Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington, 1914-1918
Avenue of Honour
The Boulevard, Aberfeldie
The Avenue of Honour on The Boulevard next to the Maribyrnong River, from the western end.
The original Avenue of Honour was planted in 1920, with the Petty Officers of the Renown performing the ceremonial planting. The Renown was on a good will tour of the Dominions with the Prince of Wales. The chosen trees, cypresses, had a finite life-span and by the 1990s had become dangerous, dropping limbs. The Moonee Valley Council removed all the cypresses over a period of time, and the Avenue was replanted with Kauri pines, and rededicated on Armistice Day, 1999.
This aerial photo from 1945 shows the extent of the Avenue plantings, from the original plantings near the Essendon Rowing Club boatshed to the as yet unformed Afton Street. Originally on one side of The Boulevard, a second row of tiny pinpoints in the photo shows a further planting on the other side of the Boulevard. The white rectangles in the bottom right corner are temporary housing for WW2 defence workers. Source: University of Melbourne Map Collection. Melbourne 1945 Photo-maps. http://www.lib.unimelb.edu.au/collections/maps/historical/1945melb/
Although originally intended to commemorate the local volunteers, the very large number of them made it a logistical problem, resolved by dedicating the first plantings to Royal Naval vessels which were sunk in the Battle of Jutland in 1916, with appalling loss of life: Queen Mary, Shark, Black Prince, Invincible, Nestor, Warrior, Nomad, Tipperary, Defence. Ships sunk elsewhere are also included: Lynx, sunk at Moray Firth; Good Hope at Coronel; and Irresistible at the Dardanelles.
Photos by Lenore Frost, 2013.