St. Arnaud Secondary School was established in 1914.

At the school, students are arranged into three ‘School Houses’. They are Holmes, Morshead and Willmott.

All three are named after casualties of The Great War that had connections with the school.

Edgar Holmes’ grandfather came to Australia in September 1856. Edgar was born in 1891 and attended school in Stanford, becoming a junior teacher. In 1909 he entered Teacher’s College. He taught at Mokepilly, St Arnaud HS and Essendon HS. Afterwards, he completed a Bachelor of Arts and was studying for a Bachelor of Science when he enlisted in the A.I.F. on 16th July 1915. After one year and three days in the army, he was Killed In Action at Frommelles, in France, with the rank of Lance Corporal while serving with the 59th Battalion. He is commemorated at VC Corner in the Australian Cemetery, France.

59th Australian Infantry Battalion

Ernest Darcy Morshead was the son of William and Mary Eliza Morshead, of 32 Tress St., Mount Pleasant, Ballarat born in 1893 and enlisted in July 1915. A teacher before the war, he was killed on the same day as Edgar Holmes while serving with the 29th Australian Infantry Battalion with the rank of Sergeant. He was killed during the Third Battle of Ypres ( Battle of Passchendaele). He now lies buried at Rue-Petillon Military Cemetery, France.

Details of the battle | 29th Australian Infantry Battalion

After leaving the high school, Cyril Samuel Willmott became an apprentice baker while living in St. Arnaud before the war. He lied about his age, enlisted and sailed for France on the 16th of July 1915 aboard the HMAT Demosthenes. He was wounded on the Somme Battlefield and spent several days in no man’s land where he contracted pneumonia and died on 5th of February, 1917, at the age of 17. A Private, he was serving with the 60th Infantry Battalion at the time of his death. He is buried at Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension, France.

His Roll of Honour Listing | 60th Australian Infantry Battalion