|Like most who become fascinated with
genealogy I wish I'd asked more questions. Too late now but the following
is as best as I have from memory and conversations with my father. The
search goes on to expand but also to determine how much of what I've remembered
is right. So far all I remember my father telling me has turned out to
be right but stories grow with each generation. A cabin boy on a ferry
can become the captain of a Sailing Clipper as the story gets passed on
to next generations.
None of Granpa's "desertion" and subsequent
adventure has been verified but the dates fit and his army papers do show
he was in the 3rd and "also" in the 6th Dragoons which fits with
the amnesty bit.
John Harry HASTINGS
He applied to join the Queensland.
mounted police but was told they only took those with cavalry experience
so he made his way back to England and enlisted in the Dragoon Guards
possibly under an alias. His date of "attestation" on his Army records
is 12th May 1914 and England declared war on Germany on the 4th August.
Early on in World War 1 some type of general amnesty was declared and he
admitted to his real name. He was transferred to another unit His
Army papers that I have copies of show that he was in the 3rd Dragoon Guards
and "also 6th".
After the war Granpa stayed in the army - was in Dunbar in Scotland, Edinburgh and India (British West India approx 1919). His discharge papers show he was transferred to the Reserve 10th June 1921. He had varying success with employment his last being selling door to door the clothing made by his wife. The business was slowly expanding when his wife talked him into applying for the Group Settlement Scheme.
The family together with Mum’s cousin, Donald Tearle,arrived in Australia at Albany Western Australia in March 1925 aboard the Aberdeen Line S.S. Demosthenes and went to Denmark where he took up land on a Group Settlement scheme. Supporting documentation to "Application for admission of Relatives or friends to Australia. Gertrude Tearle" states an acreage of 187 acres and a letter of 28th July 1927 says
"The Field Supervisor of the Group
Settlement Branch, advises me that Mr. HASTINGS is a very satisfactory
settler, and should be able to provide amply for the person referred to.
He is at present living in a very comfortable four-roomed cottage.
Dad was posted to Groups 58 & 111 at
an annual salary of £235 ($470) at the beginning of 1932 and he
boarded with them.
In 1933 Granpa walked
off the farm. Work was hard to get and between 1933-1939 the main
occupation for Granpa was on sustenance work 3 days a week - Canning Dam
and irrigation ditches in Harvey. Enlisted in the “Old and Bold”, a sort
of Militia Unit for those too old for the front lines and did most of his
W.W.II service as Sgt. in Charge R.A.P (Regimental Aid Post) Karrakata
and Harvey (Marrinup) P.O.W. Camp. His discharge papers show service from11th
July 1940 to 22nd November 1946.