The Boys from Muckinbudin

Montague ‘Monty’ Joseph Smith WX9143 died 1943 

Joseph ‘Joe’ Sevier WX8544 died 1945 

Dudley Joseph Squire WX9330 KIA 1942 

Eric Reginald (Reg) ‘Buck’ Rogers WX9005 Returned to WA

 

Mukinbudin began to take shape following end of WW1 with the release of land to attract settlement.

Thereafter came the construction of community and commercial businesses and a railway extension provided three trains a week bringing supplies and transporting wheat.  As with all country towns Mukinbudin had its popular football and cricket teams. To cater for the increasing population of post war migrants a soccer team was added to the town’s sporting options.

During the early 1930’s the district suffered droughts and poor wheat prices. Many farmers relinquished their farms, leaving their properties with little and their hopes and dreams crushed,

The four men enlisted in October 1940. Smith was the only Western Australian born; the other three migrated from England.

Montague Smith WX9143
Montague Smith WX9143

‘Monty’ Smith was born in Perth, attended Victoria Park Primary School before his family moved to Koorda where he continued school. In 1926 the Smith took up a property within the Mukinbudin district, in a new settlement at Lake Brown.

The property would have been virgin land.

‘Monty’ continued his education by correspondence.

His mother Lillian Smith was left on her own and with her large family took on the responsibility of running the farm. There was little time for outside interests for ‘Monty’ or any family members He did play football and cricket but was not able to commit regularly to a district team.

Lillian Smith known as ‘Mrs. L.M.’ was much respected in the district and in 1933 was the only woman from the area to be called to a Royal Commission into the Agricultural Bank.

From Singapore Monty Smith was drafted into ‘F’ Force to go to Thailand.   He died of dysentery and tropical ulcers at Tanbaya Hospital Camp, Burma on the 13th November 1943.

Sevier Joseph

JIn 1928 his mother and an older brother and his family joined Joe.oe Sevier migrated to Western Australia 1925/26 with two older brothers.  He was the youngest of 8 children born near Bristol, England.  (Four older brothers served in the British forces during WW1.)  Joe worked in the wheatbelt area of Narrogin and Korrelocking before settling at Wilgoyne near Muckinbudin in 1927.

In 1928 his mother and an older brother and his family joined Joe. They initially lived in tents on their employer’s farm.  With only a horse and cart, trips to Muckinbudin were rare. They went to the nearest rail siding Lake Brown where there were several wheat lumpers’ camps.   There was one store, one bakery, one butcher and a hall.

Joe and his brothers worked in the area clearing roads, tractor driving, fencing and general farm work.  Joe and one of his brothers, Fred took up virgin land.  They cleared a small area and Emus invaded and destroyed their first crop.

Joe was a keen soccer player and represented Wilgoyne playing in the same competition as Dudley Squire from Muckinbudin.  He rode a Harley motor bike.  His last job was at Nungarin before he enlisted.

Joe Sevier married a girl from Adelaide shortly before going overseas.

 

Squire Dudley J

In 1926 Dudley Squire aged 17 years migrated to South Australia from England. He later joined his brother Michael at Muckinbudin to gain further farming experience before purchasing his own small property. With the bad seasons and fluctuating returns Dudley had to take up casual work to keep going.

Dudley Squire was an active community member and joined the Muckinbudin Soccer team which played in the same competition as Joe Sevier, Wilgoyne.

As a farmer, Dudley was ‘manpowered’ and before enlisting had to arrange for his brother to work his property until his return.

Tragically Dudley was KIA 12th February 1942 and did not return to his farm.

Rogers Eric R

Eric Reginald Rogers, known as Reg could not fail to be nicknamed ‘Buck’ Rogers!

Born in Berkshire, England he migrated to WA in 1924 and spent his first years timber and sleeper cutting at Waroona before moving to Wubin/Buntine area changing jobs to laboring and wheat lumping at the Railway sidings. (Wheat was bagged in those days).

In 1929 Reg took up a property in the Muckinbudin area and a heart-breaking job of clearing 1126 acres of virgin bush. With an all time low wheat price his first crop was a disaster and he was forced to leave his property, seeking work to keep going. Reg was employed stump-grubbing and clearing land for the main Mukinbudin-Kununoppin Road, drain digging for the Barbalin Water Supply and some sharefarming.

In 1935 Reg married Elizabeth Rann.

Reg played soccer for the Muckinbudin team. When he enlisted he dropped his age by 5 years, listing his occupation as labourer to escape the ‘manpower’ restrictions.

Reg ‘Buck’ Rogers was the only one of the ‘Muckinbudin boys’ to return home to Western Australia.

The names of the four men are inscribed on the War Memorial at Muckinbudin.

(Information from ‘Ghosts in Khaki’ by Les Cody)