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de Pledge, Thomas Frederick (1867–1954)

Thomas de Pledge, n.d.

Thomas de Pledge, n.d.

from Pastoral Review and Graziers' Record, 16 September 1954

A pioneer pastoralist of Western Australia, Mr. Thomas Frederick de Pledge, died at his Perth home, King's Road, Craigmore, on 1st August, at the age of 87. The late Mr. de Pledge, who owned Yanrey Station, in the Onslow district, was born in the cathedral city of Durham, England, in 1867. He was a son of the late Rev. Joseph de Pledge, and was educated at Aldenham, Hertfordshire. With no particular career in view, he set out for Australia at the age of 18, travelling to Fremantle in the old Australind, one of the earliest vessels to trade between Singapore and Western Australia. From Fremantle he made his way to Bunbury, where he worked for nine months on a farm in the district. He then went to the Ashburton area, and gained his initial station experience during seven years' employment with Messrs. Forrest and Burt, on Minderoo Station. From Minderoo he went to Globe Hill, a station which then covered half a million acres, owned by Messrs. McCrae and Harper. From overseer, he was promoted to manager, and two years later went to the Onslow district to manage Yanrey Station, then in the estate of the late John Stuart.

A year later, in 1898, Mr. de Pledge purchased Yanrey from the Stuart estate. In those days it comprised some 270,000 acres, but three years later he considerably enlarged the holding, by acquiring the adjoining properties of Yannangal, from Messrs. Knight and Cummings, and Yannaney, from Messrs. G. and R. Woodhouse. Finally, in 1908, he took over the scene of his early station experience, Globe Hill, and incorporated this, and other properties, in Yanrey. At the time of his recent death, Yanrey was still one of the most extensive runs in Western Australia, comprising at least 761,000 acres. Mr. de Pledge spent his lifetime in improving the property and in establishing a stud sheep flock. At one time, Yanrey wool outstripped its competitors by bringing a record price of 11½d. a pound on the London market. Apart from sheep, Mr. de Pledge also bred blood horses, two of his leading sires being The Strutter and Woorooma, which were well-known some years ago.

Mr. de Pledge identified himself with many aspects of public life in Western Australia. He was a member of the Ashburton Road Board for many years, and was associated with various sporting bodies, including the Western Australian Turf Club. In recent years, his advanced age prevented him from taking an active part in station life at Yanrey, and he made his home in Perth. He made, however, annual visits to the property, and as principal of the Yanrey Pastoral Co. Ltd. continued to the last to take a keen and direct interest in its affairs. His widow and two daughters survive him.

Original publication

  • Pastoral Review and Graziers' Record, 16 September 1954, p 1047 (view original)

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Citation details

'de Pledge, Thomas Frederick (1867–1954)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/de-pledge-thomas-frederick-301/text302, accessed 25 November 2017.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2017

Thomas de Pledge, n.d.

Thomas de Pledge, n.d.

from Pastoral Review and Graziers' Record, 16 September 1954