In 1915 a wounded digger from Adelaide was repatriated to the Army Hospital at Keswick.
He brought back with him a small rosemary bush dug up from the slopes and ravines of the Anzac Cove and it was planted in the hospital grounds.
For decades small sprigs of the digger’s rosemary were worn to honour the fallen on Anzac and Armistice days and after the Repatriation Hospital was established during WW2 at Daw Park SA, cuttings were taken and it was grown into a hedge on the hospital grounds.
This history was only discovered by David Lawry OAM, Founder of the AoH Project, when as a landscaper in the late 1980’s he was inadvertently removing part of it during renovations and the hospital gardener told him of its origin.
Worried that it might all be lost he took cuttings and kept a number of them growing in his native nursery to conserve the plant for posterity.
In 2004 at the launch of the Avenues of Honour Project during the TREENET Symposium at Adelaide University’s Waite Arboretum the delegates planted all of these in symbolic anticipation of the thousands of trees that would be planted across Australia in the decades ahead.
From this 2004 planted hedge, cuttings were provided to the nursery industry and official labels produced. Subsequently the sale of each nursery-grown Gallipoli Rosemary, provides a royalty to the Avenues of Honour project.
You can download a PDF list of growers: Gallipoli Rosemary Growers
L: newly planted Gallipoli Rosemary framing the newly planted War Memorial Oak progeny, April 2015
R: April 2020