Thanks to my dad for the photo of a plaque at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London. This Sessile Oak was planted from a seed collected at Verdun in 1917. Any other examples of living/growing memorials gratefully received.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 7th, 2006 at 12:53 pm and is filed under First World War, Myth and Memory. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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In Ballarat, Victoria there is the Avenue of Honour, about 3300 trees stretching along 22km of highway. Each one represents a man from Ballarat who enlisted in WWI (there’s a plaque for each tree). It was started in 1917, and inspired over a hundred other avenues of honour around Victoria (I’ve been through the Ballarat one, and one in Bacchus Marsh, and probably a few others without realising it). Having grown up with these, I just assumed this was a common enough thing, but in Australia in looks like it’s mainly a Victorian phenomenon, and it’s not that common elsewhere (though there are similar memorials in Canada and United States). This would probably be a good place to start for Australia … probably the Gallipoli legend and ANZAC day ceremonies have meant that more effort has been made to maintain the Australian ones.
Ta Brett – never heard of that before. Should have noted that the Memorial to British Soldiers Shot at Dawn is in the National Arboretum (sp?)
[…] … but this bombast is more than compensated for by the Avenue of Honour which starts from the Arch (which I was standing under when I took the above) and extends for 22 km. It is flanked on either side by a rank of trees, over 3300 in all. In front of each tree is a plaque (only barely visible in the photo, unfortunately) with the name, unit and number of a man from the Ballarat region who served in the armed forces in the First World War. It really is a dramatic and imaginative form of memorial, and it inspired over a hundred similar avenues in Victoria and the rest of Australia. It’s not, however, a uniquely Australian phenomenon, as I have seen claimed: there’s at least one in Canada, and they were quite popular in the United States after the First World War too. And it looks like there’s one in Leeds. Still, the Ballarat Avenue of Honour must be one of the longest and best-preserved in the world. (Another form of living memorial is noted at Trench Fever.) […]
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