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

Pte J W S 'Willie' McDONALD, 38th Battalion, AIFPte J W S 'Willie' McDONALD, 38th Battalion, AIF

McDONALD, Joseph William Stephen 'Willie'
Pte 2203, 38th Battalion, AIF

Tree No 26, planted 28 August, 1918
Tree Planter: Mr F SCHUMANN

Photograph (at right) - Notes from Daryl Crabtree.

On the back of Willie McDonald's photo it says "To Irene with best love from Willie McDonald". The photo appears to have been taken in Bendigo. It has the studio's name, which I can't read, and the words "Pall Mall Bendigo"

West Wimmera Mail - Friday, January 25th, 1918

WELCOME HOME TO A SOLDIER, PTE. J. W. S. McDONALD On Thursday evening last, 17th inst; about 100 friends of Pte. J.W.S. McDONALD, 38th Battalion, assembled at Booroopki to give that young hero a hearty welcome home, he having been invalided home with a disabled arm. After dancing had been indulged in for a time and a few vocal items had been rendered, the National Anthem was sung and a sumptuous spread provided by the ladies was partaken of, after which Mr P.J. LAVERY, chairman of the Booroopki Welcome Socials Committee, explained the object of the gathering. He had been pleased in extending a very hearty welcome to Pte. McDONALD and he knew that was the feeling of all. When they met to say goodbye to Pte. McDONALD about 18 months ago, he (the chairman) predicted that he would come back to them a General, but owing to his being wounded, he did not get the opportunity. However he had received his wounds honorably while fighting for the good cause, and they all admired him for it. Personally, he had known Pte. McDONALD for a long time, and always considered him a very fine young fellow, and a boy whom his parents should feel very proud of, as he knew they did, and he could quite understand their joy on his return. He (Chairman) trusted that their guest would soon be quite recovered; but if he were not able to again take his one-time place in life, he hoped that the repatriation scheme or some other scheme would be utilised in giving Pte. McDONALD and our other brave disabled warriors all the assistance they required. (applause) Other speakers who spoke eulogistically of Pte. McDONALD, and expressed their pleasure in having the opportunity of welcoming him back to Booroopki, were Messrs, F.A. CRABTREE, L.A. BULL, D.J. CRABTREE, P. McCARTHY, D.J. CRABTREE Jnr. and D. CARRACHER.

The Chairman then presented to Pte. McDONALD a handsome gold medal as a mark of esteem in which he was held by the people of Booroopki and district. The medal bore the inscription "Presented to Pte. J. W. S. McDonald 38th. Batt. on his return (wounded) from the war, by Booroopki friends." Private McDONALD suitably responded thanking his friends for their kindness. Very nice things had been said about him by the speakers, but he considered that he had only done his duty to King and country by enlisting. Mr CRABTREE Jnr. had referred to the days when they went to the Morea school together, which reminded him of the number of his school fellows who had enlisted for which he admired them. It was a very sad day for him that he heard of the death of his old pal, Private Ray GARDNER. They left Australia on the same boat, and were in France together until he got wounded, and it was while he was in England that he heard the sad news. He joined with the speakers and all friends in sympathising with Mr and Mrs GARDNER and family. (applause)

Mr H. McDONALD also briefly thanked the people for their kindness to his son, and the speakers for their kindness to his son, and the speakers for their kindly references to Mrs McDONALD, himself, and family. There was no one more pleased then they were to see him back again. "He's A Jolly Good Fellow," and "God Save Our Splendid Men," concluded the social part of the evening.

Dancing was resumed, and the proceedings came to a close at daybreak with the singing of Auld Lang Syne, Mr M. LANCASTER acted as M.C. for the dance, while good music was provided by Messrs. F. HINCH, D BULL, and others. (Jan 1918)

The tree in honour of Joseph William Stephen 'Willie' McDONALD was planted by Mr F. SCHUMANN.

Willie McDONALD appears to be a member of the following family group:

Hector McDONALD 1864-1949 & Catherine Shaw STEPHENS 1869-1936

Hector McDONALD, born c1864 Edenhope, Vic, son of Hector McDONALD and jane ROSS was married in 1895 to Catherine Shaw STEPHENS, born c1869, Naracoorte, SA, daughter of Joseph William STEPHENS and Marion / Sarah SHAW. Hector and Catherine McDONALD are buried in the Apsley cemetery.

The family of Hector McDONALD and Catherine STEPHENS appears to be:

  1. Jessie Mary McDONALD, b. 1896 Apsley, Vic, married Francis Albert HINCH
  2. Joseph William Stephen 'Willie' McDONALD, b. 1897 Apsley, Vic, d. 1961 Ballarat, Vic [Pte 2203, 38th Battalion, AIF, (wounded)]
  3. Jane McDONALD, b. 1899 Goroke, Vic
  4. Sarah Catherine McDONALD, b. 1901 Goroke, Vic
  5. Irene Ann McDONALD, b. 1903 Goroke, Vic
  6. Donald Hector McDONALD, b. 1904 Goroke, Vic
  7. Margaret Effie Christina McDONALD, b. 1906 Goroke, Vic
  8. Muriel Ella McDONALD, b. 1908, Goroke, Vic
  9. Sheila Ross McDONALD, b. 1910, Goroke, Vic

Compiled by :
Daryl Crabtree & Daryl Povey