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Avenue of Honour : 02-January-2013
Avenue of Honour : 02-January-2013

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson / Peter F Williams

The Avenue of Honour was planted in memory of those from the district who served in World War One.

The Ballarat Avenue of Honour is significant as the earliest known memorial avenue to have been planted in Victoria, and appears to have stimulated similar plantings throughout Victoria in the years 1917 to 1921. They predominate in Victoria with the greatest concentration in the Central Highlands around Ballarat.

They had declined in popularity as a means of commemoration by the time of the Second World War. The Ballarat Avenue is the longest avenue of honour in Australia and, composed of exotic trees planted along a major road, is a dominant landscape feature in the low farming country with a powerful social message. 

The avenue extends across the Western Highway and ends at a cairn at the corner of Weatherboard and Avenue Roads at Weatherboard.   The GPS location for this cairn is -37.426874 , 143.682645.  The avenue was re-connected in April 2015 during the duplication of the Western Highway.

In May 1917, Mrs W. D. Thompson, a director of clothing firm E. Lucas & Co, suggested planning an Avenue of Honour at Ballarat. The idea was accepted enthusiastically with planting beginning on 4 June 1917. The final planting took place on 3 June 1919.

Eleven species, totalling 3,912 trees, had been planted in eight phases by the staff of the Lucas factory with the support of local farmers, who provided tree guards. Each of the plantings was accompanied by Members of Parliament and in some cases by the Premier of the State. The cost of the trees was £2,000, raised by girls at the factory, which employed over 500 women.

A further £2,600 was raised to build the Arch of Victory as an entrance to the Avenue of Honour.

At Ballarat (Vic.), on June 4, a commencement was made with the planting of the first 500 trees in the Soldiers' Avenue of Honour. The scheme was originated and organised by the girls at Lucas and Co.'s factory, and when completed there will be a tree planted for each of the nearly 3000 men who have enlisted from Ballarat, The trees planted were elm and mountain ash, and extend for a mile and a half along the Burrumbeet road, which is the main western approach to the city. Each tree is protected by a guard, and each bears a soldier's name. Of the 505 names displayed on the first day of planting, 63 are those of men who have been killed, while several others are missing.
Australasian (Melbourne,), 9 June 1917.   

 

Location

Address:Remembrance Drive (Sturt Street), Ballarat, 3350
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.553281
Long: 143.812911
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map

Details

Monument Type:Avenue of Honour
Monument Theme:Conflict
Sub-Theme:WW1
Actual Event STart Date:04-August-1914
Actual Event End Date:28-June-1919
Link:http://vhd.heritage.vic.gov.au/vhd/…

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Monday 4th June, 1917
Left Side Inscription

Plaque: (on Arch of Victory)
This Arch of Victory was erected and this Avenue of Honour
                     Planted By 
The Young Ladies of E. Lucas & Co. Pty Ltd.
                       In Honour Of 
The Sailors, Soldiers and Nurses of Ballarat who took part in
                The Great War.

Plaque:
June 2                  1920

This Stone Was Laid By
H.R.H. The PRINCE OF WALES
                 To
Commemorate The Opening
                  Of
             This Arch.

Right Side Inscription

Plaque: (on Arch of Victory) 
This avenue extends for a distance of 14 miles
and contains 3,900 trees which were individually planted by
"The Lucas Girls"
for every Ballarat Citizen who served in the Great War
and assisted in maintaining the liberty of Australia.

"All ye who tread this avenue of life,
Remember those who bowed beneath the strife,
Each leaf a laurel, crowns with deathless fame
and every tree reveals a hero s name." 

Plaque:
Feb 7              1920
This Stone Was Laid
                 By
Gen. Sir Wm. R. Birdwood, Bart. G.C.M.G.
K.C.B., K.C.S.I, G.I.E., D.S.O.
G.O.C. Australia's Soldiers In The Big War 1914 - 1919.
Reign of King George V

Inscription in Proximity

On cairn at Weatherboard :

Plaque : 

To Our Fallen.  Erected by Ballarat & District Fathers Association.  

They buckled their belts about them.  They crossed in ships,  They fought and found six feet of ground and died for you and me.

Plaque :

In memory of the 94107 Australians who gave their lives in two World Wars.  
1914 - 1918
1939 - 1945

Source: MA,RSLV,VHWI
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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