World War 1 Avenue of Honour (35 trees)
Booroopki, West Wimmera, Victoria, Australia

GARDNER, Pte John Ray
38th Battalion, AIF
KIA 4 October 1917, Belgium

Tree No 01, planted 28 August, 1918
Tree Planter: Mrs Geo Gardner

The World War One service of William George Valentine 'Val' GARDNER and his brother John Ray GARDNER are commemorated by two of the 35 trees planted in the Booroopki WW1 Avenue of Honour. 'Val' was wounded and returned home but 'Ray' was killed in 1917.

Tree planter for John Ray GARDNER was Mrs G GARDNER who would have been 'Val' and 'Ray' GARDNER's mother Frances ROBINSON 1862-1946, daughter of William Allitt ROBINSON and Eliza ROSE. Tree planter for 'Val' GARDNER was Miss D GARDNER who would have been 'Val' and 'Ray' GARDNER's sister Frances 'Daisy' ROBINSON 1891-1976, who married Andrew Herbert CALDOW in 1920.

West Wimmera Mail - November 23, 1917

Minimay Notes
A meeting of the Booroopki Welcome Socials Committee was held on Friday evening last, Mr L.A. BULL (vice president) being in the chair, The matter of arranging a public welcome to Pte. Val GARDNER was deferred for the present on account of the sad bereavement in the family through the death of Pte. J. Ray GARDNER. A resolution expressing the sympathy of members for Mr and Mrs GARDNER and family, was moved by Mr A SCHINCKEL, seconded by Mr L.A. BULL and carried, while members stood in silence. A copy of the resolution has been forwarded to Mr and Mrs GARDNER.

WEST WIMMERA MAIL - March 21, 1919

A meeting of the Booroopki Soldiers' Welcome Committee was held on Friday evening last, Mr L.A. BULL (vice- president) being in the chair. The principle business was to arrange for the presentation, and paying for, of the memorial addresses which are to be presented to the relatives of soldiers who enlisted from the districts of Morea and Booroopki, and made the supreme sacrifice. It was resolved, after discussion, that the president and hon. secretary, Messrs. P.J. LAVERY and A.F.CARRACHER, be deputed to present the addresses privately, as soon as they are in order. The names of the deceased heroes, in respect of whom the addresses have been prepared, are Cpl. James DELANEY, of Morea, and Privates Clarence F. PATCHING, and John Ray GARDNER, of Booroopki. A levy of 2/ each was struck on all residents, and Mrs C. WONG, Mr M.F. MORRIS, and the secretary, were appointed as canvassers. Lists are returnable on Friday, 28th inst., when a further meeting will be held.

'Val' and 'Ray' GARDNER were members of the family of:

George GARDINER c1862-1941 & Frances ROBINSON 1862-1946

George Charles Frederick GARDNER, born c1861 Heywood, Vic, son of George GARDNER & ? married in 1886 to Francies ROBINSON, born 1862 Harrow, Vic, daughter of William Allitt ROBINSON and Eliza ROSE. Their known family was:

  1. William George Valentine 'Val' GARDNER, b. 1887, Natimuk. d. 1972, married Annie Louisa FINNIGAN.
  2. Eliza Hannah 'Ciss' GARDNER, b. 1889 Goroke, married George Harry WAKEFIELD
  3. Frances 'Daisy' GARDNER, b. 1891 Goroke, married Andrew Herbert CALDOW
  4. John Ray GARDNER, b. Goroke, [Pte 2178, 38th Battalion, AIF, KIA 4 Oct 1917, Passchendael Ridge, Belgium]
  5. Percy Frederick GARDNER, b. 1898 Goroke, married Josephine ?
World War 1 Avenue of Honour (35 trees)
Booroopki, West Wimmera, Victoria, Australia

GARDNER, Pte William George Valentine (Val)
58th Battalion, AIF

Tree No 19, planted 28 August, 1918
Tree Planter: Miss D Gardner

PHOTOGRAPH (at right) - reported to be Val GARDNER, notes from Daryl Crabtree.

Written in pencil on the back of Val's photo the words "To Vera from Spike" written in pencil. The words "Mrs D J Crabtree Edenhope" written with biro, are crossed out. The Vera would be the wife of David John Crabtree. On the front of the pic is written what appears to "Ryan Studios 358 Strand". The photo came into my father's possession and he may have crossed out the previous owners name, something he had a habit of doing. There may also be doubt about the photo being Val, it could even be John Ray, although I am sure my father said Val. That's why I think it may be important to include the information with the photo. Is "Spike" John or Val?

West Wimmera Mail - 23 Nov 1917

Private Val Gardner, who arrived home on Thursday last 15th inst., looks well, considering his several wounds, but has to return to Melbourne this week, to undergo another important operation, which includes taking a piece of bone from his leg and grafting it on to a bone of his arm.

West Wimmera Mail - June 14, 1918

Welcome to Booroopki Soldier

A very well attended Welcome Home Social was on Friday evening 7th inst., tendered to Private Val GARDNER at Booroopki. It will be remembered that Private GARDNER arrived home in November last, but on the day that he arrived the very sad news was received that his younger brother, Pte. Ray GARDNER, had been killed in action, consequently the committee had to abandon the idea of a public welcome for some time. Pte. GARDNER was then called to Melbourne to undergo a serious operation, which, we are pleased to say, was successful. Some two or three months ago Private GARDNER was discharged and returned home, but as his mother was then in Melbourne undergoing medical treatment, it was decided to postpone the public reception until her return. Mrs GARDNER recently returned home very much improved in health. It was fitting that the reception, which had been so long delayed, should be so largely attended by friends and well-wishers from all parts of the surrounding districts.

Mr P.J. LAVERY occupied the chair, and extended a cordial welcome to Mr GARDNER, on behalf of the residents. He explained the reason of the delay and feelingly expressed sympathy with Mr and Mrs GARDNER and family in the loss of their brave young son and brother, Pte Ray GARDNER.

He also extended a hearty welcome to the other returned soldiers present--- Pte. Dan NEILL, L Cpl. Jack McCARTHY, and ex Pte.Wm. McDONALD. He hoped that Val would soon be fully recovered, and that he would live long amongst them. Others who added their quota of eulogy of the guest, and extended to him a hearty welcome, were Messrs. A. SCHINCKEL, J.C.McDONALD, M. MORRIS, D. CARRACHER, L.A. BULL, and J. CARRACHER jnr. The chairman then presented ex-Pte. GARDNER with a suitably inscribed gold medal on behalf of the residents of Booroopki and district.

The recipient, who was greeted with applause on rising to respond, thanked the people for their kind remarks, which he said he didn't deserve, as he had only done his duty. He also thanked them on behalf of the family for their kindly expressions of sympathy in regard to his late brother, who they were proud to think had been prepared to risk and give his life in the struggle of right against might. He also wished to refer to the good work being done by the ladies in regard to Red Cross and other comforts, he could assure them their efforts were greatly appreciated by the boys.--(Applause). The National Anthem, God Bless our Splendid Men, and They are Jolly Good Fellows were then sung, and a vote of thanks to the Chairman on the motion of Mr A. SCHINCKEL, and responded to by Mr LAVERY concluded the social. Mrs A. McINTYRE, the Misses CHILTON (2), A. LAVERY, and A. CARRACHER, and Mr R. McINTYRE kindly rendered local items. Dancing was kept up until the early morning, Mr M. LANCASTER acting as M.C. and Messrs. F. HINCH and L. BULL and others, providing good music. The catering was in the capable hands of the ladies.

West Wimmera Mail - 30 Jan 1920

On New Year’s Day, at the residence of the bride’s parents, Patyah, the marriage of Mr Valentine Gardner, late A.I.F., eldest son of Mr and Mrs G. Gardner, of ‘Fairlands’ Booroopki, to Miss Annie Finnigan, daughter of Mr and Mrs John Finnigan, was quietly solemnised by the Rev. R. McCoy, Church of England. Miss Gladys Finnigan, sister of the bride acted as bridesmaid, and Mr Percy Gardner, brother of the bridegroom, was the best man. The wedding breakfast was then partaken of, after which the happy couple left by motor car en route for Melbourne, where the honeymoon was spent. Their future home will be at Morea.

West Wimmera Mail - 20 Feb 1920

Mr Val Gardner, of Booroopki underwent a very serious operation last week in the Caulfield Military Hospital, a nerve being taken from his leg and grafted into his arm. He is now progressing favourably.

Compiled by :
Daryl Crabtree & Daryl Povey