An Avenue of Honour and Armistice Memorial has been officially opened at Waverley Flora Park to pay tribute to veterans from Clarence who served in World War One.
The opening and dedication ceremony was held on 11 November 2018 and marked the centenary of the end of World War One.
Waverley Flora Park was the former site of the old Bellerive Rifle Range, constructed in 1917. Twenty-three members of the Bellerive Rifle Club enlisted and served in World War One.
The club constructed an Avenue of Honour along Quarry Road to commemorate the 23 men from the club who served in the war, including two that had died. However the avenue fell into disrepair with the ravages of time and urban development.
Council has reconstructed a memorial avenue as a formal entrance to the park (as part of an adopted reserve activity plan for the site) to remember those who served in World War One.
Twenty-three advanced gum trees, accompanied by a sandstone plinth and brass plaque, identifies each soldier.
A memorial sculpture created by Tasmanian sculptor, Folko Kooper, has also been installed at the site and captures the significance of the Armistice. It will become an important part of the city’s acknowledgement of military service. The creation of the sculpture has been made possible through funding from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs through the Commemorative Grants Program.
Council engaged historian John Wadsley to undertake comprehensive historical research for the project. Of the 23 soldiers commemorated at the site, 19 have been identified, with four still to be identified.
“The avenue and memorial sculpture ensures that the memory of those who served will not be forgotten again and the site will be lovingly cared for into the future,” Mayor of Clarence, Alderman Doug Chipman said.
“I hope that in years to come, the avenue will become a popular place for local residents to visit and contemplate our contribution to the Great War, and where families can come and remember loved ones who served,” Mayor of Clarence, Alderman Doug Chipman said.
“I would like to thank historian John Wadsley for undertaking comprehensive historical research for this project, sculptor Folko Kooper, consultants, Council’s Cultural History Advisory Committee, and our works crews who created this wonderful space.”
“I would also like to acknowledge Adrian Howard who brought to our attention the fact Clarence had a memorial avenue of trees. Without his interest and passion, this project would not have started.”
The soldiers commemorated at the Waverley Flora Park Avenue of Honour are:
Corporal John Macmichael Bignell
Private Norman Fraser Bignell
Private Frank Daniel Brock
Sapper Frederick Martin Burton
Sergeant Herbert James Burton
Private Richard St John De La Bere
Private Alfred Edwards
Sergeant Tasman Forsyth
Warrant Officer William Franklin Forsyth
Private Harry Major Hood
Sergeant William Oswald Jennings
Private Robert James Bertram Lazenby
Sergeant Keith Palmer Marshall
Lance Corporal Norman George Marshall
Trooper Robert Blyth Marshall
Trooper Charles Stewart Marshall
Lieutenant Charles Vincent Legge Mitchell
Private George Frederick Spotswood
Private Robert Wheeler and
Four un-named soldiers.
The Avenue of Honour and Armistice Memorial at Waverley Flora Park can be accessed from Quarry Road.
If members of the community have any information that can assist to identify the four un-named soldiers, contact Clarence City Council on 03 6217 9500.