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Heroes AvenuePrint Page Print this page

14-March-2016
14-March-2016

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson

Memorial bottle trees were planted to form a living tribute called Heroes Avenue in memory of the fallen of World War One. Each tree originally bore a brass plaque stating the name of one of the 93 local men who fell during the First World War. Only one of these plaques survives, now on a cairn which was dedicated by the Roma RSL sub-branch on Remembrance Day, 1983. The cairn is located outside the Post Office near the corner of McDowell and Wyndham Streets.

The avenue of trees begins at The Railway Station, turns right into Wyndham Street and left into Bungil Street ending just after the intersection with Hawthorne Street. There are over 90 trees, all of which are bottle trees (Brachychiton rupestre).

A tree commemorating Lance Corporal Norman Saunders, who was killed in France in 1916 during World War One was the first of the 93 bottle trees planted and is at the site of the cairn. 

There was a large gathering in Wyndham Street on the 19th September 1918 when the first trees in Heroes Avenue were planted. The Mayor of Roma, Alderman Miscamble, explained the object of the gathering and 27 trees were to be planted in honour of the boys who had attended the local state school. The first tree was planted in memory of Norman Saunders by the Mayor and Mrs Spence at Post Office Corner. While planting a tree in front of the school in memory of a teacher Lieutenant G.J.Shepherd, the children sang "God Speed the Right " very impressively indeed.  Mr C.D. O'Brien referred to the fact that some people said Australia became a nation when the States formed into the Commonwealth while others said Australia rose to nationhood on the 25th April 1915, at Gallipoli.
Western Star and Roma Advertiser (Toowoomba),
21st September 1918.

 

Location

Address:Wyndham & Bungil Streets, Station & Hawthorne Streets, Roma, 4455
State:QLD
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -26.571702
Long: 148.791013
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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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://www.qldwarmemorials.com.au/P…

Dedication

Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 19th September, 1918
Front Inscription
HEROES AVENUE

On the 20th of September 1918 the people of the Roma District gathered to pay tribute to their sons who fell in WW1. In their honour, a bottle tree was planted for each soldier as a living memorial to their duty to their nation. The gathered citizens pledged that 'their lives would live on. As long as Roma existed they would never be forgotten'.


This heritage listed avenue comprises 138 bottle trees extending from Railway station in Station St to the Cultural Centre and Cenotaph in Bungil St. 
Source: MIV,SKP,QWMR, MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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