Wensleydale State School Honor Roll
Location: Wurdale Memorial Hall, Wurdale Road, South Winchelsea
The honor roll was established under some controversy. Early in 1919 a resident Robert McConachy presented the school with an honour board and wrote to the Wensleydale State School Committee suggesting that as only one of the district soldiers died in the war a photo of Private George Clark should be hung in the school. Six months later the reply informed Robert McConachy “Re portraits of soldiers, the following motion was carried: ‘That, seeing that the career of a soldier is a murderous one, and against the teaching of Christ, we the School Committee of Wensleydale, strongly object to photos of soldiers being placed in the school, as it tends to set a wrong example for children to follow.’ – I am, yours truly – (Signed) Chas. Trigg, Correspondent.” The two members of the seven man committee that did not vote for the motion immediately wrote to the Minister for Education and resigned stating they cannot “sit on a committee which passed a resolution which aims at the non-recognition of the great sacrifice given and of the splendid achievements of our soldiers in the great war – (Signed) F. Hewett, J.Bell” Geelong Advertiser, 17 June, 1919
Mr. R. E. Heaton, a returned soldier and Head Teacher at the school was unwell at the motion was passed. Later another four committee members resigned.
Controversy passed with a new committee established who organised this honour board with the photos of the past pupils, with Pte. George Clark in the center. This honour board was unveiled 22 October, 1920. Addresses were given by Mr. Jas. McDonald, M.L.A., Crs. A. McLennan, A. McDonald and W. Hopkins, Mr. L Harris, Rev. Fowler and an old school teacher, Mr. T. Wilkinson who taught at Wensleydale 30 years before. At the invitation of the School Committee, about 20 members of the Winchelsea Branch R.S.A. attended in uniform. It was reported that the head teacher (Mr. Heaton), Mr. R. McConachy and his fellow members of the school committee, have every reason to be proud of the honour board. Sergeant L. Strickland responded on behalf of district soldiers.
Wensleydale SS copy of the Victorian Education Department War Service 1914-18
Record of teaching and non teaching staff involved in the Great War 1914-18. Includes biographies and photos of those who served – those who were killed and those who returned.