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Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

Roberts Avenue was named after Lord Roberts and the avenue of trees was planted by the citizens of Horsham in December 1901 to commemorate the success of the British and Australian troops in the South African (Boer) War.  The plaque relating to the dedication is located on the old Shire Offices. Lord Roberts led the British Forces to success in the Boer War (1899-1902).

It was originally planted with 80 English Oak trees (Quercus robur) along Roberts Avenue, between Darlot and McPherson Streets. The avenue was officially opened and the plaque unveiled on the 19th February 1902. 

Note : There is some discrepancy as to how many of the original trees remain. The Treenet Avenues of Honour Survey in 2004 stated that 5 trees were remaining. The Victorian War Heritage Inventory reports that as of 2011, only the section between Urquart and McPherson Streets remains. The Horsham Public Art and CBD Heritage Trail states that the remaining elm, which is located at the corner of Roberts Avenue & Ward Street,  was planted to commemorate Field Marshall Lord Roberts. 

Mr. Pearse said that the name required for the avenue was one which would be commemorative of the whole series of events which had taken place lately in South Africa. If Mafeking was the name given, what about Ladysmith ? If Ladysmith, what about Mafeking? Both these names would he lost in the course of time. But there was one name which would be handed down to posterity as luminous for ever, that of the man who had done the best of the work in South Africa- Roberts. (Cheers.) He moved that Roberts Avenue be the name given subject to the approval of the Borough Council. The President seconded the motion, agreeing with Mr. Pearse that the name of Lord Roberts would be ever green in the memory of British subjects, whilst Mafeking and Ladysmith were but additions to the glorious triumphs of British valor. Mr. Millar supported the motion, which was carried by acclamation. 
Excerpt from Horsham Times (Vic), 30 April 1901.

The ceremonies of opening the handsome fountain erected, at the intersection of Firebrace and Wilson Streets and presented to the town by Mr. James Millar, J.P., a councillor of the Horsham Borough and chairman of the Horsham Borough Waterworks Trust, and of formally naming Roberts' Avenue, planted in commemoration of the achievements of British and Australian troops in South Africa, were performed on Wednesday evening, in the presence of a large, interested and enthusiastic crowd of townspeople and district residents. After the fountain was unveiled, the Deputy-Mayor having intimated that this closed the first function, an adjournment was made to Roberts' Avenue, the band playing the crowd up Firebrace street.

The Shire Hall, into the Splatt Street or Roberts' Avenue wall of which a commemorative marble tablet, that was veiled with a Union Jack, has been built, having been reached, Mr. W. B. Payter, president of the Horsham Progress Association, to the existence and exertions of which the planting of the avenue is due, expressed his gratification at the size of the gathering. The Progress Association existence had been in 12 months and had already done excellent work.(Hear,hear) It had completed the planting of three avenues of trees, and if the generous support that had so far been accorded by townspeople were continued it would, in the coming season, plant a fourth. (Cheers). The object of the association was to beautify the town, and in the carrying out of that it should be supported by every householder. (Hear, hear) The work that the association was doing would, as it was carried out, relieve the town of the strictures passed upon it by a visitor in a recent letter to the " Horsham Times" the sting of which were in their absolute truth. The avenue they were opening that evening had been planted especially to commemorate the successes of the British and Colonial troops in South Africa.(Cheers). They all knew what had been the nature of the South African war and how splendidly the brave fellows who had gone from Australia had acquitted themselves in it, winning laurels in the field, as they had won them in every other sphere of action in which they had competed. (Cheers). The tablet did not claim to be a handsome ornament. It was rather a plain piece of marble, setting out the name of the avenue and the purpose with which it had been planted.
Excerpt from Horsham Times (Vic), 21 February 1902.


Address:Roberts Avenue & Firebrace Street, Attached to old Shire Offices, Horsham, 3400
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.714211
Long: 142.199967
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:11-October-1899
Actual Event End Date:31-May-1902


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 19th February, 1902
Front Inscription

Roberts Avenue

Planted by the citizens of Horsham in commemoration of the success of the British and Australian Troops, in the South African War.

December 1901

Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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