A packet full of mystery

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Nicolette BarbasSouth Western Times
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The cigarette packet that was found in the bathroom wall of a home in Donnybrook.
Camera IconThe cigarette packet that was found in the bathroom wall of a home in Donnybrook.

When Leon and Anne-Maree Jones decided to renovate their home on Charley Creek Road in Donnybrook, they could not have imagined they would stumble upon a hidden message from the past.

While knocking down their bathroom, the Jones’ discovered an empty cigarette packet from the 1950s nestled within the walls.

Inside the cigarette packet, written in pencil, was S. Guyll, Durham England.

The writing inside the packet.
Camera IconThe writing inside the packet.

Not long after the couple posted images of the packet on social media, eagle-eyed Donnybrook resident Pamela Harrison decided to investigate the mystery.

“The packet belonged to Stanley Guyll, son of Frank and Gladys Guyll of Le Springs, Houghton, County Durham England,” Mrs Harrison said.

“Stanley came from East Rainton, Durham, and had six siblings, none of which I am able to trace.”

Mr Guyll set sail on the Empire Brent from Glasgow, Scotland, on February 9, 1949, aged 25, bound for Fremantle and a new life.

Although on the ship’s passenger list he states he was a bricklayer, he came to Donnybrook and worked as a carpenter.

Sadly, at the age of 27, Mr Guyll was killed in a motorcycle crash when he collided with a ute on February 18, 1952.

Stanley Guyll
Camera IconStanley Guyll

Stanley Guyll is buried in the Donnybrook Cemetery and has a grave with a headstone which says he was also a former officer in the Royal Navy Submarine Service.

But Mrs Harrison said the undiscovered cigarette packet will forever be a mystery.

“The cigarettes were made in England, they were not available in Australia,” she said.

“The house was built around 1946-47, Stan came out here in 1949 and was killed in 1952. So when was the packet placed in the wall and was it placed by Stan?”

With only 10 cigarettes in a packet, Mrs Harrison wondered if Mr Guyll was a slow smoker, or a person who kept memorabilia.

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