Friday 8 December 2023

Where was he sent?

Of the enquiries that we get about Dreadnought Boys, most are seeking information about the boy's place of training, and where he was sent for his farm placement. In most cases, the place of training is found in Dreadnought records. If the boy is sent direct to employment, information about only some of the boys is available in those records. For the great majority of boys, no information is shown regarding their farm placement.

Like a Christmas present, we have just been given advice that the missing information may be available, for boys arriving in the years from 1920 to 1939.

Farm placement was arranged by the NSW Department of Labour and Industry, which had correspondence and card index records for immigrants (including Dreadnought Boys) who the Dept. placed. The card index records have been kept and are open to Public Access.

These appear to be two series held in the State Archives Collection:
Museums of History New South Wales - State Archives Collection: Department of Labour and Industry; NRS 5542, Card index to immigrants, 1920-1926 NRS-5542-1-[9/1376]
Museums of History New South Wales - State Archives Collection: Department of Labour and Industry; RNCG, 374, Unidentified card index to immigrants, 1921-1947. RNCG-374-5-[11/23095]

Where we have not been able to provide information about a boy's farm placement, inquirers are advised to contact Museums of History New South Wales to find out if they have further information, for example, in these cards.

To assist MoH staff, information such as the name under which the boy travelled to Sydney, the name of the ship he came on, and the date of his arrival, should be provided.

If you have success, let us know what you’ve found out!


  1. is name is Webb sent to Lismore

  2. Card index to immigrants 1920 - 1926

  3. Hi, John. You recently confirmed that my father Harry Brown (1910-1978) was a member of the Dreadnought Scheme. I recently received a copy of a card found in Index RNCG-374-5 [11/23095] from the Museum NSW. I am hoping you or another reader may explain the meaning of the card. It does give me an idea of where my Dad worked but I don't understand the meaning of the dates stamped on the back of this card. The last date in 1933 , 7 Benson St Richmond was my mother's address (pre marriage)! Many thanks, Bernadette Wood

    /Users/bernadettewo/Users/bernadettewood/Desktop/RNCG-374-5-11_23095 Harry Brown 01.jpegod/Desktop/RNCG-374-5-11_23095 Harry Brown 01.jpeg

  4. The way the information is shown varies with whoever was making the entry. Some cards have stamped dates, others are handwritten. It's not certain what they mean, but if the date precedes the textual information then it is probably the date that the entry was made, and if it follows then it may refer to the date of the advice which the entry is based on.