Harry Stokes

May 10th 1922

Tenindewa Notes (From our Correspondent)

No; this correspondent of yours did not die, as you surmised, but has been lying dormant. No great news of vital importance since I last wrote, with the exception that our pioneer, though young, farmer, Mr. W. H. Stokes, not being able to stand the strain of single life a minute longer, went and got married, so he did. It beats my comprehension how it actually happens, that when a young lady or man, well known in the district, gets married, they always hold the festival away from the friends who will surround them all their lives after. Is it a slight on them, or a compliment to them.
It wont be a case of the early bird getting the fat worm, or the early sower getting the far grain, if the rain keeps off much longer, for those hard working chaps who have made every post a wining one to get an early crop are looking very gloomy, when seeing their seed shooting with no moisture to further its progress.
We have heard speakers of both sides for the election campaign, and judging by the reception given our member, the Hon. Jas Hickey, he must win one handed kneeling, for he did get an enthusiastic reception, and when Jim Bedford, in moving a vote of confidence, said, referring to the member: “He needs no recommendations or letters of sympathy from Lloyd George, Trotsky, Lenin, de Valera, Jimmy Michell, or that other notability, Billy Hughes, for actions speak louder than words,” he struck the right cord, for to gain political honours by the publication of a private letter is more than playing the two spades, absolutely the lowest card in the pack. A pity the holder of such letters didn’t go home with his pal, Sir James Mitchell. He may have got a job with all his references there, but not here. We want merit and ability and we have it in James Hickey.
Some uncouth, sneaking individual has been going around our district pilfering. A young man named George Cumming had a cheque stolen from the farmer’s house where he was employed, and I, myself, had my hen roost tickled up to the tune of 20 white Leghorns. May the eggs, when he eats them be charged with explosives.

Greenough Sun Thursday 30th July 1953

Vale! William Henry Stokes

One of the best-known farmers of the Mullewa District and a farmer of the Tenindewa area in William Henry Stokes passed away suddenly at the Mullewa District Hospital on Sunday last at 5.35 p.m.

Born at the Greenough Flats in 1883, the deceased gentleman was a son of pioneers of that area; his father bore the same Christian names. Some 47 years ago he took up farming at Tenindewa [1906] and over the years by hard work he actively extended his farming pursuits until at the time of his death he and his three sons (William Henry and Don) owned some 12,000 acres (4800 hectares)
Apart from his three sons mentioned above, the late gentleman is survived by 3 daughters in Mrs. V. F. Franklin, Mrs. P. Byron and Miss Audrey Stokes, all of Tenindewa. He was predeceased by his wife by 20 years.
Mr. Stokes was an active sportsman in his earlier days, representing Tenindewa at both cricket (he was a fast bowler of no mean prowess) and football. He was a foot runner of no mean ability, and also took an active interest the horse racing events of Tenindewa’s earlier years.
Late gentleman had been a member of the Mullewa Road Board some years ago and throughout his life continued to take an interest in local government affairs. He was also a member of the Mullewa Agricultural Society and the local branch of the Farmers Union.
Although Mr. Stokes had been in hospital for 12 days, he was bright and cheery late Sunday afternoon and, in fact, one of his greatest friends (their association dated back to childhood) in Mr. George Bone was chatting with him until 4.45 pm, and his sudden death came as big shock to many friends.
(Further details will appear next issue –Ed.)

William Henry Stokes married Margaret Jane Steele (1902 -1933)
They had 6 Children
Margaret (Avis) (b;1922) who Married Mr. Victor Franklin
William (b;1924) Bill never married,
Joyce (b;1925) who married Mr. Paul Byron
Audrey (b; 1928) who married Harry Hodson
John (Henry) (b;1929) who married Gweneth Hodell
Donald (b;1931) who married Mary Richards

December 15th 1915

To The Editor (Tenindewa and Enlistment)
[No doubt this is a response to the August 20th, November 22nd and December 14th, Tenindewa Notes immediately preceding]
The letter is signed W.H.S and would be very likely be Mr. Harry Stokes. A long residing and respected member of the Tenindewa Area.

Sir,–Being a resident of Tenindewa I wish to take exception to the misleading comments appearing in your paper from Tenindewa correspondents, who seem unusually fond of criticizing those settlers, who in their opinion should be at the front. I think your correspondents realize the urgent need for men in the firing line, and I would like to know if they have ever thought of enlisting themselves, setting an example and thereby doing more good, than columns of insults, which if taken seriously would have the effect of checking rather than encouraging recruiting.
Some readers of your paper are no doubt under the impression that this centre is over-run with wasters and slackers, while the latest edition of this clap-trap of un unclaimed letter, insinuating that the place is seething with pro- German-ism. I am wondering if he displayed judgment in not signing his name, or weather he has one. in any case when one takes into consideration that personal and not patriotic motives prompted him to try and blackmail a trusted and respected resident. I dont think anyone is anxious to make his acquaintance. I might state i have resided here a number of years, and i claim to know the views, expressed and otherwise, of every settler, and I say unreservedly there is not a German sympathizer in the place.
No one here wants reminding that the British cause is just, but I for one deplore the fact is championed by such a miserable a specimen of humanity as your correspondent in question. Notice the hypocrite’s bid for sympathy by mentioning his “dear ones in the trenches”. He pretends but I doubt if he refers to his relations; if he does let’s hope they possess some of those good qualities that make the world admire a Britisher, qualities your correspondent sadly lacks. Returning to your ordinary correspondent, does he think good soldiers are composed of that material that would be intimidated to enlist for fear of public criticism? If so, he shows his ignorance by estimating other people’s courage by his own weakness. And again, if he realizes there exists a demand for more good men, then it is his duty to enlist, and that at once. He wouldn’t be missed from here and would be no loss to Australia if he never returned. –
Yours etc.
W.H.S (Tenindewa 9th 1915)


  1. Harry was a legand, first met him when i came to Tenindewa in 1947
    a very humerous man, looking forward to his storey.
    Albert Cream

    1. Author

      Thanks Albert

      All information will be gratefully received that might help to make that story

Leave a Comment