covering the post-World War One era.

The volumes from which this list was created give:

  • name of settler
  • section and Hundred
  • area in acres
  • dates of allotment or settlement
  • docket number
  • amounts to be paid
  • valuation details
  • how held (ie. freehold etc.) and
  • remarks.

Land held by multiple individuals has been cross-referenced.

The volumes can be used to find other dockets and schedules relevant to the management of the settler's property.

Key factsGRG 35/176, unit 19, file no 855/1918 - Higgins T.P. Correspondence files (SSS) Superindenent of Soldier Settlement

Description of the scheme

South Australian legislation in place between 1915 and 2009 assisted the settlement of returned servicemen through the provision of:

  • farming land
  • infrastructure
  • training and financial assistance. 

The scheme was known as the Soldier Settlement Scheme (the Scheme).

The work with regard to the acquisition of land was performed by the general staff of the department directly under the control of the Secretary for Lands.

World War One era

The Scheme applied to any person who had been a member of the Australian Imperial Forces or any other forces raised in Australia, who served overseas, and was honorably discharged.

The South Australian Government nominated areas of land available to soldier settlers and provided assistance with:

  • erecting buildings
  • purchasing of stock or seeds
  • establishing fences
  • draining and irrigating land and
  • making general improvements to the land.

Approximately 37,000 soldiers took up land under the Scheme.

World War Two era

A similar scheme was established in 1945 via an agreement between the State and the Commonwealth Governments. 

Under the agreement an eligible person was honorably discharged from the armed forces and had undertaken at least six months war service.

The State Government administered the Scheme on behalf of the Commonwealth Government and was also responsible for the provision of land and loans to Settlers. 

The South Australian Housing Trust was responsible for providing settlers with:

  • houses
  • sheds and
  • other outbuildings.

The South Australian Government also provided irrigation assistance in the form of:

  • windmills
  • water pumping stations and
  • other infrastructure. 

Training in agricultural techniques and equipment was also provided by the South Australian Government. 

Approximately 12,000 soldiers took up land under the Scheme.

Administration of the Scheme

From 1915 to 1919, administration of land settlement for returned soldiers was conducted within the Department of Agriculture.

No separate branch appears to have been responsible, but many different branches reported being affected by the large amount of work involved.

In March 1919, the administration of the Discharged Soldiers Settlement Acts of 1917 and 1918 was transferred from the Department of Agriculture, to the Lands and Survey Department.

The work in connection with the applications of soldiers for land and advances was carried out in a separate branch of the department under the management of the Superintendent of Soldier Settlements ('SSS').