There may be no ANZAC Day gatherings at our cenotaphs and parks this year, but personal moments of remembrance can always be marked under the shade of our living war memorials: the trees planted across Australia to honour our military servicepeople.
There are more than 600 known Avenues of Honour across our country, and details of each is recorded on a central website. Giant figs planted in 1915 in South Australia’s Normanville recognise volunteers to the Great War, cypress trees in Lara Victoria commemorate servicemen of WW2, and flame trees in far-north
Queensland remember those lost in Afghanistan.
“These trees are living reminders of those who have served, sacrificed and suffered,” says Glenn Williams, director of TREENET, the non-profit behind the Avenues of Honour project.
“And to keep them alive, we’re calling on all Australians to contribute their local knowledge.”
“We want to hear from anyone who can improve our histories and stories of these memorial trees,” Glenn says. “When were they planted? What stories of local servicepeople should be remembered with the trees? Are our existing location details and photos of each site as accurate as possible?”
“There are still many living memorials yet to be recorded,” Glenn says. “Trees that were planted by mothers and wives, children and returned servicepeople to commemorate their loved ones. We want to see them all remembered, respected and revisited — lest we forget.”