When thousands of World War One soldiers returned home to Victoria the State Government created ‘settlement’ schemes to help soldiers earn an income. One scheme, known as Soldier Settlement, involved subdividing large rural estates and leasing blocks to 11,000 returned servicemen and women. It dramatically transformed the Victorian landscape.  Click on the image below to be taken to an external site to hear interviews with children who grew up on soldier settlement blocks and search for any soldier settler records, and videos on why the scheme was deemed a failure.

 

Black and white image of Soldier Settlement Block Image citation: PROV VPRS 14517 P1 Unit 34 L536

Life on a Victorian soldier settlement block, Public Record Office Victoria

Success on a block required a combination of hard work and luck. Ongoing war wounds, isolation from community or family, or the hard work itself led to circumstances where settlers were not able to keep up. Image citation: PROV VPRS 14517 P1 Unit 34 L536