According to articles located in the "The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record" Casterton commenced the planting a World War 1 Soldiers' Memorial Avenue of Honor on the Coleraine-road, Casterton, S-W Victoria, Australia, commencing at Pearce's Bridge in 1918.

Why didn't the plantings continue? Other articles in the "Casterton News" indicate that there were plans to continue to avenue out the Coleraine-road from Casterton towards "The Lodge" near the road branch which heads to Wando Vale and Edenhope.

"The Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record" (Vic.) Thursday, 22nd August 1918.

Soldiers' Memorial Avenue : Start Made at Casterton.

Following upon the preparations of the previous Saturday the Coleraine road from Pearce's Bridge again presented a busy appearance on Saturday last. In the morning the members of the trees' and guards' committees tackled the work in real earnest, and had a large number of guards erected and the soil properly prepared for the reception of the trees before noon.

In the afternoon quite a crowd of workers, consisting of returned soldiers, Councillors, members of Committee, and others were in attendance, together with a large number of lady visitors, relatives of soldiers and others, and soon had the preliminary work carried out.

An apology was received from Cr. J. J. Durack, and Mr G. T. Graham, Digby. The trees planted consisted of Lambertianas, and though small were healthy and in the congenial soil of the district it is expected they will soon develop into substantial specimens of cypress trees. The trees were numbered, and a record kept by the secretaries, Messrs W. A. W. Kell and H. S. McBean, of each one who planted a tree. Farrier-Sergeant W. J. Gavan was the first to plant a tree, as the footballers required his services as as umpire, he having failed in health whilst assisting to adjudicate in the glorious struggle for freedom on the other side of the globe.

The planting was officially opened by the President of Glenelg Shire (Cr. J. Little) who said he was proud that day to have the honor of officially planting the first tree in the Soldiers' Memorial Avenue. Honor was due to the A.N.A., the members of which had originated the movement and were responsible for the start that was made that day. It was not, however, the ceremony proper. It was the start of the Avenue, and he hoped that it would be continued to the boundary of the Glenelg Shire, and then the avenue could be further continued on the Mount Gambier road. He had himself favored the Sandford road site, yet though beaten he was satisfied to go on with the movement, and assist in as that small way to honor their brave soldiers. When the trees planted that day were named, they world be in honor of fallen soldiers, and when sufficient had been planted a tree would he named for each soldier. He thanked Messrs Peden and Tytherleigh for their extra work which enabled the guards to be completed in time, the public and the workers who had attended on that and the previous Saturday.

Cr. J. W. Murrell said he had not come to speak. He was proud to be there, and to see that a start had been made with the Soldiers' Avenue. The trees would keep in their memories the heroic deeds their soldiers had done for them. He thanked all who had worked so hard.

Trees were planted as follows by the Councillors present, returned soldiers, and relatives of soldiers :

  1. Cr. J. Little
  2. Cr. J. W. Murrell
  3. Cr. L. T. Koch
  4. Cr. R. F. Hedditch
  5. Cr. H. J. Munro
  6. Cr. G. L. Young
  7. Cr. A. Mitchell
  8. Mr R. E. Robinson
  9. Sergeant L. T. O'Neill, M.M.
  10. Mrs J. McLaughlin (per D. V. West)
  11. Private G. Peachey
  12. Driver W. Burchell
  13. Mrs Jelly
  14. Sergeant W. J. Gavan
  15. Mrs A. Murrell
  16. Lance-Corporal H. L. Fell
  17. Miss McLennan
  18. Private A. J. Doyle
  19. Mrs J. McDonald
  20. Mrs J. Boyd
  21. Mrs J. Critchlow
  22. Mrs W. Smith
  23. Miss Harris
  24. Mr A. Patterson
  25. Miss Pearce
  26. Lieutenant H. Patterson (per Mr A. Patterson)
  27. Private J. McIntyre
  28. Miss Patterson
  29. Private W. Munro
  30. Private A. Lowe
  31. Mrs W. G. McKinney
  32. Private G. Davis (per Mrs J. Davis)
  33. Mrs J. Greenham
  34. Private C. Davis (per Mr J. Davis)
  35. Mrs W. Gavan
  36. Mr J. McKinnon
  37. Mr J. Davis
  38. Mr H. Hornibrook
  39. Mr W. Clayton
  40. Mr G. Holmes
  41. Mr J. Glancy
  42. Mrs J. Meers
  43. Mr A. G. Cowland
  44. Corporal. E. Fell (per L.-Corporal H. L. Fell)
  45. Mr C. Smith
  46. Mr A. McDonald
  47. Mr W. R. Corney
  48. Mr W. H. Zimmer
  49. Miss Gazzard
  50. Mr T. R. Tytherleigh

The Secretaries desire that special thanks he tendered to Mr J. Greenham for carting done and assistance rendered.

Additional information appreciated.

Compiled by Daryl Povey

Casterton & District Historical Society.

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Casterton War Memorial