[Editor: An article about comradeship between soldier settlers (after the First World War). Published in The Gloucester Advocate (Gloucester, NSW), 26 October 1921.]
Comrades in arms.
An interesting instance of the spirit and comradeship among the soldier settlers on the Murrumbidgee irrigation area comes from Yenda.
A young settler, having passed his three months’ probation, brought down his wife and took possession of his block. Before long his old wounds and nervous symptoms reasserted themselves; and he found himself incapable of physical effort just at a most critical time when the ploughing and planting of his farm should be done.
One morning this soldier was amazed to see team after team, with their drivers, and implements of all sorts, enter his farm. Without a word of explanation, the invading army began to work. The protests of the owner of the farm met with good humoured chaff, and he was told to go back to the house and mind the baby.
Disc cultivators chopped up the weeds that rioted all over the farm — due to the excellent winter rains. Following these, the ploughs turned the soil over and the weeds in; after the ploughs the harrows smoothing and finishing. Then gangs of men, with planting wire and bundles of vine cuttings. By nightfall what had been a neglected block of land was clean and neat; acres of freshly turned earth gave no hint of the weed-grown paddock that had surrounded the house in the morning; and ten acres of vine cuttings marked the labors of the men with the planting wire. Altogether some 10 to 20 teams worked on the block during the day.
The Gloucester Advocate (Gloucester, NSW), 26 October 1921, p. 1
Also published in:
The Northern Champion (Taree, NSW), 2 November 1921, p. 2
chaff = tease; banter; joking about or teasing in a good-natured or light-hearted fashion
[Editor: Changed “and fining” to “and finishing”, in line with the version published in The Northern Champion, 2 November 1921.]