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Personal items belonging to British youth migrant Charles Scott

Date: 1920s
Medium: Paper based material
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Robin Scott
Object Name: Archive series
Object No: ANMS1338

User Terms

    This archive series consists of items belonging to Charles Tempest Steward Scott, who migrated from England to Australia in 1924 with the Dreadnought Scheme, which recruited British boys to be trained on Australian farms. The series includes 'A Book of Common Prayer'; TSS EURIPIDES berthing card; a certificate presented to Charles Scott for agricultural training at Scheyville; photographs of Charles and his mother Ethel; invitation and envelope to the Ardlethan Bachelor's Ball; receipt for dentist account; four NSW driver's licenses, three references; and a ticket for Charles Scott's return voyage to England on SS ORSOVA.
    SignificanceThese personal items relate to the journey of Charles Tempest Steward Scott, who migrated from England to Australia with the Dreadnought Scheme in 1924. The items illustrate a significant period in Australia's migration history, when thousands of British children and youths were brought out through various church and philanthropic schemes to develop rural areas with young labour. These schemes reflected Australia's broader immigration policies in the early 20th century, namely the government's desire to bolster the population with 'good British stock' and the building of a White Australia.
    HistoryCharles Tempest Steward Scott was born on 13 July 1905 in York, England and grew up in the midst of World War I. In the aftermath of the war, there were few suitable jobs available, especially for boys, so he applied to migrate to Australia with the Dreadnought Scheme for British youth migrants. Charles selected Australia over other places as he was very fond of cricket. Unfortunately, as he recorded in his memoirs, 'On arrival and afterwards I never saw a cricket ball.'

    Charles sailed from London on the Aberdeen Line vessel TSS EURIPIDES on 4 January 1924. EURIPIDES was a 15,000 tonne ship built in 1914 by Harland and Wolff, Belfast. Launched on 29 January 1914, EURIPIDES was the Aberdeen Line's largest ship, with accommodation for 140 first, 334 second and 750 third class passengers. On 1 July 1914 EURIPIDES embarked on its maiden voyage from London to Brisbane, arriving on 24 August. Two days later it was requisitioned as a troopship, carrying the first convoy of Australian troops to the Dardanelles. EURIPIDES would carry over 38,000 troops during the World War I. In 1932 EURIPIDES was acquired by the Shaw Savill and Albion Line and renamed AKAROA. Following extensive alterations it entered the Southampton-Panama-Wellington service on 28 February 1933. AKAROA was scrapped at Antwerp, Belgium in 1954.

    Many migrants from Britain in the early 1920s would have sailed on Aberdeen Line ships to Australia. The ships were named after Greek heroes and travellers and carried both first class passengers and migrants on third class tickets. Charles Scott's passenger contract ticket, issued 11 December 1923, shows he paid 33 pounds for the third class passage on EURIPIDES. He was 18 years old at the time.

    On arrival in Sydney, Charles was shipped out to the Dreadnought Scheme's training farm Scheyville (near Windsor) with a group of 'public school fellows who like myself could not get a job with prospects.' Established in 1911, the Dreadnought Scheme, like the later Big Brother Movement, recruited British boys to be trained on Australian farms and also to populate Australia's wide open spaces with young people of white British stock. Between 1911 and 1939, 5,595 Dreadnought boys arrived in NSW. The boys were provided with six months farm training at Scheyville to adapt to Australian conditions.

    Charles completed a basic agricultural course in riding, driving, dressing sheep, single and double furrow ploughing and milking. He left Scheyville after only two months to run a farm belonging to Mr McDonald at Little Plain near Inverell. Charles writes, 'My bed was a trestle camp bed affair in a dirt floor shed with a Hessian partition that made a pretence of some privacy. My wages were one pound per week and keep. I stayed there long enough to get my train fare somewhere.'

    Charles wrote to one of the boys he had met onboard EURIPIDES, who eventually got him a job on a wheat and sheep farm near Binya, which 'was heaven after Little Plain. Beds with sheets, a bath or a shower. Clothes washed by [owner Bill Rayment's] housekeeper and adequate food and the usual wage of two pounds per week to start.'

    Charles worked various jobs in Queensland and New South Wales until receiving word that his mother was ill at home in England. On 24 May 1930, Charles returned to London on the Orient liner SS ORSOVA.
    Additional Titles

    Assigned title: Personal items belonging to Charles Tempest Steward Scott

    Web title: Personal items belonging to British youth migrant Charles Scott

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