The Beginning

The first owner that built Crossfield Cottage was Thomas Rickard Bawden

Following World War I, soldiers who had previously worked on irrigation activities along the Murray River during the years leading up to the war returned to find that their previous jobs were no longer available.

The South Australian government responded as early as 1915 with the first of the acts of parliament designed to both repatriate and compensate returning servicemen, and to meet the political and economic need to ‘sponsor’ the development of intensively productive agriculture pursuits. Soldiers were informed of the availability of the scheme via the media and in the material provided in both recruitment packages and general information forwarded to men serving overseas.


Settlement schemes during and after the conclusion of World War I saw properties specialising in dairy, grapes, vegetables, grains, and grazing develop along the River in CobdoglaWaikerieBerriCadellChaffey and near Renmark.[10]

Each Australian state government realised the importance of providing a source of income for returning soldiers as well as to recognise the personal and family sacrifices made by them.

The land was available to the soldiers on affordable terms and they could also receive advances of money to make improvements to the land, which was often in poor condition. They could also use the money for equipment, plants, stock and seeds. Soldiers who had received smaller blocks of land often experienced significant hardships.


Thomas Rickard Bawden


Born 18th May, 1888 at 5:30pm.  Kadina SA


War Service:
Lance Corporal 12595

11 Field Ambulance

Australian Imperial force

Unit 11th Australian Field Ambulance.

Unit 13th Australian Field Ambulance.

First world war: 1914-1918.

Awarded Military medal

British War medal  14978

Victory medal  14714

Married:  Rachel E Bawden

Thomas & Rachel had 2 children.
Children:  Vera and Joan

Thomas & Rachel lived at this property, which is now known as
Crossfield Cottage. 85 Gaskell Road.
The house was a soldier settlement house.