Victorian Railways

WWI Soldier Settler

In 1922 I obtained a free rail Pass from the Soldier Settlement Board to the rail head at Annuello. This part of the Mallee was being opened for settlement. The area of blocks being 640 acres to 800 acres. I spent three weeks with the Lands' Officer Pat Cloonen looking at areas available for selection. Conditions did not appeal to me. I obtained a ride with one of the local settlers to the township of Manangatang. Here I was introduced to the Manager of the English Scottish and Australian Bank. (E. S. & A.) Ultima (Mr Fred Palmer).


In February 1922, my father, Jack O'Shannessy, purchased from Mr & Mrs W Hawks, allotments 34, 34A and 35, Parish of Ultima, County of Tatchera. He was the eldest son of five boys and two girls, the children of Edmond and Margaret O'Shannessy, Australian born of Irish parents. They lived in Kingower district where their mother died when my Dad was 15, and his eldest sister was 17. With the help of relatives, she was able to care for the younger children until she married at the age of 21.