Avenues in the Geelong area

John Stoward has been a member of Geelong RSL Sub Branch for a number of years and is very interested in attempting to uncover details of Avenues of Honour in the Greater Geelong region of Victoria. In particular John is  attempting to research 21 locations in the region listed in Sarah Cockerell’s 2006 survey. What he discovers with your help will no doubt lead us to a better understanding of what we have lost over the years so that restorations and replacements can be planned.

The Avenues of interest are as follows and shown in the map below.

Bacchus Marsh
Geelong North
North Geelong
Rokewood Junction
Waurn Ponds

View larger map

John believes that the Geelong North and the two North Geelong Avenues are two only – one being for Korean vets and the other for Vietnam.

Knowing the Modewarre district pretty well, he would be surprised if there are separate avenues for both Moriac and Modewarre.  The original Avenue of Honour was made up of elms, and was planted on June 28, 1918 – nearly five months before the end of the war.  The trees were placed with the existing stand of Golden Monterey Cypress trees in the mid 1940s.

On April 30th 2013 The  Surf Coast Times newspaper reported John’s request for assistance in researching this Avenue as follows:


In the wake of ANZAC Day, the community has been asked to help identify the soldiers recognised along Modewarre’s Avenue of Honour.  The 31 trees on Cape Otway Road were planted to honour the 31 soldiers who served in World War 1.

Two other trees in the avenue are for General William Birdwood, who commanded the ANZAC forces at Gallipoli and Modewarre resident Albert Jacka, who won the Victoria Cross at Gallipoli.  The avenue is the only surviving intact Avenue of Honour in Surf Coast Shire and is one of only a few in good condition in the region.

The Modewarre Hall and Reserve Committee of Management and Winchelsea Lions Club are working together on a project to place a memorial plaque beside each of the 31 trees, containing the soldier’s name, rank, regiment and identification tag number.

Following research involving RSL groups, the Australian War Memorial and discussions with locals, detailed information has been uncovered for only 11 of the 33 soldiers.

A name has been found for each soldier, but no record was ever made that listed other information.

Official records have identified up to 30 soldiers with the same name, and the project has asked for the public’s help in identifying the soldiers.

The names are:

Jack Beckman
Ernie E. Black
Sid Black
W. Clark
C. Cutts
Godfrey Deppeler
Jack Deppeler
Victor Hamilton
C. Harris
E. E. Hendy
R. Hunt
R. L. Hunter
Tom Hunter
William A. Kelly
J. W. Matthews
W. McAdam
H. Purcell
F. Robinson
G. Simpson
A. Jim Stewart
Jack C. Wallis
Norman L. Woods

If you think you can help please email John.




12 thoughts on “Avenues in the Geelong area

  1. michael taffe

    I hope you prove me wrong but my research for my earlier thesis on these avenues indicated that the Inverleigh Avenue was planted for Queen Victoria’s Jubilee.
    Michael Taffe

    1. Sarah Cockerell

      You are probably right. The way data has been gathered for this list has inevitably allowed for some errors and we are relying on people like you to help us correct them. I will look into the current listing and make corrections as required.
      Regards, Sarah Cockerell

      1. Roger Southern

        Hi Sarah
        I am working with the Anzac Living Memorials project – inspired by avenues of honour – and would be pleased to send you information about it. I also worked with Frank Golding and Michael Taffe on the Kenny Avenue project in Ballarat.
        Best wishes
        Roger Southern

        1. David Lawry

          Hi Roger,
          Thanks for the post. Can you please forward any information regarding your project “Anzac Living Memorials” so that we can have it available on our website.
          It is great that you have found inspiration from the “TREENET 1915-2015 Avenues of Honour Project” even though your organisation’s principal interest is conservation.
          As the sole purpose of the AoH project is to remember with a tree all the 103,000 individuals who have made the supreme sacrifice over the past century, preferrably as individual or avenue plantings throughout urban and regional Australia, it stands unencumbered by other agenda no matter how worthy the cause.
          Let’s see how we can make both projects receive the essential community support needed without creating confusion about the purpose.
          The next 5 years will offer an opportunity no doubt for many excellent projects to be proposed around Commemoration. In assessing relative merit, funding bodies will be seeking clarity of purpose before committing to any project. It is not difficult to imagine that projects based principally on carbon policy for example will be presented as memorials which in my opinion could compromise the significance of the tree as a symbol of honour for the individual who is being remembered.
          Kind Regards David

    2. Tom

      Hi Michael,

      Do you Know where this Avenue of Honour is in Inverleigh?
      Could you give me the location?



  2. editor

    Hi Bill,
    Can you please give me more info re the threat to the Avenues via email?
    There is an ABC Geelong story coming up very soon, perhaps around Australia day that you may find interesting.
    If you miss it hopefully we will be able to put a link up for subsequent viewing.
    Regards David

  3. BERTHET M.-P.

    I am writing from Switzerland.
    It concerns your soldiers list where the name Deppeler appears : my question is : those soldier participated to first WW but were always alive after this war ?
    In my records I have a Gottfried called Godfrey who died 1953 (born 1893) and a Jacob called Jack (brother of Godfrey)

    Many thanks in advance
    Kind regards
    M.-P. B – Geneva – Switzerland

  4. Tom


    I didn’t know there was a Avenue of Honour in Moriac and Inverleigh. If anyone know where the site is I would like to have a look at the Moriac and Inverleigh avenue of honour.

    I have photographs and information of the Waurn Ponds Avenue of Honour. A small committee looks after the memorial. I do help Jack Harriott the President of the Waurn Ponds Memorial Reserve Committee of Management cut the grass and maintenance work. Each July on the first Sunday a memorial service is held at the memorial. In July 1919 residents of Waurn Ponds planted 35 tress to remember the 15 men of Waurn Ponds. In July 1999’a memorial plaque was unveiled at the memorial.
    At this years service the army and navy cadets will attend .

    I have found a flyer for the unveiling of the World War II Modewarre Memorial Plaque

    Residents of Moriac, Modewarre and surrounding area are invited to attend the ANZAC Day
    Re-dedication Service and unveiling of memorial plaque commemorating the Second World War serviceman of Modewarre and District.

    At the Modewarre Memorial Hall and Avenue of Honour

    Where: Modewarre Memorial Hall, Cape Otway Road, Modewarre Victoria.

    When: 1pm ANZAC Day, 25th April 2017.

    Kind Regards,


    1. editor

      Hello Tom,
      Thanks for your queries and the extra information about Waurn Ponds and Modewarre. If you’re able to send a digital copy of any of that information to admin@avenuesofhonour.org that would be brilliant!
      The Inverleigh Avenue map marker (coordinates) on our Avenues of Honour site may not be accurate – so we’re as much in the dark as you are. There are certainly some ancient Cypress trees lining the Hamilton Highway, right near the intersection with Railway Street where the current War Memorial is located. Is it possible these trees may have been commemorative plantings?
      Thanks for the notification about the ANZAC Day Re-dedication for the Modewarre Avenue of Honour. Your help in keeping the memories and history alive is much appreciated.
      Best wishes from the AoH Team


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