Most Wantabadgery soldier settlers persevered with assistance from wives, neighbours and later, their children.
A spirit of cooperation prevailed and with much hard work, most prospered and permanent homes were built. Electricity arrived in the 1950’s but piped water was much later.
As children of settlers reached school age, some attended Wantabadgery school until high school.
After some time, a school bus run from Junee was extended towards Wantabadgery but the condition of the bus and the road both left much to be desired.
New families contributed much to the local district in terms of business support, sport and voluntary organisations such as the CWA and Legacy in particular.
Other parts of Junee Shire (then Illabo Shire) were taken up for soldier settlement after both World Wars such as Dirnaseer, Erin Vale, Old Junee, Rockview, Eulomo and Merribindinyah but while the idea was good, some blocks were too small.
Farm life initially was hard as on many of the properties there were no houses and few other improvements. Money was not available for luxuries and in most cases, visits to town were infrequent.
Soldier settler blocks were applied to men of the three services.
After being awarded a block in a ballot, a number of requirements had to be met, including fencing, vermin control and residing on the property.
The land was not a gift but was designed to assist the occupant to settle back into civilian life with a job and a hope for the future.
In addition, it returned people to rural areas while breaking down some of the very large properties.
For many of the soldier settlers, life was initially harsh but not as tough as the settlers of the 1800’s.
Remoteness had gone and motorised transport was available to most, and electricity and telephone services were extended through each area.
Seventy years on from the World War II programme, some families of the original soldier settlers remain on the blocks, sometimes having acquired adjacent land.
The contribution of the soldier settlers and their families to the development of the Junee district should be remembered.