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Published on 12 January 2022
Council proposes to name a roadway in Red Cliffs as indicated on the attached plan, Guild Close.
It is important for emergency services to have named roadways and the opportunity to recognise a local family name is very appropriate.
The following information was compiled in 2018 and provided by Mr David Guild, grandson of William Arnott (Bill) Guild and is an accurate reflection, to the best of his knowledge.
William Arnott (Bill) Guild was a coal miner who left Scotland for Australia in 1912 as a 25 year old in search of a better life. He proceeded to work at fruit growing near Mildura and then wheat farming near Birchip.
He enlisted in the 8th Battalion A.I.F. just 17 days after Britain declared War, being the first volunteer from the Birchip district. His battalion left Melbourne for War just two months later, first travelling to Albany and then onto Egypt.
The 8th Battalion landed in the second wave at GALLIPOLI
This is Bill’s account of the landing in a letter to his father:
Our battalion landed at six on Sunday morning, amid a shower of 6in. shrapnel. One of them struck the funnel of our destroyer when we were about 100 yards from the shore, killing two and wounding four. But the worst of it was to come, when we got into the little boats they fairly pelted us with rifle fire and machine guns, wounding and killing many. We jumped for it about twenty yards from the shore, and were taken up to the chest in water. We struggled ashore as best we could. The following days were perfect hell
In early 1916 he proceeded to France.
At the first battle at Pozieres the 8th Battalion paid a terrible price with 105 killed & 266 wounded. As a result, in the space of just ten days, Bill was promoted from Lance Corporal to Sergeant. During the remainder of 1916 and 1917 he continued to fight on the Somme.
While on leave back in Scotland, Bill met and courted Jessie Dallas in Edinburgh and they were married on the 19 Dec 1917.
Bill returned to Australia with Jessie on a hospital ship in August 1919. The following provides a note of his discharge:
22/12/1919 Sergeant W Guild Discharged from A.I.F. at Melbourne.
Medically Unfit. Disability – Asthma as a result of being gassed in France.
In total. Bill was serving overseas for over five years with few soldiers having a longer active service.
Post War at Red Cliffs
After discharge, Bill moved to the Mildura and worked for the Commission on channel construction with his own team of horses and wagon.
Their first child, Harry Guild was born in Nov 1920 at Mildura. In July 1921 Bill was allocated Block 237 just 1km east of Red Cliffs. Their second child, William Dallas Guild was born on 5/2/1924 at home on the block with the assistance of Midwife Mrs. Stokeld.
Fortunately Bill Jnr captured some of his Dad’s history when he wrote a piece called “My life as I remember it”.
He wrote of his mother: “There were very few shops, no running water. In fact none of the amenities she had been used to in City life at all.”
Of his father’s health he wrote: “Dad quite often had asthma attacks, and always carried special cigarettes for such instances. Looking back on it now I think they may have been a type of marijuana”
Grimaults Cannabis Indica (They would do nothing for the asthma but he may have felt calmer due to the effect of the cannabis.)
They continued to develop and operate the block with Jessie doing more than her fair share of the work due to Bill’s ill health.
William Arnott Guild passed away at home in 1937, aged just 50.
Sunraysia Daily Saturday 16th
Bill’s death left Jessie as a widow with a block to run and Harry aged 16 and Bill aged 13 to raise. This was a situation in which many wives at Red Cliffs found themselves in as their husbands succumbed to war injuries, poor health, or premature death. They were, in many ways the forgotten story of the settlement.
Jessie continued to operate the block with the assistance of Harry, Bill and others before, during and after WW2.
Jessie died on her 60th birthday in 1957.
Bill and Jessie are buried together at Red Cliffs Pioneer Cemetery
The name complies with the naming principles for the Naming rules for places in Victoria. Submissions on this proposal will be received up to 30 days from this notice and can be sent to PO Box 105, Mildura 3502 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Should you require any further information, please contact Dianne Donaghy, Ouyen Service Centre Team Leader on (03) 5018 8600.