The end of the first world war stirred up a spirit of great restlessness
in the hearts of thousands of suburban Englishman, the great empire
exhibition of 1924, held at the Wembley Stadium in London offered
enticing inducements to bowler hatted men in pin striped trousers
and black jackets to migrate. Canada offered the Rockies Australia
offered the outback.
Thousands of these English migrants became part of the closer settlement
and soldier settlement schemes in the Millewa in Victorias far North-West,
one of the most remote and certainly the driest part of the state.
They arrived after the boat trip by train in the 1920's, were allocated
their 700 acre block of uncleared Mallee bush and left there. Many
of them were quite well to do and had monogrammed linen and engraved
silverware, but no water and only a tent to live in.
The Hiscox family are just one of those migrant families to give
it a go in the Millewa, and thanks to John Hiscox we have a small
photographic history of the way some (and i stress
some) may have delt with this harsh environment.
Although they did walk off the land in 1935 they did spend 7 years
trying to tame the Mallee having taken up a settlement block in 1928
then moving to Sydney.
July 1995 John Hiscox came to the Millewa to research his parents
involvement in pioneering the Millewa and in particular the establishement
of their farm "GOOLANA" at block 17 Yaramba.
click on image for larger version