Feb 18, 2013

The Ballarat Avenue of Honour

The Ballarat Avenue of Honour

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.

where the Avenue of Honour is located in the City of Ballarat
(Victoria, Australia

They predominate in Victoria with the greatest concentration in the Central Highlands around Ballarat. These avenues represent a new egalitarian approach in the commemoration of soldiers where service rank was not a consideration and are illustrative of a peculiarly Australian, populist and vernacular response to the experience of the First World War.
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.

Leading into the city is an unusual and imaginative war memorial; a fine arch floodlit by night and 22 kilometres of tree-lined avenues commemorating the men and women of Ballarat who served in the First World War.

On 3 June 1917, the first 1,000 trees in the Avenue were planted by staff from the local textile mill E. Lucas & Co. Just over two years later the final planting took place on 16 August 1919, with a total of 3,771 trees extending over a distance of approximately 22 kilometres (14 miles) along the Ballarat-Burrumbeet Road. It incorporates the Ballarat Arch of Victory .

There were eight plantings in all, which took place sometime between June and August each year and usually consisted of around 500 trees. The trees were planted in single lines along either side of the road at a regular spacing of 35-40ft apart, and set back from the edge of the carriageway approximately 15-20ft. 

Each newly planted tree was protected by a substantial timber guard, to which a plate bearing each soldiers name, rank and unit was attached.

Memorial Wall Project
10m long x 1.8m high wall with bronze plates recording the names and
tree numbers of the service men and women honoured in the Avenue

1993 Memorial Wall Project adjacent to the Arch of Victory officially opened by Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop on May 16th. Erected at a cost of approx. $140,000 the project comprised a 10m long x 1.8m high wall with bronze plates recording the names and tree numbers of the service men and women honoured in the Avenue, and included the relocation of the Memorial Rotunda from outside the Ballarat Golf Club erected in 1938.

the following two images are not mine, first one is from the Creswick Lighthorse Website:

On the 6th November 2012 the Avenue of Honour and the renovated Arch of Victory in Ballarat
were re-opened and re-dedicated in memory of the Fallen Soldiers it represents. 
We (Creswick Lighthorse) were asked by the Ballarat RSL to take part in the rededication
in full uniform and on horse. 
We kitted up in the grounds of Ballarat High School at 10am for the Parade at 10.30am

The Ballarat Arch of Victory, completed in 1920.
image from the website of the University of Ballarat - Pipe Band

with many thanks to the "Friends of The Shrine", the "Shrine of Remembrance" (Melbourne) and all those involved in creating the Military History Tour of Ballarat that allowed so many of us to gain more knowledge of our Military History.

the following URL's maybe of interest:

the previous blog post is on the STURT STREET WALKING TRAIL in Ballarat.


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