The Back Valley Avenue of Honour was established in 1945 to commemorate the local men and women who served the country in World War Two. This Avenue of Honour is located on Memory Grove, Back Valley, in South Australia. There were earlier tree plantings in 1918 in Back Valley for local people who lost their lives in World War One and these are mentioned in various newspaper reports.
The Avenue of Honour along Memory Grove was originally planted with 22 Monterey pines (Pinus radiata) in memory of 21 men of the district who died in WW2 and of the unknown soldier. Five men are commemorated on a plaque mounted on a rock at the entrance to Memory Grove: Private Sweetman AIF, Flight-Sergeant Grosvenor RAAF, Sergeant Anwyl RAAF, Flight-Lieutenant Kirk RAAF, and Private Lindo AIF. Individual tree plates were painted on steel.
On 24 May 1918 the Victor Harbor Times mentioned a tree planting in Back Valley for a local man who made the ultimate sacrifice in World War One, and it was on “Anzac Day a tree was planted here to the memory of the first son that Mr Ayliffe lost. Will Ayliffe was a splendidly built, strapping young fellow and a great athlete.”” TOLL OF THE TERRIBLE WAR.” The Victor Harbor Times and Encounter Bay and Lower Murray Pilot (SA : 1912 – 1930) 24 May 1918: 3. Web. 17 Mar 2020 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166729263>.
On the 2nd of August 1918, the Victor Harbor Times reported that “on Friday. July 26th, Arbor Day was observed at the Lower Inman school. Trees were planted in the school ground by children and a few people, under the auspices of the teacher (Miss Swain). The majority of the trees were presented to the school by Mr Allert. The front section was set aside for the purpose of planting ”in memoriam” trees. There were for the first teacher (Miss Spencer] and the late Mrs W Coote. There were six others planted for deceased scholars three of whom were heroes of the war —Privates L Swain, K Jarvis, and A Goode. The others were for W Swain, F Scarfe and Rita Sweetman.”” INMAN VALLEY.” The Victor Harbor Times and Encounter Bay and Lower Murray Pilot (SA : 1912 – 1930) 2 August 1918: 3. Web. 17 Mar 2020 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166729613>
More information can be found at the Monument Australia website.
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