David Fletcher Jones

David Fletcher Jones, hawker

Private David Fletcher Jones, a Bendigo orchardist with entrepreneurial flair, was discharged from the AIF suffering 'shell-shock' in February 1918. Unable to cope with Melbourne’s bustle, David set his sights on establishing a travelling drapery business to service regional Victorian communities. In March 1918, he and his friend Stan Clapton sought a loan from the Department of Repatriation and, by the time of the Armistice, the friends were on the road. The rural existence helped David readjust to civilian life and hawking fuelled his ambition. The partnership soon dissolved but within a few years David had established Victoria’s most famous menswear outlet.

David Fletcher Jones (1895–1977) (left) with his friend Stan and their hawker's wagon, 1918.
Jones Family Collection

paper document

This document records that, in July 1918, the Department of Repatriation agreed to loan £143 to each returned serviceman. David and Stan bought horses, a wagon and stock to establish their business.
NAA: B73, R14508, p. 321