"Struan" Pastoral Run fronting the Wannon River was originally occupied in 1841 by brothers William ROBERTSON 1811-1864 and John ROBERTSON 1808-1880, from Alvie Parish, Badenoch, Inverness-shire, Scotland. John and William moved to South Australia with John remaining at Mosquito Plains where he built "Struan House" and William returning to "Wando Vale" station, near Casterton. Another brother Duncan ROBERTSON 1799-1882 settled at "Gringegalgona", north-east of Coleraine. An older brother Angus ROBERTSON 1795-1879 took over the running of "Struan" in 1852 when he arrived from Scotland with his wife and six children. Angus was married to Janet MacPHERSON and had 11 children born in Scotland and at "Struan" on the Wannon.

Paschendale, formerly "Struan" Estate, about 10 km north-east of Merino, was purchased from Mr. HUXLEY in 1919 and divided into 39 soldier settlement blocks. The estate covered an area of 1613 acres and was about 4 miles from Merino in the parishes of Merino and Tahara. The settlers soon built a Community Hall, tennis courts, church (previously the old Henty Anglican Church) and in 1923, State School No. 4107, and residence was built near the hall. The school was closed in 1949 and children then travelled by school bus to Merino Consolidated School.

"Struan" Estate Soldier Settlement Blocks from 1919.
"The Casterton News" of 21 August 1919 carried a report on the allocation of blocks on "Struan" Estate to returned soldiers. There were 129 applicants for the 39 blocks with allotment 34 the most popular with 24 applicants listing it as their first choice. The next most popular was allotment 36 with 15 first choice applicants. Some blocks were not listed by any applicants as first choice, but all blocks were listed as alternative choices by applicants.
NOTES - the numbers of applicants listed next to each block in the table below refers to first choice applicants only, also there were some errors with initials and spellings of surnames recorded in the newspaper report.

"The Casterton News" also noted that...

"The success attending the settlement of this estate should afford the Closer Settlement Board tangible evidence of the possibilities for soldier settlement in this district. Many of the applicants proposed to present a requisition to the Board asking that Hilgay and Nangeela estates be aquired for settlement, the opinion being freely expressed that they were suitable properties that could be successfully settled."


Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th October 2014

Download : Reunion Information & Response Sheet

Looking for any additional information that will identify or clarify the details of a number of the following Soldier Settlers and their movements away from the area.

Daryl Povey
Block Size Settler Identification & Additional Information
(Number of 1st choice applicants for each block listed)
LOT 01 100 ac P. J. HAYES One applicant - P. J. Hayes, Merino. This was Pierce "Percy" John HAYES 1889-1958, b. Merino, son of Pierce HAYES and Ellen BREEN, m. Ellen May BOYD, buried in the Merino Cemetery. Served as Pte 6274, 6th Battalion, 1st AIF.
  • Casterton Town Hall Honour Roll
  • Merino War Memorial
  • LOT 02 99 ac F. MILLER Three applicants - F. Miller, Merino. This was Frederick MILLER M.M. 1881-1949, b. Merino, Victoria, son of William Robert MILLER and Elizabeth Alice MAYER, m. Margaret ARDEN, buried in the Merino Cemetery. Served as Sgt 2404, 23rd Battalion, 1st AIF, awarded the Military Medal.
  • Merino War Memorial
  • LOT 03 126 ac W. A. LAMBERT Three applicants - W. A. Lambert, Portland. This was William Alexander LAMBERT [M.I.D.] 1888-1942, b. Melbourne, Victoria, son of William Alexander Lambert and Laura RODWELL, m. Ruth Lilian ROGERS, buried in the Coleraine Cemetery. Served as Cpl 787, 1st Division Ammuntion Train, 1st AIF, Mentioned in Dispatches.
    LOT 04 103 ac F. DENNEY Two applicants - B.[sic] Denney, Coleraine. This was Fenton Rockwell DENNEY [M.M.] 1889-1991, b. Ulverston, Tasmania, son of Frederick Samuel DENNEY & Mercy FRIEND, m. Ivy Myra SKINNER, buried in the Coleraine Cemetery. Served as Cpl 257, 26th Battalion, 1st AIF, awarded the Military Medal in France.
    LOT 05 101 ac G. HUME Two applicants - G. Hume, Benalla. This was George Lansley HUME 1893-1970, b. Wangaratta, Victoria, son of John HUME and Emma LANSLEY, m. Florence Elizabeth COX. Served in France as Spr 2489A, 2nd Field Company Engineers, 1st AIF.
    LOT 06 90 ac D. D. WOODSTOCK Three applicants - T.[sic] D. Woodstock, Merino. This was Donnell Davis WOODSTOCK 1891-1952, b. Gymbowen, Victoria, son of John Wellington WOODSTOCK and Eliza DAVIS, m. Henrietta Elizabeth VINEN. Served as Pte 3253, 1st & 4th Battalions, 1st AIF after enlisting in the AIF at Cootamundra, NSW in 1915. Served in France, reptariated to England with pneumonia and RTA in 1918.
  • Casterton Town Hall Honour Roll
  • Merino War Memorial
  • LOT 07 96 ac J. PRESTON Three applicants - J. Preston, Elmore. This was John PRESTON 1884-1940, b. Elmhurst, Victoria, son of Michael PRESTON and Mary Ann UNDERWOOD, m1. Cathelia May BRYCE 1898-1925, m2. Annetta KEAM 1897-1977. Served as Sgt 2784, 21st Battalion, 1st AIF, WIA France, 1916, invalided to Australia 23 May 1917. John PRESTON's first wife died in 1925 and he died at Merino in 1940.
    LOT 08 91 ac G. W. WISE Three applicants - G. W. Wise, Maryborough. This was George William WISE 1894-1965, b. Majorca, Victoria, son of George William WISE and Catherine Ann BAKER, m. Lilian Pearl DINGLE, d. Geelong, Victoria. Served as Bdr 1433, 4th Field Artillery Brigade, 1st AIF.
    LOT 09 80 ac R. M. WILSON One applicant - M.[sic] Wilson, Box Hill. This was Robert McCombe WILSON 1884-1966, b. Melbourne, Victoria, son of William Gray WILSON and Margaret McALPINE, m. Annie May GRAHAM, d. Melbourne. Served as Pte 3985, 6th & 59th Battalions, 1st AIF. First secretary of the Paschendale Progress Association.
    LOT 10 80 ac H. J.[sic] WOODRUFF Three applicants - H. J.[sic] Woodruffe, Moonee Ponds. This was Harold Gravener WOODRUFF 1893-1973, b. Lakes Entrance, Victoria, son of Walter WOODRUFF and Annie WITHERS, m. 1924 to Matilda Annie "Tillie" WHITE, d. Geelong, Victoria. Served as L/Cpl 1956, Australian Service Corps, 1st AIF.
    LOT 11 107 ac E. MANLEY


    No applicants - E. Manley, Moe. This was Eric MANLEY b. 1888, Tasmania, son of Robert MANLEY and Caroline COOPER. Served as Driver 26708, 6th Field Artillery Brigade, 1st AIF after enlisting in 1916 from Coalville, Gippsland, Victoria. Served in France and returned to Australia in 1919. Eric MANLEY died in Melbourne in 1965.

    This block was taken over in about 1927 by Albert Charles WILLIS 1889-1968, b. Ballarat, Victoria, son of Henry "Harry" WILLIS and Phoebe MERRIN, m. Hazel Deane VAN, buried in the Hamilton Cemetery. Served in France as Gnr 10535, 3rd Field Artillery Brigde, 1st AIF. Albert WILLIS was a step brother of Arthur "Roy" WILLIS who worked on George POVEY's block prior to WW2. Roy had served with George POVEY in the 46th Battalion in France. Roy was killed in 1942 in the Geelong area while serving as a member of the Garrison Battalion at Queenscliff and his murder remains unsolved.

    LOT 12 104 ac S. W. J. HAYES


    One applicant - S. W. J. Hayes, Dandenong. This was Stanley William James HAYES b. 1892, Dublin, Ireland, parents unknown. He was working as a labourer of Dandenong, Victoria when he enlisted in the AIF in 1916 and embarked as a reinforcement for the 46th Battalion, AIF but was hospitalised in England, repatriated back to Australia and discharged in Jul 1917. It appears that he may have later moved to Queensland.

    This block was later taken over by Percy Frederick GARTON 1896-1968, b. Cavendish, Victoria, son of George Scott GARTON and Sophia THOMSON, m. Margaret Ethyl HUME, buried in the Merino Cemetery. Served as Pte 1929, 7th Field Ambulance, 1st AIF.

    LOT 13 109 ac G. ROBBIE Two applicants - G. Robbie, Apsley. This was George ROBBIE 1877-1959, b. 1877, Edenhope, Victoria, son of James ROBBIE and Margaret MATHESON, m. Mary Ellen Louise TAYLOR, d. Portland, Victoria. Served as Pte 724, 41st Battalion, 1st AIF after enlisting in 1915 at Rockhampton, Queensland. Served in France where he was twice wounded in action and invalided to England before returning to Australia in 1919.
    LOT 14 94 ac R. H. DAVIS


    Two applicants - R. H. Davis, Serpentine. Appears to be Reuben Henry DAVIS, b. 1897, Wedderburn, son of Edward Christopher Reeves DAVIS and Barbara Charlotte RAWILLER. He enlisted in the AIF and embarked from Sydney in 1918 with the 17th General Service Reinforcements but the troopship was recalled in December 1918.

    This block was later taken over by Leslie Emanuel Jackson MILLARD 1900-1957, b. Merino, Victoria, son of Emanuel Jackson MILLARD and Janet STANFORD, m. Annie May WATT, buried in the Merino Cemetery.

    LOT 15 90 ac C. J. BURNIP


    One applicant - C. J. Burnip, Sandford. This was Charles James BURNIP 1875-1935, b. Cobden, Victoria, son of Charles BURNIP and Julia Sophia TYERS, d. Casterton, Victoria. Served in France as Pte 404, 39th Battalion, 1st AIF. Died from accidental drowning in 1935 near Casterton.
  • Casterton Town Hall Honour Roll
  • Sandford War Memorial
  • This Block was later taken over by Charles Stanley "Bill" HISCOCK, son of Henry HISCOCK & Martha BRINDLEY.

    LOT 16 86 ac E. W. WRIGHT No applicants - E. W. Wright, Coleraine. Edward William WRIGHT 1894-1971, b. Panmure, near Warrnambool, Victoria, son of William WRIGHT and Maria O'FLYNN, m. Mary Maud CRONIN, d. Ballarat, Victoria. Served as Pte 2030, 58th Battalion & 5th Machine Gun Battalion, 1st AIF. Wounded in France, some children attended Paschendale School and the family later moved to Ballarat, Vic.
    LOT 17 85 ac J. O'BRIEN Four applicants - J. O'Brien, Merino. This was Joseph O'BRIEN 1869-1938, b. Branxholme, Victoria, son of Joseph Richard O'BRIEN and Christine McPHERSON, m. Isabella "Bella" HART, d. Hamilton, Victoria. Served as Pte 927, 24th Battalion, 1st AIF at Gallipoli and France.
  • Merino War Memorial
  • LOT 18 86 ac E. FITZGIBBON

    R. EVANS
    One applicant - C.[sic E] Fitzgibbon, Merino. This was Edward FITZGIBBON 1881-?, b. Merino, Victoria, son of Edward FITZGIBBON and Christina Joanna McLACHLAN. He was living in the South Island of New Zealand in 1923 when he applied for his Australian War service medals. Served as Tpr 412A, 9th and 4th Light Horse Regiments, 1st AIF at Gallipoli and the Middle East.
  • Merino War Memorial
  • Reginald Edmund EVANS, b. 1895, London, England, son of E. W. EVANS and ___. Arrived in Australia in 1913 as a 17 year old and enlisted in the AIF as a labourer at Merino, on 16 Jul 1915. He served in France as Pte 1104, 29th Battalion & 32nd Battalion, AIF, discharged in England 24-03-1919. He emigrated again to Australia late in 1919 and was living at Paschendale in 1923 when he wrote a letter to the AIF enquiring about his medals. Was he a Paschendale Soldier Settler after the original allocation of blocks or did he just work at Paschendale? About 1923 he took over this block from Edward FITZGIBBON, who went to NZ.

  • Merino War Memorial
  • Paschendale Soldier Settler
  • LOT 19 82 ac F. L. RUGGLES Two applicants - F. L. Ruggles, Camperdown. This appears to be Francis Laws RUGGLES c.1892-1986, b. Elstree, Hertfordshire, England, son of Harry RUGGLES and Florence Elizabeth BENNETT, m. 1920, Victoria to Clare Ann Hennings HENRI c.1893-1974. Enlisted from Camperdown, Victoria in 1915 and served as Pte 1658, 14th Battalion, 1st AIF at Gallipoli and in France. Lived at Paschendale from 1919 to 1928. Clare died in 1974 and Frank died in 1986 and both are buried in the Cheltenham Cemetery in Melbourne.
    LOT 20 80 ac A. ELLWOOD Two applicants - A. Ellwood, Wunghnu (near Numurkah). This was Alfred Hancock ELLWOOD 1892-1956, b. near Numurkah, Victoria, son of John ELLWOOD and Catherine PATIENCE, m. Alma Vera Florence HOBBS. buried in the Coleraine Cemetery. Served as Pte 3724, 2nd Pioneer Battalion, 1st AIF.
    LOT 21 83 ac S. CAMPBELL No applicants - S. Campbell, Merino. This was Stewart CAMPBELL 1891-1930, b. Ellersie, near Terang, Victoria, son of Donald CAMPBELL and Margaret STEWART. Served at Gallipoli and in France as Pte 1526, 21st Battalion, 1st AIF. Captured at Mouquet Farm on the Somme in 1916, held as prisoner of war in Germany, repatriated to England in 1918.
  • Casterton Town Hall Honour Roll
  • Merino War Memorial
  • LOT 22 84 ac C. SEALEY One applicant - C. Sealey, Casterton. This was Charles Harold SEALEY 1891-1949, b. Casterton, Victoria, son of Alfred George SEALEY and Mary Ann COX, m. Catherine Florence McCANN 1901-1920 and Margaret Maria CLAYTON 1900-1963, buried in the Casterton Cemetery. Served as Pte 6341, 8th Battalion, 1st AIF.
  • Casterton Town Hall Honour Roll
  • Sandford School S.S. 1654 Honour Roll
  • Sandford War Memorial
  • LOT 23 87 ac A. FLOWERS One applicant - A. Flowers, Merino. This was Arthur FLOWERS 1893-1947, b. Coleraine, Victoria, son of Neil Walter FLOWERS and Hannah Maria "Bessie" GUTHRIDGE, d. 1947, Minyip, Victoria and buried in the Merino Cemetery. Served as Pte 2360, 60th & 58th Battalion, and Dvr with the 14th Field Artillery Brigade, 1st AIF.
  • Merino War Memorial
  • LOT 24 85 ac J. KEATING [sic] No applicants - J. Keating [sic], Woolsthorpe. This was John Reid KEATINGS c.1885-1948, b. Co Armagh, Ireland, son of Samuel KEATINGS and Mary Jane HANNAH, m. 1924 to Esme Clarice BATES 1902-1937, b. Merino to William James BATES & Charlotte Elizabeth HUMPHRIES. John served as Pte 1771, 14th Battalion, 1st AIF after enlisting at Hamilton, Victoria, wounded at Gallipoli, hospital in Egypt, repatriated to Australia in Sep 1915 and discharged in 1916. John married Esme Clarice BATES and they are both buried in the Merino Cemetery. Three children also buried at Merino.
    LOT 25 136 ac W. H. GRAY Eight applicants - W. H. Gray, Seddon. This was William Henry "Bill" GRAY, b. 1891, Albury, NSW, son of Tom GRAY and Mary BRENNAN, m. 1919 to Ellen BRENNAN, b. 11893, Sydney, NSW. They had a son Terence William GREY born at Merino in 1920 and a daughter Aileen who attended school at Paschendale in 1928. William Henry GRAY may have been in the Navy in WW1 as he was listed as a Petty Officer in 1919. After 1928 William & Ellen GRAY ..................?
    LOT 26 103 ac P. C. McHUTCHISON Three applicants - P. C. McHUTCHISON, Ballarat. This was Percival Charles McHUTCHISON 1888-1970, b. Broomfield, near Creswick, Victoria, son of Robert McHUTCHISON and Mary EVANS, m. Caroline Daisy DART, from South Australia and d. 1970 Dandenong, Victoria. Served as L/Cpl 428, 8th Light Horse Regiment, 1st AIF at Gallipoli and in the Middle East.
    LOT 27 91 ac A. E. BARTON No applicants - A. E. Barton, Tahara, near Merino. This was Algenon Ewart Getting BARTON 1898-1967, b. Nirranda, Victoria, son of William BARTON and Frieda Agnes Janet BURNIE, m. Flora May RHOOK, d. Warrnambool, Victoria. Served as Pte 701, 10th Machine Gun Company & 6th Battalion, 1st AIF.
    LOT 28 90 ac A. GRUMONT


    Two applicants - A. Grumont, Essendon. This was Arthur Laughlan GRUMONT 1895-1948, b. Macedon, Victoria, son of Henry GRUMONT and Mary McINTOSH, m. Irene Isabella SMITH. Served as Pte 994 & Lt. 49th Battalion, 1st AIF.

    This block was later taken over by Arthur DOUEAL 1896-1985, b. Coleraine, Victoria, son of John Leahy DOUEAL and Mary SEARLE, m. Flora Hester McGREGOR. Served as Sgt 406, 9th Light Horse Regiment, 1st AIF.

    LOT 29 135 ac W. M. DAVIS

    F. BROWN

    J. EGAN

    One applicant - W. M. Davis, "The Gums" Casterton. This was William Murray DAVIS of "The Gums", Carapook, near Casterton, b. 1896, Casterton, Victoria, son of William Daley DAVIS and Ellen Barclay MURRAY. He served as Dvr 10833, 1st Division Ammunition Train, enlisted in 1916 and RTA in 1919. He married Enid Christina PAINE from Ballarat in 1923 and died at Casterton in 1946.

    This block appears to have been taken over by Francis George BROWN 1892-1964, b. Brunswick, Melbourne, son of John BROWN and Mary Ann DEWS, m. Annie Nora SMITH, d. Melbourne. Served as Pte 681, 9th Light Horse Regiment, 1st AIF.

    This block was later taken over about 1927 by John Thomas EGAN 1877-1963, b. Macarthur, Victoria, son of John EGAN and Maria KELLY, m. Mabel Susannah ANSON.

    LOT 30 179 ac J. RAINE


    One applicant - J. Raine, Sebastopol. This was Jonathan RAINE 1889-1962, b. Ballarat, Victoria, son of John William RAINE and Jessie CAMPBELL who married Cissie Sarah DUNSTAN in 1927. Served as Dvr 1454, 2nd Field Artillery Brigade Ammunition Column, 1st AIF.

    This block was later taken over by Charles Alexander McMILLAN 1876-1968, b. Merino, Victoria, son of John McMILLAN & Margaret "Peggy" McDONALD, m. Jane Frances Maria ANNETT, buried in the Hamilton Cemetery.

    LOT 31 206 ac P. W. ICKE One applicant - P. W. Icke, Ballarat. This was Percival "Percy" William ICKE 1884-1951, b. Costerfield, Victoria, son of Arthur John ICKE and Mary Ann FIELD, m. Charlotte May HOLLOWAY and had a family of 11. A daughter Dorothy died aged 16y, at Casterton 1941. They both died in Ballarat and are buried in the Ballarat New Cemetery. Served as Dvr 2254, 18th Company, Australian Service Corps & 5th Division Ammunition Train, 1st AIF.
    LOT 32 148 ac J. HURLEY Two applicants - J. Hurley, Casterton. This was James Patrick HURLEY 1896-1960, b. Colac, Victoria, son of James Thomas HURLEY and Ellen Mary Josephine COSTELLO, m. Bertha Emily DIWELL, d. Stawell, Victoria. Served as Pte 61871, 22nd Battalion, 1st AIF.
    LOT 33 179 ac H. MacGIBBON Three applicants - H. McGibbon, Campberwell. This was Henry "Harry" Bowman MacGIBBON 1892-1978, b. Melbourne, Victoria, son of Walter MacGIBBON and Elizabeth Corsar STURROCK, m. Olive Daisy NICHOLLS, buried in the Merino Cemetery. Served as Pte 1057, 9th Light Horse Regiment, 1st AIF.
    LOT 34 159 ac R. McDONALD

    S. BULL

    Seven applicants - R. McDonald, Sebastopol. This was Ronald McDONALD, b. 1865, Hamilton, Victoria, son of John McDONALD and Euphemia DRUMMOND, m. 1895, Bridget Agatha KELLY, b. 1873, Casterton, Victoria, dau of James KELLY and Mary MANGAN. Ronald & Bridget McDONALD had a family of 6 and they occupied the old "Struan" Homestead block and operated the telephone exchange until they left the area in 1928. Served in the Middle East as Sgt 118, 1st Australian Remount Unit, 1st AIF. Ronald McDONALD died in Melbourne in 1936 and Bridget also died in Melbourne in 1959.

    This block was later taken over by Sidney Arthur BULL 1899-1978, from Goroke who married Ida Victoria PLUMBE 1897-1984, the first teacher at Paschendale State School when it opened in 1923. Sidney & Ida had there own children enrolling at Paschendale School from 1930-1938.

    LOT 35 162 ac A. H. [sic] GARTON Eight applicants - A. H.[sic] Carton, Cavendish. This was Harry Neville GARTON [MC, MID] 1891-1979, b. Cavendish, Victoria, son of George Scott GARTON & Sophia THOMSON, m1. Euphemia Morrison MacGIBBON, d. 1930 (sister of Harry MacGIBBON), m2. Heather Melita VAN, buried in the Merino Cemetery. Served as Sgt & Lt 21st Battalion, 1st AIF at Gallipoli and in France, awarded the MID and MC in France.
    LOT 36 231 ac M. F. FYFE [sic] Fifteen applicants - M. F. Fife [sic], Branxholme. This was Maurice Frome FYFFE ~1890-1959, son of James Joseph FYFFE and Ellen BATES who served with the 1st Wellington Infantry Battalion, New Zealand Forces. Wounded at Gallipoli. Wife was Florence May ____ ?-1977, and both are buried in the Hamilton Cemetery, Victoria.
    LOT 37 152 ac B. HAYWARD Six applicants - B. Hayward, Coleraine. This was Bertram "Bertie" HAYWARD b. 1893, Norfolk, England, son of Frederick & Rebecca HAYWARD. He was a Bootmaker when he enlisted in the AIF in Melbourne in 1915 and served as Pte 141, 23rd Battalion, AIF at Gallipoli (wounded) and in France (sick to hospital in 1918). He married in 1918 in England to Florence Mary BROWN from Norfolk. A som Bertram enrolled at Pachendale School in 1926 and later that year the family was farewelled from Paschendale. They moved to ....................?
    LOT 38 254 ac G. T. POVEY Twenty-four applicants - G. T. Povey, Casterton. This was George Thomas POVEY 1895-1929, b. Digby, Victoria, son of Thomas Joseph POVEY & Rachel Annie BURGESS, m. Olive Emily Mary OWENS 1891-1975, buried in the Merino Cemetery. Served as Pte 4594, 46th Battalion, 1st AIF. First chairman of the Paschendale School Committee. George died from appendicitis in 1929 leving a widow and six children aged from 3-14 and is buried in the Merino Cemetery. His allotment is still in the hands of his descendants.
  • Carapook School & Carapook District Honour Rolls
  • Casterton Town Hall Honour Roll
  • Coleraine Mechanics' Hall Honour Roll
  • Digby Avenue of Honour Tree No 53
  • Dunkeld Honour Roll
  • LOT 39 160 ac W. ROSS Eight applicants - W. Ross, Merino. This was William "Bill" ROSS 1894-1966, b. Merino, Victoria, son of Alexander Campbell ROSS and Elizabeth McLELLAN, m. Kathleen RIGBY, sister of Elizabeth Ann RIGBY who was a teacher at Paschendale State School in 1929. Bill ROSS was a blacksmith of Merino and served as Pte 1566, 21st Battalion, 1st AIF. He was captured at Mouquet Farm, France in 1916, held as a prisoner of war in Germany until repatriated to England in 1918.
  • Casterton Town Hall Honour Roll
  • Merino War Memorial
  • Sources :

    Australian Archives - WW1 Soldier Files

    Geoff Lambert, Paschendale resident

    "Heritage" - Merino Digby local history, 1977

    "The Casterton News" 21 August 1919 (Thanks to Beryl O'Gorman)

    "The Portland Guardian" 22 August 1919

    "The History of STRUAN which became PASCHENDALE Soldier Settlement, 1919" - A. B. Macgibbon